Couple’s Counseling

As a stand-alone service or as an adjunct to individual psychotherapy, California Women’s Therapy provides expert support and guidance to couples when they need it most.

Our team of psychologists is currently accepting new clients for virtual couple’s counseling.

We have four licensed psychologists on our team providing couple’s counseling from a variety of approaches:

  • Dr. Laura Ruaro
  • Dr. Nina Nguyen
  • Dr. Susan Swartz
  • Dr. Reya Kost

You can learn more about each of these providers by visiting their provider pages as well as reading about their unique approaches to couple’s counseling below.

Dr. Laura Ruaro
Licensed Clinical Psychologist Bilingual in English & Italian

Dr. Laura’s Approach to Couple’s Counseling

I work with couples from the psychoanalytic perspective, looking at how each partner’s deep wounds can be healed within the context of the relationship.  I help couples communicate authentically, so that their intimacy deepens. In my work with inter-racial and inter-cultural couples, I help them to better understand their respective identities. I also help couples prepare for and manage the transition to parenthood. For couples further into the parenting journey, I help parents become more aware of how their respective histories can impact their parenting styles. 

Dr. Nina Nguyen
Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Nguyen’s Approach to Couple’s Counseling

I provide a differentiation based approach to couple’s therapy. This focuses on being more authentic with oneself as well as with one’s partner, without trying to change the other person. This is very simply stated, yet is more enlivening when put into action. Oftentimes when people are in relationships, their true selves comes into conflict with their reflected sense of self (how they wish to be seen by their partner). Anxiety can result from a person’s struggle to balance these two states of being — leading individuals to compromise who they are for the sake of their partner. I work with couples to facilitate each person’s authenticity in the presence of their partner so that each can be seen more accurately. The truer you are to yourself, the more intimate you can be with your partner.

Dr. Susan Swartz
Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Susan’s Approach to Couple’s Counseling

I have completed all levels of trainings of the Gottman Method for couple’s counseling, including Level 3 with Drs. John and Julie Gottman in Seattle, WA. I love how the Gottman’s approach couple’s counseling because it’s very much about meaning and how each person is just trying to get their needs met.  It is a supportive and gentle approach to couple’s counseling.  This is not to say it’s not clear and directive–it’s those things, too, but it just has a lot of compassion. The idea is that we’re all doing the best we can — and sometimes we just didn’t learn the right way.  There is a focus on meeting people where they’re at and helping them acquire the skills they need.

Though I use the Gottman Method as my base, I also bring to my couple’s work a focus on addiction, past trauma, and codependence.   What I bring to the table is a desire to deeply understand each person individually — as well as the lifespan of the relationship itself — and from that base to begin to work on how to make the couple’s life happier and more fulfilling for both partners. 

Dr. Reya Kost
Licensed Clinical Psychologist

Dr. Kost’s Approach to Couple’s Counseling

I use a systemic perspective when working with couples where the relationship itself is considered the client and the partners collaborate to create change that is best for them.  Through creating safety, invoking vulnerability, and teaching safe reflection and feedback, I believe that all couples can create the type of emotional intimacy they desire.  I work with couples on what is meaningful for them and what brings them satisfaction in their relationship.  There are no rules about what “should be,” other than physical and emotional safety, and the ideal relationship is different for each couple.

So you can learn more about our services and make sure we’re a great fit, we offer free consultations over the phone or via live video chat.

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Contact us to schedule your initial consultation.

Begin your journey today 🌱