Build or restore an intimate partnership even in the face of the modern forces that threaten closeness, commitment, and stability.

Partners, significant others, parents, and pairs often require special therapeutic attention. Dr. Perlmutter has been working with couples since 1990, often with parenting problems, concerns related to sex, or financial challenges at the forefront of what a couple brings to treatment. Employing an attachment focused approach, the questions couples are helped to pursue include:

  • Who were we to each other and what have we become?
  • What are the forces keeping us together? What are the forces that drive us apart (if any)?
  • What are the goals for our partnership that we share?
  • In what ways have our once-shared goals or ways of behaving diverged? What’s the effect of that divergence?
  • How do our childhood histories inform how we participate in this coupleship?
  • How does my partner seem to hold me in mind? How do I want to be thought of?
  • What do I do that contributes to being held in mind that way? What might I do to increase the likelihood I’d be thought of by my partner more in the way I would like?

In couple’s therapy, we’ll explore these and other essential questions relevant to your unique situation. We’ll explore how to create a protective membrane around the coupleship and how to think about the people, issues, events, and situations that get through the membrane and under what conditions. We’ll discover how to be protective of that membrane, recognizing that, of course, we can’t keep everything or everyone out. Sometimes we first need to establish whether both partners want to work toward keeping the coupleship intact. In some cases, one or both members do not want to work toward maintaining the partnership; they may be sure that separation is their preference. When that’s the case, we explore collaborative and kind ways to dismantle the partnership. Separate legal consultation should be obtained in such situations by both parties.
Common situations for which couples seek help from the Institute staff:

  • Parenting difficulties particularly involving a troubled teen or stuck young adult
  • Sexual problems including infidelity, changes in sexual preferences, performance problems (medical workup always essential first), or loss of sexual interest with or without “bed death”
  • Financial situations resulting in emotional difficulties
  • Substance abuse or addiction in one partner
  • Recent tragedy or loss causing partnership discord or estrangement
  • Partners deciding whether to remain together or separate thoughtfully
  • Mood problems in a partner causing deterioration of partnership’s meaning or value

Please contact us via phone at 415 322-0939, via email or through the website to obtain a consultation. Or schedule an appointment directly on line.