Counseling for Couples

Love has the potential to heal our deepest wounds…
and judgment, blame, and indifference can rub salt into them.
Donna Varnau

When I married my husband David Varnau in 1978, I thought that I’d found someone who was “just like me”. We felt so close and in love. It was reassuring to know we would love each other for “better or worse, until death do us part”.

Looking back, a “user’s manual” on marriage would have benefitted us! How naive we were to think our partner was responsible for loving us more than we loved ourselves. Seeking answers for how to grow as a couple without losing our individual selves, we took many partnering classes together. Today when I counsel couples, I use what I’ve learned from both my in-depth studies and a longterm marriage.

Read About Donna’s Studies in this Field

If you feel stuck, resentful, hurt, unseen, tense and disappointed in your couple relationship, it is helpful to learn about the difference between love and co-dependency. Co-dependent functioning often seems like a form of love where we try to please or take care of the other person more than ourselves. It is based in the belief that our source of happiness lies outside us, in other people. “I can’t be happy until they’re happy…or until they love me” sums up this belief.

Learning the following skills through specific practices helps you re-connect with your core self and that of your partner. Putting your marriage back on the track of good companionship, loving kindness, healthy boundaries, and shared values and goals requires conscious attention.

In Couple’s Counseling, you learn how to stay grounded in your own body while connecting with your partner in order to:

  • Listen to yourself and each other with compassion, so both you and your partner feel understood and accepted.
  • Map and understand the source of your entangled couple patterns so you can be free of them.
  • Transform the pattern of blaming your partner into an opportunity to heal your past hurts and traumas.
  • Successfully navigate sensitive topics including money and sex.
  • Make a conscious agreement, so you can count on each other to “keep their word”.
  • Set safe yet permeable boundaries with others so you care for your own vulnerability without taking on others’ problems.

With good understanding and helpful tools, marriage can be a unique opportunity to liberate the very best in each other.

Call 425.742.3988 or email Donna for a free 20 minute consultation!

TherapyIndividual | Couples