About Barbara Calvi, LMFT

Couples and Relationship Therapist and Counselor

I realized early on in my counseling work that whatever problems clients might be experiencing, it negatively affected their relationship. I found the reverse to also be true. If they were having relationship problems, other areas of their lives would suffer as well.

Given the marriage and divorce statistics – 50% of first time marriages and 60% of second time marriages end in divorce – there is a whole lot of suffering going on. On top of that, a large percentage of people who stay married say they are not happy.

Of course, any long-term relationship faces conflict and high emotion. These are growing pains, a natural part of relationship development not a sign that you’ve picked the wrong partner. Is there no way past these growing pains besides dumb luck? Absolutely there is!

If you’ve been struggling for a while it might be tempting to “give up” on relationships. You might decide it is just too painful. You might think it would be better to just “be alone.”

Yet you are wired to be in relationship.

Biologically we are driven to be in relationship.

It makes me sad to see so many couples suffer silently or decide to divorce, especially when I know there are often ways to move past the pain and avoid both. This is why I am passionate about helping couples and individuals create their ideal relationships and marriages.

Searching for an Approach to Couples Therapy and Relationship Counseling

When I started doing couples therapy and marriage counseling, I realized that my graduate education and training had not adequately prepared me. As I talked with colleagues, I realized they were having the same struggle. Graduate programs and internships rarely focus on working with couples.

I immersed myself in the subject and learned just how different couples work is from individual, family and group work. It has completely different underpinnings and approaches.

As I learned, the couples in my office reaped the benefits. My work with them and my effectiveness improved. Yet I felt there had to be more. There had to be a way to help partners get to a deeper level with each other beyond negotiating, problem solving and conflict resolution; there had to be a way to create deeper connection and renew passion.

Then I found it: Imago Relationship Therapy for Couples

Finally, I came across the work of Harville Hendrix, Ph.D. and his renowned Imago Relationship Therapy. His theory and methods were so different I saw how Imago could help couples heal partners and develop a deeper and stronger connection between them. I signed up for intensive clinical training to become certified in Imago Relationship Therapy.

I was so blown away by Imago; I use it regularly in my own marriage. Incorporating the Imago principles and techniques into our marriage has helped us connect and deepen our relationship in ways I hadn’t anticipated. The healing of ourselves we have both experienced through Imago Relationship Therapy has been profound. The deepening and growth of our relationship has been a joy.

Imago has become a permanent ongoing foundation of our relationship.

We use the same dialogues in our relationship that I teach to couples in my office. We can now discuss any “hot topic” between us with compassion and understanding. From there we easily and with good will move into the practical steps we need to take to resolve the issue.

Having done the work myself and in my office with numerous couples, I know that many divorces can be avoided and the pain can be transformed into deep connection. It is possible to heal yourself and your relationship. Take the next step and call me now.

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