Couples Counseling in San Diego

Never feel alone in your relationship again

Don’t let relationship issues strain your love any longer. Our couples counseling is your path to renewed intimacy and better communication. Let us guide you towards a more fulfilling and harmonious relationship today.
couples therapy estestherapy san diego california

Never feel alone in your relationship again.

Wondering where all the romance went? Or feeling stuck in a relationship where “taking breaks” and the “silent treatment” just isn’t working? Maybe you’re feeling like your intimacy or sex life is stale? Maybe there’s been infidelity? Or maybe you just need a higher level of understanding and communication. There are many reasons to seek counseling. Whatever the reason, know that you are not alone.

“The average couple waits 6 years before seeking out therapy.” Dr. John Gottman

At Estes Therapy, we can help you learn how to create a stronger relationship through couples counseling that uses research-based techniques that have been proven to work. Either in-person or virtually, our approach to couples therapy is using Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). EFT is a research-based therapy approach that focuses on how to form and strengthen your attachments to your partner and others. You’ll learn about how to come together and connect at a deeper level during difficult moments and emotions, rather than those tough times creating distance between the two of you. 

You will learn the tools to keep your emotions balanced during tough conversations, and better discuss and uphold boundaries. Your couples therapist will help you get a roadmap of where you need to go to create long-term change. Your couples therapist can then show you how to express your softer feelings and needs in a way that helps bring your partner closer and respond to you – so you can build a secure, lasting bond.

counseling

Great communication is the key to a great relationship.

Learning when to listen and when to speak in your relationship is an integral part of communication.

Often, many couples get to a point where they are only hearing (or sharing) the surface of the message, not the underlying emotions and needs. Many couples reach out to each other seeking connection but have gotten stuck in a negative pattern where this is not done in an effective way. Sadly, the underlying need for connection gets lost. Our Marriage and Family Therapists are here to help you get unstuck and reconnect. One of our jobs with relationship counseling is to decrease old harbored resentments by resolving past injuries. By learning coping skills to deal with stressful issues, defining personal boundaries and boundaries in the relationship, and opening the lines of communication, you can begin to grow. These coping and communication tools will solidify and enhance that warm connection you need.

As experienced relationship and marriage therapists, we can tell you that every couples therapy session is different. Situations entwined with deeper, more complex wounds often require more commitment from both partners. But do not let this dissuade you. It won’t be easy, but the results are long-term and effective. Therapy will allow both of you to love deeper and harder than you ever imagined. Remember that this change takes time. We’re not putting a band-aid on the issues, only to have them resurface in a few months. Together we’ll be doing the hard work to rebuild a strong foundation for lasting change.

  • Negative Patterns
  • Loss of Connection
  • Harbored Resentments
  • Coping Skills
  • Personal Boundaries
  •  Communication Tools
  • Emotional Depth
  • Long-Term Change
estes couple family e1658174896785

Therapy helps, even if everything is "perfect"

Learning when to listen and when to speak in your relationship is an integral part of communication.

Couples Counseling can be the prevention rather than the intervention. Too often, couples use counseling as a last resort – research has shown that couples wait up until 7 years after the onset of an issue before seeking help for it. You don’t need to wait until the point of no return to improve your relationship. Just like you have regular doctor check-ins and car tune-ups, you should be checking in with your relationship. It’s too easy to let date nights, check-ins, and making time for a connection get pushed to the back burner when life gets busy. Working on your communication patterns early in the relationship may save you a substantial amount of heartache down the road! If you are contemplating if couples therapy is for you (spoiler: it is!), you can check out some of the top reasons people seek couples counseling.

  • Financial Stress
  • Life Transitions
  • Sexual Issues
  • Trust Issues
  • Conflict Resolution
  • Emotional Distance
  • Loss of Intimacy
  • Work-Life Balance
  • Improper Substance Use
  • Infidelity

Schedule a free 10-minute matching appointment today and start your journey to healing.

Your conversation with our trained matching expert will make sure there is a perfect fit for your therapist and you (and your partner). Click or call to get started

Preparing for a Couples Therapy Session

Preparing for couples counseling in San Diego can help you feel calm, ready, and present when you are in the session. 

Going into a therapy session can be overwhelming. You know you will be facing some tense discussions. Remember that you are not alone and that you are facing this together as a team in order to have the best relationship possible. Here are some guidelines on how you can support yourself and your relationship before you even open the door.

1. Renew Your Purpose

Remind yourself why you are going to couples or marriage counseling. 

You want a stronger relationship and a sense of safety and connection. If you have had previous sessions, identify one or two breakthroughs where either you or your partner was able to see or say something you hadn’t noticed before. 

Even small signs of progress mean that your relationship is growing!

Recommended Reading scaled 1

2. Show Affection

Don’t underestimate the calming and connecting power of a hug, kiss, holding hands, or a quick snuggle before walking into the waiting room.

Rectangle 4020

3. Clear Your Mind

Areas of insecurity and anger often come up in these conversations and it can build a sense of dread before the counseling session. 

If you need to, try writing down the things that are running through your mind. Some of them may be relationship related, but you may find that work and other issues are adding to your stress. Try to let those go so they don’t hijack your emotional presence for your session. 

Take a few deep breaths. Imagine the tension leaving with each exhale. As you inhale, visualize a blanket of calm settling over your body.

couple hugging 1

4. Provide Reassurance

Verbally acknowledge that you two are a team.

Acknowledge that you are learning how to communicate better with one another, and that you are working on the marriage. Having each other’s back helps make it safe enough to talk about the hard stuff.

nature outdoors camping camp gay tents camper lgbt rei t20 z9JbAG 1024x683 1

5. Get on the Same Page

If there was one thing you could discuss in this session, what would it be? Check-in to see if you are both to address the same thing in session. (You can also do this the night before). Agreeing on an agenda puts you on the same side even when addressing an area of conflict.

Ultimately, you will get the most out of your sessions when you agree on your purpose and keep showing up to do the work for your relationship. You’ve already taken the first step by researching marriage counseling and getting started. 

Remember, you’re in this together, and we’re here to help guide you and at times remind you of that.

estes lgbttherapy

Start solo or start together

We work with many couples of all marital statuses, genders, and sexualities, as well as monogamous or consensually non-monogamous locally. Our professional help is not just beneficial for married individuals, it can also benefit any couple or co-parents to better your mental health. There are many signs when it’s time to start looking for help so don’t ignore them.

Whether you’re working on yourself or working with your partner, it all starts with a free 10-minute matching appointment.

All the ways we can help

Here you can browse the different ways we help couples and individuals. We provide in-person/face-to-face counseling sessions and virtual/telehealth sessions.

how counseling helps with anxiety

Individual Counseling

Recommended Reading

Couples Counseling

Premarital counseling couple

Premarital Counseling

lesbian counseling

LGBTQIA+ Counselng

how to cope with anxiety

EMDR Counselng

devorced-couple-counseling

Infidelity and Affair Counseling

holidays alone

Child and Teen Counseling

IMG 2295

Affordable Counseling

Long distance relationship

Online Therapy (Telehealth)

Schedule a free 10-minute matching appointment today and start your journey to healing.

Your conversation with our trained matching expert will make sure there is a perfect fit for your therapist and you (and your partner). Click or call to get started

Meet our San Diego Relationship Therapists​

Think of us as your consultants. We are the neutral third party that can help you untangle the emotions and figure out what’s really going on.
We want everyone including children who walks in our door to get the tools they need. For both individuals and couples, our psychotherapy sessions are relaxed, collaborative, and effective. We want to hear your story. Each member of the team is dedicated to making sure you’re in a comfortable space in order to feel safe and supported when you tell your story. Get help with a member of the Estes team who is compassionate and down-to-earth, offering both empathy and lasting results. We’re not here to put a band-aid on any different issues. We’re here to get to the root of the issue in order to facilitate lasting change and success in your goals.

Meet our Founder, Jennine Estes Powell

It’s been nearly 20 years since I first became interested in studying psychotherapy. I began practicing the scientific approaches to psychotherapy in 1997 and I was hooked from then on.

I earned my Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family psychotherapy in 2004 and I am currently licensed as a Marriage and Family Therapist MFT (LMFT#47653) with the Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS).

I focus my practice upon the empirically-based and proven research methods of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

I’ve seen these techniques consistently get results and I truly believe they are the most effective at creating positive, long-term change.

estes therapy jennine estes powell

Have a question about fees or insurance?

It is common to have questions before you start therapy. Get all of your questions answered by visiting our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Here's what people are saying about us

Even though we don’t EVER ask for testimonials from clients, we love hearing positive feedback about the impact our therapists have made on clients from publicly posted reviews.*
5/5
“Estes Therapy provides such a friendly and nurturing environment. Dana S helped us discover the underlying issues that get in the way of positive communication and offered healthier ways to communicate. She is very compassionate and encouraging, and truly cares about your needs and goals. Highly recommend Dana S and anyone else at Estes Therapy!”

A.S.

5/5

“I wanted to leave a review for my therapist Sarah. I’ve been going to therapy for many years and have had good experiences but my sessions with her have by far been the most impactful. Working with [Sarah] has made me feel equipped to tackle life’s most challenging circumstances, and I cannot express my gratitude enough. Do yourself a favor and get in to see her. It’s well worth it.”

N.G.

5/5
“Estes Therapy literally saved my life. If you are looking for patient, passionate, knowledgeable, friendly, intelligent, warm, genuine therapists, come here. It is more than a job for them and you feel that when working with them. I can’t recommend therapy enough and I can’t recommend specifically Estes Therapy enough. Thank you!”

S.C.

5/5
“I worked with Lauryn Plush for a little over two years, and I can say that she is without a doubt one of the most caring and empathetic people I have ever met. Being lucky enough to work with Lauryn showed me that she is truly a one of a kind listener, and I would not refer any of my friends or family to anyone but Lauryn for couples and single counseling.”

C.S.

5/5
“Therapy is hard! But so worth it. Sarah has challenged me, laughed with me, and guided me as I’ve grown and healed. We’ve taken our time being comfortable before diving deeper and deeper.”

A.K.

5/5
“Estes Therapy is fantastic, they are very caring, understanding, and professional. I can’t recommend them enough. Sarah O’Leary has been a great help and resource for me, thank you.”

D.G.

*We cannot confirm or deny if any of these testimonials are from clients, colleagues, or strangers who we’ve never been in contact with but left a review. We are just trying to give you the most information in one place about the Estes Team, which includes links to publicly stated reviews.

Today's the day to start your journey back.

Click or call to connect with a trained matching specialist that will help pair you up with your ideal therapist. In-person or Online, Estes Therapy’s Relationship Therapists are ready to help!