Navigating through the many qualified marriage counselors in San Diego can be extremely difficult. The question isn’t always who’s the best but who is right for you. Much of your decision should be based on the state of your relationship and you and your partner’s personal beliefs about marriage before making your selection. Some marriage counselors take a more holistic approach, looking to heal the individuals first before approaching the relationship, others take a more head-on approach towards marriage reconciliation by focusing on things like communication and trust that are often the cause of a failing relationship.
What to Expect from a San Diego Marriage Counselor
There are a few things that you can expect from a marriage counselor in San Diego:
- They won’t choose sides. Unless someone is being abused, marriage is a two-way street that requires two to make it work or make it fail.
- They won’t tell you to get a divorce. Telling adults (and most children) what to do about major life decisions rarely works. They’ll wait for you to get there on your own.
- They won’t help you roast your spouse. Sometimes people show up hoping that a counselor will help them “set their spouse straight.” That’s not how it works.
- There will be rules. You might be told not to talk to others or not to have sex. You should try to follow those rules.
- It takes time. It took time for your marriage to get going well. It took time for it to fall apart. It’s going to take time to put it back together.
The Best Marriage Counselors in San Diego
We’ve selected some of the best marriage counselors that cover a wide range of skill sets in San Diego California. Here they are:
At the Love Therapy Center, Yaji Tramontini its founder is really the heart and soul of the operation. Taking a holistic approach to healing your relationship you can have confidence in the fact that Yaji really believes in the power of love and isn’t jaded by divorce rate statistics and believes no marriage is beyond repair. Couples will delve into their history each session and explore what past trauma and experience has led to the unhealthy behavior they might be exhibiting in their marriage. Leaving behind anger and resentment and fostering love is the paramount goal. Dedicated and enthusiastic couples can sometimes get back on track in just a month. Since 2008 the Love Therapy Center has offered a wide variety of services including a relationship boot camp which consists of an intense 3 sessions in 1 week. Yaji also incorporates scientifically proven and effective techniques like EMDR Therapy (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) to help individuals cope with how they deal with their past. Currently providing counseling in San Diego as well as in San Francisco where they maintain a smaller office. We encourage you to have a look at her site and check out their free communication guide which is fundamental to the program at the Love Therapy Center.
Mark Spurlock MFT
Mark Spurlock has been counseling in various fields since 1994 and his experience has given him a unique approach to family therapy and marriage counseling. He started his own very successful practice for relationship and marriage therapy in 2010. Mark Spurlock is very confident that he can help couples achieve results quickly by engaging them in fun and creative therapy exercises that differ from the conventional. You can be assured that if you are to choose his practice you will be in very experienced hands, as Mark Spurlock’s former fields have been drug & alcohol treatment, social work, domestic violence treatment and child therapy. He has seen it all and is equipped to deal with whatever a couple will throw at him. Spurlock also offers premarital counseling for couples looking to get married and may have concerns or apprehensions. Most couples will have 45-minute sessions once a week and will continue as needed.
Dr. Barbara Cunningham
Located in Mission Valley, San Diego Dr. Barbara Cunningham is a well published and respected member of her field in California. She began practicing marriage counseling and started her own practice in 2006 and has been successfully helping couples ever since. Barbara is committed to helping couples in a wide variety of marital stages including divorce therapy which is perhaps the most underrated strain of marriage counseling. Dr. Cunningham has set out to make her services very affordable and accessible for everyone and will offer a free consultation to see if she is the right counselor for you and your partner. Her hours of operation are from 12pm-9pm Tuesday-Friday and appointments can be easily scheduled online to ensure that you and your partner get the service your relationship needs quickly and conveniently. Dr. Barbara Cunningham is also pleased and well equipped to provide counseling for lesbian and gay couples. You can find some of Dr. Cunningham’s published work in chapter 13 of the academic textbook: A Family Systems Treatment for the Impaired Physician.
Michelle Germain, author of The Jill Principle: A Woman’s Guide to Healing Your Spirit After Divorce or Breakup has been active in the field of marriage and family therapy for the last 25 years and her extensive experience has made her one of the strongest marriage counselors in San Diego. Michelle has a master’s in social work and her time in the field of clinical social work has prepared for almost everything. If you are in the San Diego area it is as simple as scheduling an appointment but it is also possible to have regular phone sessions with Michelle to help you work through specific issues or even engage in some reparative counseling for your relationship. Michelle can help couples that struggle with unbalanced power dynamic, empty nest syndrome and communication issues. Michelle’s unique style of therapy takes a holistic approach and attempts to tie together mind, body, and soul for an all-around healthier more open-hearted marriage.
Dr. Derek Schwartz
Dr. Derek Schwartz is a clinical psychologist located in La Jolla and serving the greater San Diego area. He is well qualified to provide therapy in a number of areas and has some very unique attributes as a couples therapist. Dr. Schwartz is a cancer survivor and recipient of a bone marrow transplant making him an excellent counselor for couples coping with family health or loss issues. Dr. Schwartz really hopes that with all couples he can really encourage proper communication and not just “talking.” An emphasis on strengthening trust and the ability for couples to be transparent with each other exhibits how Dr. Schwartz’s background in clinical psychology has paid off. You can schedule appointments online and even have skype sessions for added convenience. If Dr. Derek Schwartz is someone you are considering you can also check out his free podcasts on his website.
What You Need to Do First
To get the most from marriage counseling, you need to be ready to compromise, talk, and look for solutions. There is no other way to succeed at putting your marriage back together.
You’re reading this so we assume that you’re ready for marriage counseling, but that doesn’t mean that you’re really ready. It simply means that you’re willing to cross the threshold.
The issue is that every marriage counseling requires that you evolve and change. You might have to confront parts of you that you have kept hidden. It might be that the part of you that you have been hiding is the part that has been letting things fall apart for years.
So, the first thing that you need to do is be ready to work hard to fix your marriage. Don’t expect it to be fast, easy, or fun. It’s work, but it’s nearly always worth it. You can find a lot of great advice for getting started in our article, 20 Helpful Marriage Counseling Questions to Ask Your Spouse.