Couples Counseling

people holding hands

Couple relationships are complicated- just ask anyone who is in one! It takes consistent hard work for two people to operate smoothly together. Whether your current relationship is running rough, you need only a minor tune-up, or you find yourselves somewhere in between, working with a professional who is an objective, compassionate listener and who offers solid advice can make a world of difference.

Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT) is based on adult attachment theory. It views the central problem in a distressed relationship as the loss of secure emotional connection and identifies the pattern of negative interactions that drives this loss of connection. Emotional signals that are meant to pull a partner closer or reduce conflict become distorted with criticism, anger or apparent indifference. Negative spirals of interaction then erode trust and create a sense of isolation for both partners.  EFT helps partners to take control of this negative dance and to send emotional signals about attachment needs and fears in a way that encourages their partner to respond with love and compassion. A new emotional experience of secure connection leads to a sense that the other person can be accessible, responsive and engaged. Partners can receive positive answers to the key question, “Are you there for me?” Partners who are able to openly reach for and connect with each other can create a safe haven bond. This kind of bond promotes the growth and resilience of both individuals.

Consider couple relationship counseling when…

  • Facing difficult decisions
  • One or both partners have persistent feelings of sadness, guilt, anger or anxiety
  • Disagreement or conflict between partners is distressing
  • Relationships with friends or family are strained
  • An affair has taken place
  • Your sexual intimacy is not mutually satisfying
  • There are thoughts of divorce, suicide or death
  • Additional encouragement and support would help
  • You want to learn more healthy communication skills
  • You want to learn effective ways of resolving conflict
  • You want your relationship to be the best it can be!

Jean Vanlue, MA, LPC, LMFT


528 Cottage St. NE,
Suite 300,
Salem, OR 97301