Dr. Judith D. Bertoia, Registered Psychologist, Registered Play Therapist - Supervisor

Couples Counselling

Couples come to work with me when one or both partners are experiencing some degree of distress in the marriage. Although the underlying issue usually has elements of communication difficulties, what brings the couple to therapy may be a lack of emotional satisfaction, conflict over roles and contributions to the smooth functioning of the family, extramarital affairs, the possibility of a separation or divorce, or the impact of stressors such as health or economic changes, work issues, extended or blended family problems, or developmental issues with children. We each enter our marriage with beliefs and expectations about what our marriage will be like, and although some of these are articulated many remain unconscious and only appear though our patterns of interacting with each other.

John Gottman, a researcher and psychologist the University of Washington, has studied marriages for decades. He has determined that a couple's ability to resolve the inevitable conflicts that arise in a marriage determines whether or not the marriage will be long lasting. He is known for his ability to predict with a 94% accuracy which marriage will continue and which will end, and he indicates that stable marriages must have five times as many positive moments as negative ones. When I work with couples we explore their patterns for resolving conflicts - including incidents, events, mannerisms, and elements of verbal communication - that trigger conflicts, examine their emotional difficulties and beliefs about marriage that are rooted in early family dynamics, and also clarify communication patterns and dynamics in the marriage that are affirming and supportive.

The more overwhelmed your relationship becomes, the less access either of you has to your natural talents for resolving difficulties.
— John Gottman

The answers lie within. The challenge is listening to their wisdom and then creating change.

The capacity to care is the thing that gives life its deepest meaning and significance.
— Pablo Casals

From knowledge springs not only love but the fortitude to weather the marital storms.
— John Gottman