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We view the goal of marriage counseling as that of helping a couple develop a secure functioning relationship with each other, even if one or both partners struggle with personal issues of insecurity. This means that the goal is for you to learn to have each other’s back, to protect each other from outside negative influences, to trust each other, and to know that both of you will always prioritize your relationship. Persons in a loving secure functioning relationship feel a responsibility toward each other and each other’s well-being. They try to meet each other’s needs in an equal, reciprocal way. They think in terms of “we” instead of “I.”

Our style and methods of marriage counseling are not for everyone. It works best with couples who both take some responsibility for and contribution to marriage/relationship problems, and who are motivated to put some effort and time into developing skills and attitudes that researchers have found to be essential for successful marriages or relationships. If you are not yet sure you are able to commit to at least six months to work on your marriage or relationship, our discernment counseling program may be more appropriate for you.

How does it work?

Step 1 – We start with a one-hour session where both partners are seen together by Dr. Fiore in either the Long Beach or Newport Beach office The purpose of this first session is to begin assessing the problem, to get a sense of “who you are,” and for us to decide if we are a “fit” for each other.

Step 2 – In most cases, the next step is to see each partner individually for 45 minutes. This gives you an opportunity to confidentially present your point of view of things, and your feelings about the issues that are causing problems. During this session, your background and childhood home life are briefly discussed to see if they may be contributing in any way to your marriage issues.

Step 3 – We begin meeting usually on a weekly basis for 90 minutes a session with both partners in attendance, although typically I will see each of you individually for part of the session, and will see you together for the remainder. Unlike many other therapies, we do not waste time on re-hashing fights you may have had during the week. Instead, we focus on:

  • How to better understand each other; improving communication.
  • Ways in which you both may see things very differently due to how you are each “wired” which causes conflict between you.
  • Learning to tell the difference between perpetual unsolvable problems between you which all couples have (and how to deal with them) vs those issues that can actually be fixed.
  • Increasing your awareness of how you unknowingly may be triggering negative or traumatic responses in each other – and then learn different reactions.
  • Exploring how each of you can learn to use “Repair” tools to fix things that more successful couples have learned to use effectively.

How to get started: Call Dr Fiore for an initial consultation at 714-745-1393.