Couples or Marriage Counseling

People Bloom Counseling Redmond Kristin O'Hara EFCT Couples Midlife Crisis Transitions.png

Hi, I’m Kristin! I love being married! Having someone I can count on and who has my back has given me the confidence and encouragement to do things in life that might feel too scary otherwise. However, having been married almost eighteen years, I know it’s not always easy. In fact… it rarely is! Throw in a couple of kids and busy careers and things can really go haywire! Life gets busy and sometimes hurts accumulate and needs get ignored… but who has the time or energy to talk about it? And when you do, it often ends up in a big fight. We’ve all been there!

So, things get shoved under the rug and you end up tripping over it. It doesn’t take long before one of you brings up the past and you’re back at square one.

This is an all too common story of the couples I work with. They want to have a better relationship, but they don’t know how.

My view on couples counseling

I see marriage counseling is like taking vitamins for your marriage. You make time to research supplements or go to the gym to care for your physical body; why would you neglect your most important relationship? The work we do can help you and your partner understand your patterns of communication that keep you stuck and disconnected. We can repair old wounds and help you connect at a deeper level.

“Are you going to fix us?”

I get that question a lot, and the short answer is: no and yes. If we focus on the nitty gritty details about this fight or that, there will be no shortage of things to talk about, but we’ll find ourselves spinning in circles. However, if we focus on understanding the familiar pattern that arises when you fight, we can help you get at the heart of the matter and resolve conflict in healthier ways.

Couples often find that when they get out of that old pattern and experience their partner in new ways, they feel closer and more in love. They then go on to solve the nitty gritty problems of life.

My job is to help you learn to do this without me!

Why I want to help couples

I believe people are made for relationship and connection. It is often through our primary relationships that we learn and grow the most as individuals. But sometimes the very relationship that is intended to support and expand our lives often ends up restricting and constraining us. This does not need to happen. Marriage counseling can help you communicate from a place of love and vulnerability and help you get back on the same team again.

Let me be your coach.

What happens in our couples sessions?

When we’re together, I create a safe space for you and your partner to have difficult conversations. You’ll find me interrupting at times, leaning in and redirecting us when we’ve gotten off track. I’ll also have you turn and share your thoughts and feelings with each other so you can begin to have these conversations outside of sessions.

Before work and lunchtime appointments available

I accommodate busy work schedules by offering before work and lunchtime appointments. I know it can be harder to get places in the afternoon when you have extracurricular activities and meal prep.

Here are my hours:

Mondays - 7:30am to 2pm
Tuesdays - 7:30am to 2pm
Thursdays - 7:30am to 2pm

Your relationship will only get better if you make time for it.


Abby Erickson Anxiety Social Anxiey Body Image Poor Self-Esteem People Bloom Counseling Redmond.jpg

Hi, I’m Abby! I believe couples relationship is between two people and how they interact with each other. While I probably sound like I’m stating the obvious, so many times couples come into my office thinking the other person is at fault. “If you’d go out a little less often, I wouldn’t be so upset!” “Well, if you weren’t frustrated with me all the time, then perhaps I’d want to stay home more!”

Sounds familiar?

Couples often think the other person needs to change, when in fact, it’s the back and forth between the two partners that’s the problem.

Trained in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFCT), I want to help you and your partner understand the dynamic that has you going around in circles. Could it be that the more you try to get your partner’s attention, often times by pointing out what they need to change, the more your partner fights you or goes off on their own? If you’re chasing, the other will respond by either facing you head on, or running away.

Tired of the race and getting nowhere? Stop doing more of the same and expect different results!

Let me help you understand your relationship pattern and find ways to get out from under it.


Hi, I'm Ada. I know it's hard being in an intimate relationship. My husband and I have to work at it. When we do the hard work of investing in our marriage, it is very rewarding; it pulls us closer together, rather than further apart. Because I know what it can be, I want to help you and your partner get to a place where you feel happy and connected to each other. 

Do you struggle with these relationship problems?

If that's you, I can help you move through these challenges.

Is it just a "communication problem"?

These issues are just the tip of the iceberg. I often tell my couples, "It's not about the Christmas lights" or whatever you might be arguing about. Change up the content and you'll be fighting the same way. It's also NOT just a "communication problem". You can learn all the ways to better communicate, but when the emotions are high, everything goes out the window.

Here's the deeper issue

Do you feel lonely, hurt and invisible in your marriage? Or is it more like overwhelmed, criticized and "not good enough"? Are you constantly arguing or fighting with your partner about the same old, same old, living more like roommates or co-parents rather than lovers? What if hiring a sitter, going on nice vacations, or staying busy with chores and work haven’t helped the situation?

How is this for a different relationship?

You feel close to your partner whether you're together or apart, at home or away. You're more open about your deeper needs and wants because you feel valued and connected to each other. You're more confident going about the world because you know your partner has your back. This level of intimacy is possible. 

Let me help you find your way to each other again.

Here's how we get there: Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFCT)

Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFCT) has been well researched to show a 75% success rate in healing relationships, compared to 35% in other forms of couples therapy. 86% of couples report feeling happier in their relationships, and the results last well beyond the end of treatment.

Over the course of treatment, I'll ask you to notice your relational pattern that leaves you both feeling very alone in the relationship. You'll learn to talk about the deeper emotions that are driving your reactions to fight, be defensive, or shut down, and to practice asking for what you need from the other. Even when you do get into a fight, you'll learn how to turn back and reconnect with less damage. When you feel a safe and supportive bond between you and your partner, you can savor the really good times and weather the storms of life.

Possible outcomes with couples counseling

Some of my couples have reported less muscle tension, improved sleep and greater ability to problem solve together. They have also reported less fighting, and when fighting, their fights are less intense and they come back together quicker. 

What about you?

I want to help you feel closer, more connected and secure in your relationship. I want to help you reach for your partner and find them there, reaching back. 

Amidst your busy lives, can you spare an hour a week? 

Would it be worth it to invest in a lifetime of love?