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Couples Counseling

Men enjoy working with me in couples counseling because I understand how to speak to them in terms that they relate to and without making them feel like I'm revoking their Man Card. Women enjoy working with me in couples counseling because I understand their perspective and how to elicit a positive response from their man. I understand the core needs of men and women. I am able to translate each partner’s needs and experiences in ways that the other understands. Couples fight when they fail to connect emotionally. Every fight is really about the lack of connection, not forgetting to take out the garbage.

I want to make one thing clear to men who are either reluctantly considering or fighting against the idea of coming to marriage/relationship therapy. Men seem to have an impression that couples therapy entails them coming to an anti-man rally, where their woman has already plotted against them with the therapist to point out all of the things she thinks the man has done wrong over the years and seeks final and official judgement from the therapist that the man is wrong. I am not a marriage referee. My client in couples therapy is neither individual. I focus on and treat the relationship between two partners.

For couples therapy, one of the best assessment tools available is the Gottman Relationship Checkup. It is a detailed 480-item questionnaire that can help identify which parts of your relationship need improvement so we can get to work on effective treatment immediately. I provide you a Gottman Relationship Checkup assessment access code once we are committed to working together. It typically takes about 1 hour to complete. Even for couples who think they know exactly what their issues are, the results from my assessment often point to underlying (hidden) issues heavily contributing to the presenting issue.

I am a Gottman Method Level 2 couples therapist, with additional training in the Gottman Method affairs and trauma therapy.

Pre-Marital Counseling

Therapy is not something couples do only when they need help resolving issues. The best time to make sure you pick a great partner is when you are single. The next best time is before you marry that person! Not after.

Even in the smoothest of relationships, partners forget that each of them bring their unique history, culture, customs, expectations, and preferences to their union. It is wise to assess key areas today where future conflict is likely to arise so partners have a mutually workable plan. It is invaluable to learn how each partner approaches these key areas prior to marriage (or cohabiting) to make sure that both partners are compatible and share long-term goals, rituals for connection, and values.

I am a Prepare Enrich facilitator. This is an excellent premarital therapy tool to help both partners identify areas for discussion and improvement.

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Intensive Couples Therapy

Intensive Couples Therapy is best suited for partners who are both fully committed to the relationship but just don’t know how to do things differently. Typically, these partners have been in relationship with one another for a long time, and issues have been slowly making one or both partners’ lives extremely painful. From early life attachment wounds to present stressors, relationship challenges can feel like they have become too overwhelming to resolve without divorce. Contact me today to find out more about what may be your last hope to rescue your relationship.

Intensive sessions are a great option for couples where affairs and infidelity have recently been discovered, where (porn, alcohol, drug, gambling) addictions are ruining your marriage, and where spouses are on the verge of divorce. Marriages do not have to end in divorce despite infidelity or addictions. Some couples find that they never learned how to connect prior to affairs. Through the recovery and repair process, spouses can learn to forgive and love one another like never before.

One (male) or two (one male & one female) therapists are available to work at one time with couples in crisis who require half-day, full-day, or multi-day sessions. Crisis can include infidelity, addiction, life stage dilemmas, comorbid mental health conditions, and stress.

My standard Intensive Couples Therapy sessions start with one 4-1/2 hour session that offers the same treatment that would otherwise take 3-4 weeks. Time really is of the essence when it comes to relationships (and marriage) and the possibility of breaking up (and divorce). Benefits to ICT are more immediate comprehensive assessment and analysis of underlying relational issues, saving time with simultaneous individual interviews (when making use of two therapists), receiving immediate feedback, immediately learning effective interventions, male and female therapist modeling of interventions, accelerated processing, and the option of EMDR and HRV to help partners soothe PTSD, regardless of whether it came from infidelity or outside the relationship, that may be disrupting healthy emotional processing.

Gottman Approved Member
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Men’s Issues

For many men in our society, asking for help is thought of as a sign of weakness. They would rather drown in stress, depression, and anger than ask for help. Rather than a sign of weakness, asking for help is actually a sign of strength. The best men in any line of work do not rise above the rest because they were born knowing all of the answers. They achieved greatness because they asked for help along the road to success. Coming to therapy with me is like taking a professional development course for your career or job. The difference is that you have the opportunity to develop skills that you get to put to good use the rest of your life in all areas of your life.

I promise I will not make you eat granola, hug trees, or surrender your Man Card in therapy! No “hippie woo woo” here, my friend. Therapy with me is not about stripping you of your personality or robbing you of your masculinity. It’s about discovering who you are, understanding why you do the things you do, gaining personal strength, and showing up confidently in all areas of your life.

You are not alone. I am here to help you overcome the issues standing in your way. A lot of men run into problems involving relationship distress and fatherhood challenges; infidelity or affairs; pornography, alcohol, drug, or gambling addiction; sex or love addiction; anger, social anxiety, depression, or general anxiety. I can teach you the skills needed to overcome these issues. All men have the ability to learn them and gain some success in these areas rather quickly.

Men can really up their game by working with me to discover their core values, morality, and attachment style. Defining who you are in your foundation gives you the advantage of directing your life in a meaningful direction instead of reacting to life like a buoy in rough waters. Regardless of personality, men share the drive to achieve something of great meaning in our souls. Before setting out on our journey to find it, we have to know who we are and where we want to go. One of the most impactful books I read early in life was written by Sam Keen, titled Fire in the Belly: On Being a Man. This book contains one of the most vital lessons for men:

“There are two questions a man must ask himself: The first is 'Where am I going?' and the second is 'Who will go with me?' If you ever get these questions in the wrong order you are in trouble.”

Are you ready to begin?

 
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Hi, I’m Ryan

I am a Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist (Lic.# IMF96886), working at The Place Within Folsom counseling center in Folsom, CA. I earned my B.S. in Business Management/Marketing from San Jose State University and my M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Brandman University.

I am a Gottman Method Level 2 couples therapist, and I am trained in EMDR. My primary focus is helping couples live the types of relationships we all dream of living, where both partners feel truly fulfilled, connected, valued, and alive. My secondary focus is on men’s issues, independent from relationship status. I help men recover from traumatic pasts and learn life skills. One of the most common men’s issues is anger. I help men discover what anger really is, where it came from in their lives, and how to gain control over their responses to feeling anger.

For couples, I primarily use the Gottman Method, focusing on emotionally-driven interactions between partners. The Gottman Method is man friendly and effective for heterosexual and same sex couples. I incorporate Relational Life Therapy into my couples practice to help them overcome seemingly invisible roadblocks they inherited via childhood trauma. This stuff is very powerful. Men learn to live more relationally without giving up their masculinity.

For individuals, I use a direct, client-centered approach helping clients determine their personal values to help them find their “magnetic north.” Once clients gain this awareness, they are able to make decisions in all areas of life that are congruent with their compass heading. Only once we define what is most important to us can we make life decisions that help us reach our destination. Otherwise, we wander around feeling lost and never seem to be heading in the right direction. When clients’ decisions and behaviors conflict with their core values, they feel distressed. I help clients resolve distress and find their way home again.