Working with Couples
“Love is everything it’s cracked up to be…It really is worth fighting for, being brave for, risking everything for. And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, your risk is even greater.”
Couples, even happy ones, can sometimes face difficulty. Couples can find themselves in repetitive cycles that leave each person feeling more separate than together. In these situations, it is natural for some difficult feelings to appear.
Maybe you’re feeling…
- like you just can’t communicate with your partner
- like the conflict between the two of you keeps getting worse despite your best intentions
- a loss of affection and intimacy between the two of you
- like it is hard for you to trust your partner
- criticized and judged; like no matter what you say or do it’s not the right thing
- not cared for, or like you don’t really matter to your partner
- like you’re avoiding your partner so as not to get into an argument
- like your arguments go around and around and you don’t seem to get anywhere, but feel more discouraged
Sometimes these problems can feel insurmountable, but they’re not.
There is a road map to a better relationship. It comes out of an extensive body of research. This research helps us understand how couples get off course and how to guide partners back to a close, loving relationship, where each of you feels like the other person has your back.
Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT) is a proven method for creating loving connections. Research shows that 73% of couples going through EFT go from relationship distress to relationship health. In addition, relationships continue to improve after therapy ends. Here’s a link to learn more about EFT [www.iceeft.com]. Dr. Sue Johnson developed EFT in the 1980s. To hear Sue Johnson talk about the importance of having someone we can count on, click here: Susan Johnson on the urgency of attachment.
In our work, first we’ll understand what it’s like for each of you to be in this relationship and what is happening in the relationship that is keeping you both feeling stuck and separate from one another. Then, we’ll work together so that you both can feel more accepted and sure with one another. The EFT approach teaches life’s problems are easier to solve when couples are feeling secure with each other.
And being in a happy relationship is healthy for you. Researchers have found that marital satisfaction has been linked to improved immune system functioning, better recovery from illness and injuries, and more effective management of stressful situations.
Most couples wait six years before seeking marriage counseling, according to John Gottman’s research. Sometimes couples wait too long, and the relationship ends in divorce. If you would like to strengthen your marriage and work with someone who has lots of training with a model with a documented success rate, then please give me a call. I believe in getting to the heart of the matter and will do my best for your relationship.
I am a Certified Therapist and Therapist Supervisor in Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy.
I have had – and continue to have – excellent and extensive training in EFT. In particular, I am grateful to my individual EFT supervisors, Rebecca Jorgensen and Yolanda von Hockauf.
P.S. I was interviewed for an article on EFT. Please click here if you are interested in reading it.
Beth Levine, LCSW
“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.”
About Beth Levine, LCSW
Hi! Thanks for taking the time to find out more about me.
I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, having earned a master’s degree in Social Work from the National Catholic School of Social Service, Catholic University. I have about 20 years of experience working with adults in individual and couple settings.
Ever since I was young, I thought about being a therapist. Maybe it was when I saw Ordinary People. I was envious of the therapist, played by Judd Hirsch, who had the opportunity to develop a deep and meaningful connection with Conrad, played by Timothy Hutton, and helped him go from a place of despair to a place of realizing his life force. Wow! What could be better than that? Helping someone tap into their strengths and heal? Making the world a better place is a driving force for me.
Internal Family Systems (IFS) and Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) are the foundational models for my work. After taking a training with Bessel van der Kolk, an expert in studying and treating trauma, I began to take trainings in models and techniques that are supported by research for their effectiveness for treating depression, anxiety, and trauma.
I find that having different techniques to choose from is useful because I don’t think that there is one technique or treatment method that works for everyone. I can work with my clients to see what works best in our individual counseling or couple counseling. In addition to IFS and EFT, the techniques I draw from include emotional freedom techniques, somatic experiencing, Mindfulness-Based Mind Fitness, expressive therapies, and movement.
People ask me what my style is like. I find it hard to describe, but I’ll do my best. I am collaborative. I am interactive. I like to bring in humor when appropriate. (Nothing like bathing the brain and body in serotonin.) I point out patterns. I ask questions. I reflect what I am seeing. I use the relationship to promote healing. I can be pragmatic and solution focused. I can offer behavioral changes. I work to promote curiosity. I draw from different modalities and life experience.
I believe in therapy. I have struggled with depression, anxiety, and relationships. Individual therapy has helped me live more authentically, trust myself to handle life’s challenges, and have healthy relationships. Therapy can be hard, but it’s worth it.
If you think we would be a good fit, the next step is to call or email me so we can schedule a free 20-minute phone consultation. If that goes well, then I recommend that we have an initial session. Having a session is probably the best way to tell if you think I would be a good fit.
I am thankful to the many people who have shared their lives with me and taught me about people’s courage and capacity to heal and change.
It is hard to narrow down my philosophy of individual therapy or couple counseling to one option, but I want to share with you the following way of looking at ourselves, our relationships, and life that I, and others, find helpful.
The 400+ year old Japanese art of kintsugi (golden repair) or kintsukuroi (golden joinery) honors the pottery’s unique history by emphasizing, not hiding, any breaks or cracks.
This philosophy embraces flaws and imperfections and acknowledges that “scars” are a part of the unique design.
Kintsugi offers us an important metaphor: In the process of healing ourselves or our relationships, we can create something more unique, beautiful, and resilient.
Embracing this philosophy, can help us deal with depression, despair, anxiety, stress, relationship difficulties, loneliness, and trauma, among other life’s challenges.
Advanced Trauma Treatment – Level I (The Institute for Advanced Psychotherapy)
Level I Certification in Internal Family Systems (IFS Institute)
Emotional Freedom Techniques – Professional Skills I (Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology)
Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy)
Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy Supervisor – for therapists earning their Certification (International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy)
Bessel van der Kolk, The Body Keeps the Score
Mindfulness-Based Mind Fitness
LCSW-C, National Catholic University, School of Social Work
MBA, University of Rochester, The Simon Business School
September 2017. Published article, Enhancing Therapeutic Effectiveness When Working with Vegan Clients, News & Views, The Greater Washington Society for Clinical Social Work.
June 2016. Published article, Food for Thought, New & Views, The Greater Washington Society for Clinical Social Work.
- Interviewed by Elisabeth Brown for Freedom2Do (http://www.freedom2do.com/its-okay-to-get-help/).
September 2011 through April 2012. Assisted EFT trainer, Rebecca Jorgensen, with Core Skills Advanced Training (4 weekend-long trainings) to EFT colleagues.
September 2010 through April 2011. Assisted EFT trainer, Rebecca Jorgensen, with Core Skills Advanced Training (4 weekend-long trainings) to EFT colleagues.
September 2010 through June 2011. Led Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT) supervision group for EFT colleagues based on the training manual, Becoming an Emotionally Focused Couple Therapist: The Workbook. Met once a month.
March 2009. Through The Greater Washington Society of Clinical Social Work, I presented Introduction to Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy.
October 2008. Through The Greater Washington Society of Clinical Social Work, I presented Attachment Theory, Love and Neurobiology. In this course, I talked about eight ways in which Attachment Theory informs couple work, and the research that helps us understand the neurobiology of when couples have a secure attachment and when they are in distress.
January 2008. As part of the above training, I presented on Attachment Theory and Work with Couples. My presentation was titled: Eight Ways That Attachment Theory Informs Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT).
January 2008. Attachment Theory: Basic Concepts and Clinical Applications in Work with Individuals, Couples and Children. I coordinated the training with Mauricio Cortina, MD, Director, Attachment and Human Development Center.
I am a member of:
- Greater Washington Society of Clinical Social Work
- International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy
- National Association of Social Workers
Get in touch.
I'm always happy to hear from people.
If you have any questions, need more information, or would like to make an appointment, you can call me at 301-279-7779, email me at BethLCounseling@aol.com, or use the form below.
I see clients using a video-chat platform called VSee. It is free to download and easy to use. Please ask me about that option, if you are interested.
Licensed Clinical Social Worker • Over 15 years of experience • Certified Emotionally Focused Couple Therapist and Supervisor • Member of The Greater Washington Society of Clinical Social Work • Member of the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy • Member of Clinical Social Work Association • Member of National Association of Social Workers
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Serving All of Maryland through teletherapy, including Rockville, Bethesda, Chevy Chase, Kensington, Gaithersburg, Germantown, Potomac, Silver Spring
Hours by appointment only
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