couples counseling

Therapist Referrals & Great Relationship Coaches

I’ve been fortunate to meet so many incredible providers over the years I wanted to share some of their information here for anyone who wants support for their mental health, and personal or professional growth.

Of course, I am taking new clients, but I am also not the right provider for every client in every situation. If you want or need help I recommend auditioning a few different folks to see who’s style, training, and expertise feels like the best fit for you.

If you want to work with me, contact me here for a free consultation to see if my work is a fit for you. And here are some other incredible folks I recommend talking with.


Changes to My Coaching Practice

Hello!

I'm writing this note to update all of you readers about some changes in my practice this spring. 

As many of you know, I am expecting a baby this summer and plan to take time away from seeing clients July-August of this year.  However, due to an unexpected personal change, my in-person practice is moving out of state even sooner (my family is all healthy- don’t worry, it’s an exciting change). 

I am still seeing clients in my NE Portland office until May 1, 2019.  If you'd like to meet in person (even for a one session check-in), please reply to this email so I can be sure to get you on the schedule. 


After May 1, I am still open to supporting you in a variety of ways. I will list them below. Even if you never sign up for a program or meet with me please know I am available to offer resources and referrals anytime. You can reach me using this email (gina@ginasenarighi.com), you can find me on facebook here or here, on instagram, or on either of my websites (nonmonogamous.com or ginasena.com). 

I am grateful to all of you for being a part of my professional journey in Portland.  It’s been such a blessing to get so much community support for the work I do, and so have so many incredible local people share their intimate lives with me.

You are all in my heart no matter where I live or practice, Gina

ONGOING COACHING/COUNSELING OPTIONS

ONLINE COACHING & COUNSELING

First, I will continue to see clients (as I have been) online using Zoom video conferencing services until July and again in the fall. 

IN PORTLAND, OREGON

If you'd like to get support from a Portland-area provider there are several I highly respect listed here. I'm also open to hopping on the phone for a quick chat to help you connect with a provider if you have specific questions about finding someone who can meet your unique needs. 

COACHING FOCUS AREAS

SOLO RELATIONSHIP COACHING

I will continue supporting folks as individual clients who are interested in changing relationship patterns. These hour-long sessions have been instrumental for lots of folks who are just starting dating after a break up, who need help asking for what they need in partnerships and/or who are thinking about ending a relationship.

PREMARITAL COUNSELING
I am still offering premarital/pre-commitment counseling online if you or anyone you know might be interested in focused support around a shared life commitment. These sessions have been helpful for folks who want an integrity-fueled plan for the future without a specific religious dogma attached.

SHOULD WE BREAK UP?

I'm also still offering discernment counseling online for folks considering breaking up who want to process that in a compassionate way. Some people call this “conscious uncoupling.” Whatever you call it, think of this an a kind or friendly alternative tho the way most people view breakups. Feel free to refer folks you know who might be interested here.

NON-MONOGAMY, POLYAMORY & OPEN RELATIONSHIPS

I still support tons of people considering consensual non-monogamy and/or practicing it for a long time. I’ve helped thousands of clients decide if, when, and how consensual non-monogamy is a fit for them. Read more here.

SEXUALITY COUNSELING FOR PASSION, INTIMACY & DESIRE

I’ll be finishing up my Sex Counseling credential later this year. This has meant helping people overcome common sexual dysfunctions in relationships and in long-term relationships overcoming desire fatigue.  Info on that can be found here.

WORKSHOPS & EVENTS

FREE MONTHLY MASTERCLASS

I've been hosting a monthly free relationship tune-up call every month for the last year.  You can find information about them here.  Please sign up right away if you're interested, they tend to fill quickly.

RETREATS

POLYAMORY 101 RETREAT

I'll still host my Polyamory 101 Annual Retreat in Portland (and soon I'll have an online version).  You can sign up to be invited here.

LESBIAN COUPLES RETREAT

I also have a Lesbian Couples Retreat in the works for later this year. Sign up here to be invited.

ONLINE CLASSES

BOUNDARIES

I teach a course in Healthy Boundaries for relationships a few times each year.  If you're into it, check it out here.

JEALOUSY

I offer an online course on Jealousy Management a couple of times a year.  You can sign up to get notified when registration opens here.

TRUST TUNE-UP

Finally, this year I am offering my Trust Tune-Up e-course in a few weeks. You can sign up to be invited here.

FREE RELATIONSHIP RESOURCES ONLINE

FREE CONVERSATION STARTERS

I send a weekly set of conversation starters for couples via email and if you are not already receiving it you may want them, you can sign up to get those here.  I also send this list weekly-ish updates with free worksheets, reflection guides, and relationship resource recommendations.

PODCAST

My podcast Swoon launched last week. We'll share information on sex and intimacy and action steps for relationships there once per week. It's available on any of your favorite podcast platforms (I'd love it if you left a review).

BOOK RECOMMENDATIONS

There are lists of my favorite books on relationships shared online here and right here.  I HIGHLY recommend them as supports even when you're in a good phase (some may be familiar to you already).

FREE TOOLS AND RESOURCES ONLINE

I offer a free relationship resource toolbox you are welcome to use anytime (save this link) filled with worksheets, guides, videos, and reading materials. I also have one tailored for non-monogamous and sex-positive relationships. If you haven’t already signed up for access you can do so here and here.

BLOG ARTICLES

Finally, I have two related blogs you can check in on anytime full of advice, resources, and ideas about relationships, communication, and intimacy.

Read them at nonmonogamous.com/blog or ginasena.com/blog today!


Ten Reasons to See a Couples Counselor

Ten Reasons to See a Couples Counselor | Uncommon Love Poly Counseling in Portland

Couples counseling helps couples reflect and take intentional action to create relationships filled with happiness, connection, and shared vision.  

There are many reasons couples decide to start working with me.  Here are ten of the most common.

Why See a Couples Counselor?

1.  Sweethearts considering marriage.

Pre-marital counseling and coaching is some of my favorite work.  You know you want to be together, now, the question is, HOW do you want to be together?  What kind of future do you want to build?  How will you navigate life changes with grace?  

Working with a couples therapist can help you get clear about the life you want to build as a committed couple.  While most therapists are trained as marriage therapists specific to monogamous more traditional couples.  Those of us who use couples therapist or relationship coach as a title are acknowledging marriage isn't the only kind of couple we see.

2.  Keeping the relationship fulfilling long term.  

You have probably heard me say it already, every relationship needs a tune up from time to time.  Keeping your relationship a priority amid the many responsibilities and obligations that come up can be difficult.  It's not uncommon to lose a little luster over time.  

Couples coaching can help provide time to re-assess how to sustainably keep the fire burning for a long long time.

3.  Getting back together after taking a break.

Little known fact: LOTS of couples break up and get back together.  When you are deciding to return to partnership it can be really helpful to work with a couples coach to both repair any gaps from your break, and work on forgiveness.  

You get to define what your relationship looks like- and no one combination works for every couple.  Your therapist will also help you determine how you want to move forward together and can help you tailor your agreements and communication skills to the relationship best suited for both of you.

4.  Thinking about becoming parents.

Parenting is an amazing journey, but it isn't for everyone and co-parenting doesn't come naturally.  Who do you want to be as a parent?  Is parenting something you both really want?  

When you and your partner are ready to start thinking about a family it can be a good idea to bring in a counselor as a facilitator to help guide you through the decision-making and planning processes.

5.  Starting a business with your life partner.  

So we know you and your partner have great ideas and can manage projects together well (that home remodel looks beautiful!) but are you ready to start a business together?  And if you are, how will you maintain your relationship strength as your business dreams come true?  

Contacting a couples counselor to help you as a consultant for your business partnership when it's also our romance partner.  This is especially important for non-monogamous couples, and polyamorous groups who want to share financial commitments to one another beyond the mainstream marital rights afforded legally married couples.

6.  Opening your relationship to non-monogamy.

Polyamory and open relationships are much more common than people think.  However, because we have strong cultural taboos around talking about open relationships, most couples are without support as they begin conversations about openness.  

Without support many couples struggle with unexpected triggers.  Working with a poly-affirming provider can help you get through those challenges with greater ease. 

Find an open-minded affirming provider using one of these lists.  You can find me there too!

7.  Adventuring in new sexual or sensual territory.

Dan Savage coined the phrase GGG meaning one should strive to be good in bed, giving "equal time and equal pleasure" to one's partner, and game "for anything—within reason."for things sexually and sensually.  For some people meeting this GGG standard is not easily done.  

Working with a relationship coach or couples counselor could help you and your partner explore new sensual connections and be even stronger together in the bedroom (and wherever else these adventures take you).  

Check these lists for a sex-positive (non-judgmental) provider near you.

8.  Repairing a relationship after an affair.  

An affair doesn't necessarily mean you have to end your relationship.  Many couples decide to stay together.  However, repairing from a violation of trust can require professional support.

Even open relationships have affairs- and having a therapist who understands the unique challenges non-monogamous folks face when repairing trust is critical to moving through the healing process.

Contact a relationship counselor or couples coach to help you rebuild connection and trust and decide if staying together is the best option for you.

9.  Re-imagining the relationship after things go blah.

Let's face it, relationships take work and it is not easy to razzle-dazzle your partner every day (nor is it a realistic expectation).  Work with a relationship coach or couples therapist to help reignite that spark and fascination that brought you together in the first place.

10.  Deciding to move in together.

Many people struggle with questions of balanceprivacy, space, and independence during these conversations.  It can be very helpful to have a neutral party's support and guidance as you transition to or from living together.

The bottom line is, if you are going to stay together for a long time, you are going to weather many changes to your life and relationship. Having knowledgeable professional support can very much help you move through growth more compassionately together.

Relationship counseling is like a vitamin boost for your relationship's health during times of stress and transition.  Give me a call for a free consultation to see if I can help you be stronger together.

*I closed my psychotherapy and couples counseling practice in 2016 to pursue coaching and consulting.  Contact me to learn more about this powerful change in my work.


Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a sex educator and relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationshipsjealousy, LGBTQ issues and infidelity.  

She can help you:

Contact her for a free consultation to see if working with her is right for you.

Click here to download her free guides to strengthen your relationship (monogamous or not).

Three Ways to Know Your Relationship Needs Work

Does Yoru Relationship Need Work? Uncommon Love Couples Counseling in Portland

So many couples wait until they have done MAJOR damage before coming in to talk to a professional. 

Statistics show that most couples finally make an appointment six months after symptoms of dissatisfaction become a problem.  So how do you know if it’s the right time for you two to seek help?

Here are a few symptoms to watch out for so you can get support sooner rather than later.  Marriage therapy, couples counseling, and relationship coaching can be of great service to you if you get in to see someone early in the game.

Negativity – Continued negative contact over time makes it difficult to repair damage and return to sweetness together.  If you or your partner is having trouble seeing the bright side, or envisioning a positive future for the two of you now is a great time to call for professional help.  There are three key ways negativity shows up:

    • Resentment -- Built up (often unspoken) feelings of negativity toward your partner.  Usually this is a small voice inside your head saying “you never…”  Over time resentment eats away at the good stuff you have between you.
    • Criticism – Blame and critique of one another instead of solution finding.  When you find yourself here it’s important to find a place of mutual accountability.  For many couples that’s a struggle.  You may want help getting past blame.
    • Contempt – Attacks on each other’s character.  This is where it gets ugly.  When one or both of you is having a hard time seeing the good in the other it’s a real good idea to get some support.

Rigidity – Remaining open to the influence of your partner instead of becoming inflexible is critical to long-term relationship health.  If one or both of you is getting stubborn or inflexible you could use a little coaching to help shift things into a positive direction.

    • Defensiveness – Becoming defensive when in conflict (or otherwise).  This can mean there is some unresolved hurt in your partnership.  Professionals are trained to create a supportive environment where you can share with greater care.
    • Stonewalling – Withholding affection, ignoring or distancing from your partner.  There are a lot of reasons folks stonewall, but the long term effect of this is only to create more distance between you.   Patterns of stonewalling are more easily changed with the help of a coach or counselor.

Turning Away – While it is important to have independent time and space, turning away from your partner when they are requesting help or support can decrease the longevity of your relationship significantly.

    • Invalidation—denying the validity of one partner’s experience or feelings.  Ouch, it hurts to hear a partner put down or deny your experience.  Those hurts are costly in the long run.
    • Avoidance or Withdrawal – Physically or emotionally withdrawing from one another completely.  This leaves one or both of you lonely- and who wants to be lonely in a relationship?  The goal of relationship coaching is to help you move toward each other with kindness once again.

If you have noticed any of these signs and want to remedy your relationship, relationship coaching may be right for you. 

Remember, every relationship needs a tune-up now and again, just don’t wait so long you have to call AAA from the side of the highway! Invest in your relationship health now, and you can be even stronger together.

 

Looking for an LGBTQ professional in Portland?  Click here for a free consultation.


couples counseling in portland | online couples counseling

Gina Senarighi, MS, MA, CPC is a sex educator and relationship coach specializing in polyamory, open relationshipsjealousy, LGBTQ issues and infidelity.  

She can help you:

Contact her for a free consultation to see if working with her is right for you.

Click here to download her free guides to strengthen your relationship (monogamous or not).