Family and Couples Therapy 

How Can Therapy Help?

            “There are many ways of getting strong, sometimes talking is the best way.”

― Andre Agassi, Open

Relationships are central to the human experience.  

At Variations Psychology, we strive to improve your relationships and enhance your family system.  If you and your family are feeling disconnected and conflicted, we want to help bring you back together.  Similarly, if you and your partner want to find a better way of understanding each other and interacting, we want to help show you the way. 

Relationships can be difficult. There are expectations set for everyone involved, and often these can lead to misunderstanding, feelings being hurt, and disconnection. Family and couples therapy is a powerful tool that provides a way to structure the system and improve communication (Nichols, 2012). 

Although individual therapy is important, research suggests that when discord happens in a relationship, having both parties in the therapy room can be an effective way to bring about therapeutic change (Diamond, Shahar, Sabo, & Tsvieli, 2016). At times, therapy may be the only place a person feels comfortable sharing feelings about relationship problems.  Here at Variations Psychology, we strive to provide a safe environment for difficult discussions.  

Family and couples therapy is unique in that the therapist is not only considering and discussing all members individually, but also the system as a whole and the complexities of their experiences (Nichols, 2012). Our family and marital counselors are prepared to learn and understand your family as a whole and also ensure that every family member is heard. Therapy can help all involved to learn how to express emotions and communicate with their partner or family members in a way that brings everyone together and helps them grow. 

Family Therapy

Family therapy is powerful because it causes parents and children to interact in a way that connects them (Nichols, 2012). Therapy can provide a safe space for a family member to bring up an issue with another family member, knowing that the therapist will help the family navigate the issue and emotions that come along with it. Sometimes having the outside perspective of the therapist, who is not steeped in the emotion of the family, can grant the family a new perspective on their conflict. The therapist can aid families in understanding their own behaviors and the possible interactions and emotions that may be leading to them. The therapist provides a calm presence in what may be an emotionally charged session so that communication can occur and everyone can contribute (Nichols, 2012). 

Some common presenting problems for families include:

  • Behavioral issues of the children
    • Children with emotional or developmental difficulties
    • Acting out or rebelliousness
  • Family loss and grief
    • Death or illness in a family member
    • Loss of pets
  • Role confusion
    • Parentified children
    • Issues regarding family responsibilities
  • Life transitions
    • Moving to a new place
    • Divorce or remarriage

At Variations, we want your family to feel like they have an ally in whatever conflict is weighing heavy.

Couples Therapy

Do you and your partner struggle to communicate, empathize, or handle conflict with grace and respect?

Couples therapy is different than family therapy in that instead of focusing on the overall system, the therapist will be focusing on the subsystem of the relationship (Nichols, 2012). Sometimes the therapist will meet with the couple together as well as individually, but the therapist will always maintain confidentiality from individual sessions to couples’ sessions (Marriage and Family Therapy, 2017). 

Studies have shown that being in a positive and healthy romantic relationship can lead to many health benefits, such as increased lifespan and decreased risk of anxiety and depression (Wiebe, Johnson, Lafontaine, Moser, Dalgleish, & Tasca, 2016). Couples therapy provides an effective space for couples to learn how to communicate healthily and connect with each other in a meaningful way. 

Our couple therapy specialists want to help you and your partner move toward each other and rediscover the love and feelings that brought you together. 

How Can Variations Psychology Help?

Inviting a therapist into your family’s life may seem daunting, but \personal connection made in the process is worth the time and effort. At Variations Psychology, we can give you the tools to improve your relationships and enhance your ability to handle conflict. 

The Variations team is composed of specialists in the areas of Clinical Psychology, School and Educational Psychology, Child Development, and Psychological and Educational Testing. The experience and training of the team hosts a group of professionals that are ready to connect with you and provide specialized services tailored to your needs. These include individual therapy, family therapy, play therapy, IEP consultation, and psychological assessment.  

Within the therapy domain, we have providers who specialize in women’s issues, parent-child interactions, child development, and education. Our team works with individuals of all genders and sexual identity. We tailor treatment to what you need and what you are hoping to improve as a result of therapy. 

At Variations, we believe you have the tools to change your life. 

Schedule an appointment with one of our specialists today! We are eager to connect with you. 

Interested in Therapy? Connect with Us!

If you are interested in therapy services, please contact us. We would love to talk with you and discuss what therapy could look like for you. 

Schedule an appointment with one of our specialists today!

More about Variations Psychology

Do you want to know more about us?

Take a look at our Specialists page and learn more about what we do. 

We are based in Newport Beach, California and love to connect with our community. We cannot wait to meet you. 


Diamond, G. M., Shahar, B., Sabo, D., & Tsvieli, N. (2016). Attachment-based family therapy and emotion-focused therapy for unresolved anger: The role of productive emotional processing. Psychotherapy, 53(1), 34-44. 

Liddle, H. A. (2016). Multidimensional family therapy: Evidence base for transdiagnostic treatment outcomes, change mechanisms, and implementation in community settings. Family Process, 55(3), 558–576.

Marriage and Family Therapy. Psychology Today. 

Nichols, M. P. (2012). Family therapy: Concepts and methods. Pearson Education. 

Wiebe, S. A., Johnson, S. A., Lafontaine, M., Moser, M. B., Dalgleish, T. L., & Tasca, G. A. (2016). Two-year follow-up outcomes in emotionally focused couple therapy: An investigation of relationship satisfaction and attachment trajectories. Journal of Marital and Family Therapy, 43 (2), 227-244.