NYC marriage counseling, couples counseling therapist Irina Firstein, LCSW CBS Interview Psychotherapist New York

NYC Marriage Counselor - Helping You Feel More Connected

Marriage is challenging, and it is a lot of work. That is why so many people work with marriage therapists in New York City to overcome issues that are getting in the way of your relationship reaching its potential. Marriage is a transition in a couples' relationship and relationships can change over time. Work, schedules, children present a challenge to a marriage and to preserving romance, intimacy and connection. It helps to know that a marriage does not just grow and get better on its own. For a marriage not to deteriorate, it is important to pay attention to what is going on in the relationship all of the time, make it a priority and not the last on the list, create time for connection and ensure quality alone time.

There are many things that can create an estrangement in a marriage but what brings most couples to need a marriage counselor in New York City is lack of intimacy and romance, communication problems, conflict, lack of connection. Most married couples I see in my office, have stressful jobs, are focused on raising kids, which can be stressful and are generally exhausted and thinly spread. They simply do not find time for each other with so many demands on their time and attention and over time they grow apart. Many couples struggle with the idea that they have to schedule alone time. Sex and romance simply take the back seat to kids, chores, jobs, bills, "to do" lists. You arrived on this page most likely from searching NYC marriage therapist or marriage counselor in Manhattan. Please take your time and read this page.

To make an appointment, call 212-953-1388 or email

Getting Started with a Marriage Counselor:

It's not easy to realize that your marriage needs help and many married couples wait until, sometimes, it's too late. It is not unusual to have difficult periods in a marriage, but if same issues and themes come up, and are not resolved but just "patched up", only to happen again, may be it is time to consider getting professional help. These unresolved situations or relationship traumas, over time, erode love and connection.

I work with married couples the way I do with all couples, using Sue Johnson's Emotionally Focused Therapy Model (EFT). My assumption is that the marriage partner is the most important attachment figure and that there is a longing for love and connection. We explore attachment traumas that took place in each partner's past and present, the dysfunctional cycles of acting and reacting which rigidly set the tone for all interactions, unmet needs that are feeding these cycles and what is really underneath the anger, attack and withdrawal. We then learn how to have honest and vulnerable conversations which communicate real feelings and needs. These new conversations create deeper connections and heal.

In Marriage Counseling we often examine the following issues:

Unresolved Resentment and Hurt

People in relationships inadvertently or purposely say and do hurtful things to each other. These feelings fester over time, poisoning and sometimes destroying love and closeness. It is important to talk and bring these hurts and resentments into the open so the couple can start to communicate about them in an honest, emotional way and find validation, empathy and understanding which lead to a deeper connection.

Communication Problems

It is impossible to have a healthy relationship without honest, open communication. Couples over time become entrenched in unhealthy communication patterns in which they feel stuck and of which they may not be aware. Defensiveness prevails and vulnerability becomes too dangerous. These patterns come out of each person's history as well as particular dynamics of the relationship. In couples therapy, we try to explore and identify negative cycles and pave the way for positive cycles, creating emotional safety and closeness.

Romance and Sex

Many couples in committed relationships complain of diminished passion, desire, romance and sex over time. There are many reasons why this happens: lack of time, other parts of life becoming priorities, pleasure becoming de-prioritized, unresolved resentments, different sexual needs that are not communicated openly and constructively, sex itself becomes stale, unadventurous and not fun. Often, sexual status of a couple is a metaphor for what is going on outside the bedroom. In marital counseling, we can work to find the causes and factors that have lead to a romantic estrangement and focus counseling on finding ways to reconnect and rekindle desire.

It may be time to consider working with a Marriage Therapist in New York City if you are dealing with any of these issues in your relationship:

  • Your romance and sexual activity are diminished or non-existent
  • Most of your attempts to talk turn into arguments
  • You have disagreement about future goals
  • You are struggling with infertility
  • You are having difficulty adjusting to parenthood
  • One or both of you is thinking about or is having an affair
  • You are feeling disconnected and distant
  • You are in conflict with each other's families

Make An Appointment Today!

Call 212-953-1388 today or email to make an appointment with the best marriage therapist in NYC - Irina Firstein, LCSW. I am especially accessible to clients looking for marriage therapists Manhattan and in all other areas of New York City.

Interested in articles about Marriage Counseling? Click here.

Recommended Books:

"Hold me Tight" by Dr.Susan Johnson

"Rekindling Desire" by Barry McCarthy and Emily Mc Carthy

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