Irina Firstien NYC Therapist CBS Interview Psychotherapist New York

NYC Marriage Counselor

"Relationships Are End All Be All"

Helping You Feel More Connected

Marriage is challenging, and it is a lot of work. That is why so many people work with marriage counselor 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 marriage counselor NYC or marriage therapist in Manhattan. Please take your time and read this page.

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 Marriage 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 Manhattan 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

Interested in articles about Marriage Counseling? Go here.

Recommended Books:

"Hold me Tight"
by Dr.Susan Johnson

"Rekindling Desire"
by Barry McCarthy and Emily Mc Carthy


My wife and I decided to try Marriage Counseling after she discovered I was having an affair with another woman for 6 months. She confronted me with text messages she found on my phone. We did not think we could find our way to a workable marriage at that point and a close friend recommended Irina Firstein. In therapy for the past 10 months, we have been working on healing the pain my affair caused to me and my wife and rebuilding trust between us. We have been working very hard to understand what happened that I found myself in another relationship, what was going on with me, with my wife and with us. We are starting to heal and move forward, this has been a fascinating journey, nothing like what I imagined this to be. My wife and I are able to communicate in the way we never have before, we are able to be more open and vulnerable with each other. This feels very different then event he relationship we had in the very beginning. I am very encouraged by this process. "Eric, 38 years old;

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