The One Essential Thing

Don’t Fight to Win

Seek to Understand and Be Understood

That is one of the key things I want to accomplish in counseling. Because when someone “Wins”, someone looses, which doesn’t promote a caring, intimate relationship.

When you learn to be curious about your significant other, to find out who they are and what they want and need, only then can you begin to build a solid relationship.

Find Hope & Healing

Couple Connecting

Tired of having the same old argument, disagreement or conversation? Every time you try to talk do you feel even more misunderstood, hurt and angry?

Would you like something different, something better? Do you want to improve your relationship and reconnect with your partner but wonder if anything will ever change. With counseling it is possible to stop doing what isn’t working and to rebuild your relationship into one that has warmth, empathy, understanding, trust and forgiveness.

It is Painful To Be Apart

Those moments can be so overwhelming that couples cannot help but engage in negative behaviors that often involve defensiveness, blaming and negative interpretation of each other’s intentions and actions. This escalates the hurt and erodes the trust in the relationship, resulting in more aggressiveness or withdrawal and continued alienation.

A Better Way

There is a different way, a better way to be in your relationship. A way that is not full of tension and conflict which allows you to express your wants and needs so that they can be heard by your partner. This will build a positive connection that allows both of you to be more at ease with each other and have more of what you want in your relationship.

Critically Important:


A good place to start is to acknowledge that there is something wrong and that what you’re doing isn’t working to resolve the problem.

The well respected marriage researcher and writer John Gottman said that it is not negative emotional engagement that predicts divorce, but rather the lack of emotional engagement. Feeling the frustration from an unsatisfactory relationship at least means that you still care and want something better, which is an important motivating factor that causes couples to seek help.

“Unlatching” from Negative Emotions and Behaviors

Some couples make the assumption that serious and persistent conflicts and differences will get resolved on their own. Time can heal, but it also helps if you are willing to work on improving your relationship. Relationship issues can be quite complex and it is not just a matter of learning how to “communicate” nice thoughts to one another.

Famous marriage counselor Susan Johnson said that simple skill building is not sufficient for marital improvement; rather, the ability to “unlatch” from negative emotional and behavioral cycles is required. Sometimes couples cannot do this alone because they are much too reactive to stay away from their established patterns, which result in feelings of getting hurt and emotional separation.

My role as a counselor is to identify and track the emotional experience of each person and to support the couple as they learn to engage in a more productive way so that each feels more heard, considered, respected and acknowledged.

Change Doesn’t All Depend On Your Partner

Healthier individuals make for healthier relationships. When there is a problem most of us would like our loved ones to change to meet our needs and our view of the world. The reality is that it is almost impossible to change another person directly. But when you start to focus on improving yourself and how you act, you will change the relationship.

That is why even if your partner is not ready for couples therapy I will encourage you to come in so that you can get the support that you need to grow as an individual and as a partner. The objective is to help you to clearly express your wants and needs with your partner in a way they can hear them, and also to be able to take care of yourself in the mist of anxiety so that you do not overly react to your partner’s behaviors and demands.

Changing yourself is not always an easy task but it will certainly make you a better person and give your relationship a better chance versus neglecting your part (however big or small) and expecting the other person to change. It is not that uncommon where one partner’s growth and change will lead to a shift in the attitude of the other, so that positive changes in the relationship can take place.

Positive Change Is PossibleHappy Couple

An emotionally committed relationship can be a crucible for growth. It challenges us to be our best so that we can give our best. Couples Counseling can support you to not just survive, but to thrive and to grow in a more fulfilling direction.

I believe that positive change is possible. I encourage you to try doing something different, to get something different, something better. Therapy, counseling, coaching, call it what you want, it can and does make a difference.

Give me a call and let’s have a conversation to see how counseling can help. It will give you a few ideas and only cost a few minutes of your time.

Mark Tinley

Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist (Lic # 52487)


Office: Downtown Los Angeles