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Dr. Marie Kerns PsyD

Licensed Marriage Family Therapist #50443




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Conflict in Couples Relationship. Help!

Posted on December 31, 2014 at 7:00 PM Comments comments (1032)

Most of my couples come into counseling feeling a disconnection from their partner. This may manifest itself as arguing, porn addiction, communication issues, affairs, the silent treatment etc.. So, what’s going on? Why all this distance?


As a therapist, my challenge is to de-escalate negative cycles of interacting, while I help to facilitate building a secure attachment bond. A secure attachment helps to create safety in the relationship. It's where couples really feel their partner is their anchor in the storm of life.:)


You may wonder what a negative cycle is, and why it occurs. Some negative cycles begin when a couple is transitioning from one phase of life to another. Such as adjusting to parenthood, or one partner getting a promotion at work. Many times a job loss brings new or old problems to the surface.


In any of these circumstances couples begin to blame each other for their problems. The stress of adjustment leads to insecurities. A new way of defining their life and the relationship serves to comfort and contain anxieties if a mutual understanding is developed.


Counseling can help a couple navigate this challenge of redefining their relationship and the adjustment to change. Without an agreement on the definition of their life together misunderstandings can develop.


Misunderstandings can cause conflict, leading to an increase in stress and anxiety. The change in each partners behavior, due to the misunderstanding, then leads to an increase in stress and anxiety, which manifests into further misunderstanding, leading to anger and frustration. The partners in the couple then begin to wonder why they married their partner.


This cycles continues and can be interrupted through counseling.


If you experience Conflict and/or Stress over:


decision making

misunderstanding with your partner

not feeling appreciated

cybersex addiction


problems with alcohol

gambling losses

lack of restful sleep,

improper diet,

the demands of life


lack of work,

issues with lack of direction in life,

anxiety over being overweight

anxiety over aging issues

constant arguing and misunderstanding in relationships

confusion over what decision to make - etc.

As stated earlier a secure attachment helps to create safety in the relationship. When each partner feels the emotional support of their mate, these life challenges are easier to work through.


Please follow my blog. I will continue to explore how I work with my clients to build a secure bond.


If you would like to make an appointment with me please call 949-285-5199.



Affair in the Relationship. Now what do we do?

Posted on December 28, 2014 at 3:25 AM Comments comments (30612)

Consistency Over Time = Results


“Success is achieved by a consistent working through of issues, each time with the partners taking more responsibility with the tools that they have learned from previous sessions. I have helped many couples, and I can help you” Dr. Kerns


Consistency is also vitally important when it come to building trust following an affair. After an affair the partners in a couple must reliably demonstrate, over time, that they have changed.


How is this achieved? When couples experience a betrayal in their relationship they are disappointed and angry. Many times in the first few weeks, the only civil conversation they have is in my office. Initially they may require sessions 2 times a week to assist in developing a new level of communication. In this time they are adjusting to living with their new reality.


How do we define our life together, now that this has happened?


Dr. Marie Kerns, PsyD. is a Skilled Psychotherapist ready to help you and your partner navigate this tough time.


To make an appointment please call 949-285-5199


Irvine Counseling - The Depressed and Disappointed Wife

Posted on Comments comments (2096)

Some Couples are searching for a way to define Roles & Ideals of a Successful Couple in todays world. More than anything, they need a guide to understand and interpret their confusion.

This could be part of the problem: Women have been asking men to become more in touch with their feelings, and to share those deep thoughts. Some men have accommated, as best they could, with great disappointment to both partners.

Ask and you shall receive. The surprise is that women are disappointed to hear that their partner's deep thoughts, differ from what they expected, and they are not shy in expressing their disappointment.

Even when a man supports his women's ambition, this turns out to be less than she had hoped for. Some women desire their partner to be what they want of him. Not what he wants.

If this is happening in your relationship, counseling could help you to manage this conflict, to the benefit of both partners.