Couples Marriage Counseling Counselor Therapist in San Jose, Los Gatos, Santa Clara, CA, California - Jason Esswein, MS, MFT

Couples and Marriage Counseling

There is arguably little in life that is more important than the relationships we build with those closest to us. And the most important of these is often the relationship you have with the person you’ve chosen to share your life with.

Given this, it should come as little surprise that some of our greatest anguish, pain, and heartaches come about due to difficulties we experience in our intimate relationships.

Fortunately, couples counseling can help. And it doesn’t matter whether your partner and you have only been together a short while or you’ve been married for decades.

I take a holistic approach to couples counseling – also commonly called marriage counseling or relationship counseling – and the primary focus of my work with couples is helping them identify relationship challenges and goals and learn better communication and problem-solving skills so they can create a relationship in which both partners feel understood, appreciated, respected, and loved.

Unlike individual counseling and therapy, in couples counseling your “relationship” is the “client” and you, your partner, and I will work together to make your relationship the best it can possibly be. And this work often begins with improving communication.

Is communication so important? Yes!

It is often said that a good relationship is not one without problems; it’s one in which partners successfully work through their problems. And effective communication is vital for any two people who want to successfully resolve relationship difficulties.

Couples who are unable to communicate effectively and navigate conflict respectfully typically get into heated power struggles or attempt to avoid conflict altogether. Unfortunately, repeated arguments or avoidance only leads to growing resentment. Disagreements are never resolved and the relationship never gets a chance to heal and grow.

Therefore, a couple’s communication patterns are always explored early in couples counseling sessions so that both partners can learn to better regulate their emotions, become more calm, and use healthy communication skills to work through past hurts and navigate conflict more effectively in the future.

And, just to be clear, effective communication requires more than making sure you’re heard and understood. It requires learning how to listen.

One area that often becomes a focal point in my work with couples is helping them learn how to listen authentically. We all know how important it is to listen. Our attention is the most valuable currency we possess. However, authentic listening – which goes well above and beyond simply noting the sound of someone speaking or assuming you know what the person will say next – requires more than most would expect. And this is especially true when we feel tired, hurt, angry, or stressed.

I will also be mindful of other feelings or experiences that you and your partner “bring into” the relationship and our work together.

You, your partner, and I will look at the patterns you’ve created in your relationship as well as other internal and external experiences that impact the relationship, be they for the better or for the worse. When these patterns present themselves in our sessions together (and they will), I’ll likely encourage you to explore them as they occur, “in the now,” in order for you to consciously acknowledge and accept them as well as decide whether or not there are healthier choices you can make.

Learning effective communication, authentic listening, and other problem-solving skills can drastically improve the relationships in your life, both the one you have with yourself as well as those you have with others. And ultimately, our relationships are what connect us to life itself.

I want you to have the best relationship possible. I hope you want that too! When you and your partner are ready to create the relationship you desire, contact me at or at 408-975-2982 to schedule a free, initial consultation and find out how the couples and marriage counseling services I provide can help.

Jason Esswein, MFT – Couples and Marriage Counseling and Therapy provided by a Couples Counselor and Therapist in San Jose, Campbell, and Los Gatos, CA, California