Couples Therapy and Marriage Counseling

Have the Relationship You Want

"We've just grown apart." "We're so different." "We’re always fighting!”


We all want relationships that are loving, safe, and satisfying. But, sometimes getting along seems like the most difficult thing in the world. Couples can end up feeling disconnected, frustrated and hopeless.  

Before we know it we find ourselves in relationships that are:


At California Integrative Therapy, we specialize in couples therapy and marriage counseling in Pasadena, CA. 

Premarital Counseling
Affair Recovery
Sex Therapy
Divorce/Separation Counseling
Blended Families

Reach out today and set up a free consultation with one of our therapists.

The Human Relationship is the Most Complex Thing on Earth...


. . . and as such, it deserves and requires regular maintenance. Good relationships don’t just happen, they take work. Couples therapy and marriage counseling in Pasadena, CA is designed to do just that. We use cutting-edge treatment based on attachment and bonding theory, neuroscience, and somatic psychology. Together, we can help you get back to the business of loving! 

A middle aged couple hold hands as they walk along the beach. This symbolizes the benefits of couples therapy and marriage counseling in Pasadena, CA. Contact a marriage counselor to learn more about marriage counseling in Pasadena, CA for support! 91101 | 95814 | 95688 | 95765

What Happens During a PACT Session?


PACT is a powerful approach. It is not your typical marriage counseling or relational therapy. It is dynamic, emotional, physical, playful, and at times, challenging.

The PACT therapist relies on a lot of data to help uncover the unique and complex relational dynamics that are occurring between you and your partner. Extensive interviewing occurs at the start of treatment to uncover as much as possible about your relational history, a family of origin dynamics, attachment style, emotional and arousal patterns, and the history of your current relationship. 

Longer Sessions

In traditional couples therapy, you meet once a week for 50 minutes and often spend the time talking about your issues. In PACT therapy, you often meet less frequently, but sessions are longer, typically 100 or 150 minutes. You will spend more time on your feet actually doing things, like acting out scenes from your life, working on new skills, and engaging in experiential exercises and games. 

A Focus on What is Happening in the Moment

You’ll be guided to focus on what is happening at the moment, how you appear to your partner, and what your body, or their body, is doing. Your therapist will keep you focused on the here and now. 

You’ll do a lot of exercises that are designed to help you become aware of how you relate to each other and how material from your childhood finds its way into your relationship. 

PACT Therapy is Deep and Fast.

Couples often find they spend less total time in PACT than in other forms of relationship work. It’s not unusual to come only for a handful of sessions. 

Sessions are longer than typical couples therapy. Initial sessions can last from two to four hours, and follow-up sessions can be of similar lengths. 

You can learn more about what to expect in this recent blog post

Why do We Argue so Much?

Because you are human! Period! You’re not bad people. You’re not immature. And while you might begin to think you picked the wrong person, hold the phone and read on! 

Of course, there are couples who fight with alarming frequency and intensity which can lead to serious consequences. But for most of the couples we see for couples therapy in Pasadena, CA, the fighting and bickering are normal and natural. 

We are Predisposed to Expect the Worse

We are survival-based creatures, like most other mammals on the planet. This means we are predisposed to expect the worst and act accordingly. And when under stress, like when we are arguing with our partner, our nervous system makes some significant changes, all of which are geared to increase our chances of survival – great if we are face to face with a tiger, not so great if it’s our partner staring us down! What works well for survival doesn’t really help us out in intimate relationships. 

Override These Instincts

In couples therapy, you learn how to avoid and override some of these primitive mammalian reactions. We learn about the nervous system in detail, practice new skills and tools to help you stay connected to your partner, increase your empathy for each other, decrease impulsivity, and yes, fight less.

What are the Benefits of Couples Therapy?

A gay couple sit together against a tree as they laugh. This represents the benefits of couples therapy and affair recovery counseling in Pasadena, CA. Contact a marriage counselor in Pasadena, CA for support! Marriage counseling in Sacramento, CA can also support your relationship. 91101 | 95814 | 95688 | 95765

Couples therapy offers a wide range of benefits that can greatly enhance your relationship and overall well-being. Let’s explore each point in more depth:

Less fighting and conflict:

One of the primary goals of couples therapy is to improve communication and conflict resolution skills. Therapists help couples learn effective techniques for expressing their needs, listening to each other, and finding constructive solutions. As a result, couples can reduce the frequency and intensity of arguments, leading to a more peaceful and harmonious relationship.

More intimacy, including sex:

Couples therapy can address issues that may be affecting intimacy, including emotional barriers, past traumas, or mismatched sexual desires. Therapists provide a safe space for couples to explore these topics, improve emotional connection, and enhance physical intimacy. By addressing underlying concerns, couples can experience a deeper and more fulfilling intimate relationship.

Decreased risk of divorce, infidelity, and domestic violence:

Couples therapy provides an opportunity to address underlying issues that may contribute to these relationship challenges. By working through problems together and developing healthier patterns of interaction, couples can strengthen their bond, reduce the likelihood of infidelity, and create a safer and more stable environment.

Increased health and well-being:

A healthy and fulfilling relationship positively impacts overall well-being. Couples who engage in therapy often report improved mental and physical health, reduced stress levels, and better overall life satisfaction. By nurturing a strong and supportive partnership, individuals experience greater emotional and physical well-being.

Decreased negative impact on your children:

Conflict within a relationship can have a significant impact on children’s well-being. Couples therapy can help parents resolve conflicts in a healthy manner, create a positive co-parenting environment, and minimize the negative effects of relationship difficulties on children. By strengthening the relationship, couples can provide a more stable and supportive family environment.

Increased joy, happiness, and hopefulness:

Couples therapy can foster a sense of joy, happiness, and hopefulness in the relationship. By addressing and resolving issues, couples can experience a renewed sense of connection and regain the excitement and optimism they may have felt during the early stages of their relationship.

Trauma resolution:

Couples therapy can be beneficial for couples who have experienced trauma individually or within the relationship. Therapists trained in trauma-informed approaches can guide couples in processing and healing from past traumatic experiences, fostering resilience and promoting a healthier relationship moving forward.

Stop the intergenerational transmission of relational toxicity and patterns of abuse:

Couples therapy can break the cycle of unhealthy relationship patterns that may be passed down from one generation to another. By addressing and working through these patterns, couples can create healthier and more positive dynamics within their relationship and for future generations.

Decreased use of drugs and alcohol:

For couples struggling with substance abuse issues, couples therapy can be an essential component of the recovery process. Therapists can help couples develop coping strategies, improve communication, and support each other in maintaining sobriety, leading to a decreased reliance on drugs or alcohol.

Decreased sexual acting out:

Couples therapy can assist individuals in addressing and managing behaviors that may negatively impact the relationship, including sexual acting out or infidelity. By exploring the underlying causes and working towards healing, couples can rebuild trust and create a healthier and more satisfying sexual relationship.

More enjoyable vacations:

Couples who have resolved underlying conflicts and improved their communication skills often find that vacations become more enjoyable and fulfilling. By strengthening the foundation of their relationship, couples can fully relax and connect during vacation time, creating lasting memories and deepening their bond.

A couple sits on opposite sides of the bed as they ignore one another. This could represent the need for couples therapy and marriage counseling in Pasadena, CA and Sacramento, CA. Contact a couples therapist for more info on infidelity counseling and other services. 91101 | 95814 | 95688 | 95765

What is PACT?


PACT – the Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy, was created by Dr. Tickner’s teacher, Dr. Stan Tatkin. According to Stan, PACT “is a fusion of attachment theory, developmental neuroscience, and arousal regulation.” It is a profoundly powerful process that focuses on the present moment, and results in powerful and long lasting change.

What is Our Approach to Couples Therapy and Marriage Counseling?


Our couples therapists in Pasadena, CA have a wide range of approaches to couples therapy including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Hakomi Psychotherapy, Relational Somatic Psychotherapy, the Gottman Method, and the Psycho-Biological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT). You can read more about our practitioners and discover their unique approach to marriage counseling by clicking here.  

What Happens in Couples Therapy and Marriage Counseling?


If you’ve never been in couples therapy, it’s likely you’re wondering what actually happens. What’s it like? Is it hard, intense, or worth it? Yeah, it can most certainly be hard, and at times intense! And it can also be incredibly relieving, tender, and fun! Is it worth it? We think so! If you think about it, your primary relationship is, or at least should be, the most valuable thing you have. It is directly tied to your happiness, financial future, physical well-being, and certainly mental health. Lots of us take better care of our cars. 🙁   

Working With Your Partner Makes Couples Therapy Quite Potent

Couples therapy and marriage counseling tend to be quite potent. When you’re working with your partner in the same room, the work goes fast and deep. You can accomplish a great deal in a short amount of time. Because of this, the work is often short-term. Most of our couples attend marriage counseling and couples therapy for about 6-10 sessions.  

The first therapy session can be up to three hours long. This time is for gathering information about your relationship, and your childhoods, and for setting goals for our work together. Later sessions are usually two hours in length and can occur weekly, every other week, or as needed. 

Work is Specific and Customized to Each Couple

The work that happens in this therapy is very specific and customized to the couple. Our primary goal is to help you both learn and practice new ways of communicating, collaborating, and connecting. You learn about the brain, about how we attach and connect to each other, and about the specific ways your partner works. 

What About Surviving Infidelity?


Surviving infidelity with infidelity counseling is possible. It takes work, courage, and dedication. You can get through it, I see it all the time. It’s not just about forgiving though. Both partners have work to do. You will come to understand what happened, why, and how to prevent it from ever happening again. This is all part of rebuilding trust. 

Through the powerful approach to couples therapy and marriage counseling, you can heal the wounds of betrayal. Your relationship can return to feeling safe, connected, and loved. 

What Kinds of Couples do You Work With?

A tattooed woman listens to a woman with glasses. This could represent how couples therapy and marriage counseling in Pasadena, CA can help repair relationships. Contact a marriage counselor to learn about marriage counseling in Sacramento, CA and other services. 95814 | 95688 | 95765

As couples therapists in Pasadena, CA, we work with couples from all walks of life and at various stages of their relationship. Love and connection are universal experiences that transcend labels and categories. Here are some of the different kinds of couples we work with:


Some couples start their relationship as friends and later discover a romantic connection. We support these couples in navigating the transition from friendship to a romantic partnership, exploring their feelings, and building a strong foundation for their new dynamic.

Dating couples:

Whether couples are in the early stages of dating or have been together for a while, therapy can provide a valuable space for open and honest communication. We help dating couples explore their expectations, address conflicts, and strengthen their emotional bond.

Premarital counseling:

Couples preparing for marriage can benefit greatly from premarital counseling. We guide them through important discussions about values, goals, communication, and expectations. Premarital counseling can help couples establish a strong foundation for a successful and fulfilling marriage.

Long-term committed couples:

Couples who have been together for many years face their own unique set of challenges. Over time, relationships evolve and dynamics can shift. We assist long-term committed couples in deepening their emotional connection, addressing any unresolved issues, and finding renewed purpose and passion in their relationship.

LGBTQIA+ couples:

Love knows no boundaries, and CIT is dedicated to providing a safe and inclusive space for all couples, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. LGBTQIA+ couples often face specific challenges and societal pressures, and we work with them to navigate these issues, foster acceptance, and cultivate a healthy and fulfilling relationship.

Interfaith or intercultural couples:

Couples from different religious or cultural backgrounds may encounter unique dynamics within their relationship. We help interfaith or intercultural couples explore their shared values, bridge differences, and create a harmonious environment where both partners feel respected and understood.

Non-traditional relationships:

At CIT, we are committed to working with couples in non-traditional relationships, including polyamorous, open, or consensual non-monogamous partnerships. We provide a non-judgmental space for couples to navigate the complexities of multiple relationships, establish clear boundaries, and nurture healthy communication and emotional well-being.

Transitions and blended families:

Couples going through major life transitions, such as blending families, becoming empty nesters, or coping with a loss, may require additional support. We assist couples in navigating these transitions, managing conflicts, and fostering resilience and adaptability.

A Welcoming and Inclusive Space for Everyone

In summary, at California Integrative Therapy, our aim is to provide a welcoming and inclusive space for couples of all backgrounds and orientations. Every relationship is unique, and we’re dedicated to helping couples cultivate healthy communication, emotional connection, and overall relationship satisfaction, regardless of who they are or how they define their connection.

A happy couple embrace in a sunlit forest as they smile at the camera. Couples therapy and marriage counseling in Pasadena, CA can help your relationship thrive. Contact a couples therapist for more info on infidelity counseling in Pasadena, CA and other services. 95814 | 95688 | 95765

Fall Back in Love!

Remember being in love? You can feel that again!

Learn How to Really Communicate

Gain skills and tools to talk and navigate conflict.

Improved Intimacy

Sex and closeness take work. And it’s work you can do!

Survive Infidelity

Relationships on the brink can be saved with infidelity counseling, trust can be restored.

pasadena therapist
PACT institute logo for Chris Tickner. Contact a couples therapist in Pasadena, CA for support with marriage counseling in Sacramento, CA and other services. 91101 | 95814 | 90026

Begin Couples Therapy and Marriage Counseling in Pasadena, CA!


You deserve to have a secure, satisfying relationship with your partner. Our caring therapists can offer support from our Pasadena, CA Couples Therapy location and online to all of California via telehealth. To start reconnecting with your partner, follow these simple steps:


1. Reach out

Set up a free consultation by clicking the button below. Let’s connect in real-time.

2. Let’s Get to Work

Work with a caring therapist to connect, understand your emotions, and regain trust and intimacy.

3. Heal Your Relationship

Have a relationship that feels supportive, satisfying, and lasts a lifetime! 


Other Services Offered by California Integrative Therapy


Couples therapy and marriage counseling aren’t the only services we offer at our California-based therapy office. Other services offered include depression treatment, individual therapy, anxiety treatment, trauma therapy, somatic therapy, affair recovery, and group therapy. We provide in-person services from our Pasadena, CA office conveniently located on Marengo Avenue between Del Mar and Clifornia. We also serve all of California via online therapy. For answers to any of your questions, feel free to visit our FAQ page!

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