Dr. Sharon P. Austin, Licensed Psychologist
Seeing the other, and being seen, as if for the first time

Couple Therapy

What do you “see” in your partner?

Pause … notice…

Anger? Hurt? Love? Compassion?

What stories do you tell yourself?

“He/she doesn’t care about me?” “There’s no time for us!” “We always argue!”

Pause again …

Can you catch a glimpse of what it was like before these stories came into being, what drew you together originally?

Now imagine yourself opening to the realization there is more, much more, to each other. In this, rather than seeing only the negativity and conflict, disappointments and betrayal, there is the potential for a deeply rich, truly satisfying relationship with your partner.

How my PACT* approach is different

We work directly with three important areas of knowledge embraced by a sense of curiosity for what arises in the present moment.

  1. Developmental Neuroscience: What do you know about each other’s and your own nonverbal responses? What are the underlying stories, often from childhood, that “speak” more loudly from the body than in the actual words spoken between you?

  2. Attachment Style: How might your early experiences be affecting your relationship with your partner? When distressed do you go to each other or do you retreat? Can you both operate out of mutuality and fairness or does it feel as if it is from a position of self-preservation?

  3. Arousal Regulation: Are you quick to get excited, agitated and/or stressed or do things come on more slowly? How fast do each of you go into a “survival stress response” (fight, flight, freeze) and how quickly can each of you get out of it alone and together?

* PACT is a Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy


What to expect during your session

  • Learning to notice and utilize moment by moment changes in each other’s expressions, gestures, movements, and breathing. This knowledge is crucial in changing your typical patterns of conflict, experience more rest and rejuvenation and effectively be more “in each other’s care.”

  • Interventions aimed at relieving conflict in real time, in the office, so together you each can learn to be more loving and less threatening. When we do this in “real time” experientially, these skills will then be more accessible outside of sessions.

  • Some of the questions you will be encouraged to answer include: 

What does it mean for you or your partner to truly show up?

How do you or do you not hold precious each other in your relationship?

What are the deal breakers?

What does it feel like to be part of a “couple bubble”?

Why be together?


What you gain

  • Learn to become “the expert” on each other in regards to stress, early experiences around needs, to ending threats to the safety and security of your relationship.

  • Significant decrease in frequency and intensity of reactive interactions.

  • An ability to attend to past and present hurts quickly and efficiently so they are taken off the table.

  • Solidly be each other’s pillar of support

  • Improved health and well-being

  • More play and healthy sexuality

  • Higher levels of calm, creativity and connection

  • Be a couple others love to be around




315 Canyon Avenue | Suite A | Fort Collins | Colorado | 80521 | MAP | 970.493.4093

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