Laurie McNeil, LCSW-C

Rediscover Love: Couple Therapy
With A Proven Success Rate

“We know that love makes us vulnerable, but also that we are never as safe and as strong as when we are sure we are loved.” – Sue Johnson

If you are like most people, your intimate relationship is complex. Even resilient partnerships require some effort to reconcile the ups with the downs. Sometimes relationships fall out of balance, and what used to be your safe haven may feel more like a battlefield. From heated screaming matches and blame games—to icy silence and emotional withdrawal—the pain of a relationship in distress causes so much suffering we can begin to feel hopeless and stuck.

Of course some amount of stress in a relationship is normal. However, when relationship stress becomes destructive, the support of a trained therapist can help you get un-stuck and even uncover the hidden strengths of your relationship.

If conflict, hostility, and turmoil have replaced the safety, security, and connection that you and your partner once felt, it is time to seek compassionate, professional support. No matter how bad your situation may seem, couple therapy can help you and your partner navigate your way back to each other’s loving embrace.

More Than Hope: Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples Delivers Results

Choosing the right therapist and couple therapy approach can make your relationship even more satisfying – and more joyful – than it was before the conflict began. Emotionally Focused Therapy is a scientifically proven couple therapy technique with a 75% success rate for intimate couples. 90% of participants report more satisfaction with their relationship than before they participated in Emotionally Focused Therapy.

With the help of a therapist trained in Emotionally Focused Therapy, you and your partner will be empowered to identify when you engage in destructive patterns, learn to step out of the downward spiral, and meet each other with emotional tenderness and respect. No matter how shattered your relationship may feel, or the content of your disagreements, Emotionally Focused Therapy can help you reestablish emotional safety and secure bonds while reconnecting with the person with whom you fell in love.

The desire for a safe emotional tie with our partner is as natural as a child’s need to bond with his or her mother. Research on attachment theory, conducted by John Bowlby in the 1950s – and still relevant today – illustrates that this innate need for connection begins when we are infants and continues throughout our lifespan. When our emotional bond with our partner is secure we feel safe, comfortable, and even more autonomous. On the other hand, if the bond with our partner feels threatened in some way, we become distressed, and may lash out in anger and blame or withdraw in protest. Emotionally Focused Therapy can help you and your partner turn future conflicts into opportunities to strengthen your bond. Together, you and your partner will learn how to recognize and interrupt the cycle of hostility and blame, and learn how to foster a deeper emotional connection. “Key moments of change” in Emotionally Focused Therapy create moments of secure bonding, where you and your partner will learn to treat each other’s distress signals with care and love rather than hostility. This shift from reacting to responding can help you and your partner to learn how to reach for each other again.

“Today, we have a revolutionary new perspective on romantic love, one that is optimistic and practical. Grounded in science, it reveals that love is vital to our existence. And far from being unfathomable, love is exquisitely logical and understandable. What’s more, it is adaptive and functional. Even better, it is malleable, repairable, and durable. In short, we now comprehend, finally and irrefutably, that love makes ‘sense.’ The word derives from the Latin sentire, meaning ‘to perceive, feel, or know,’ and also ‘to find one’s way.’ And that is why I have called this book Love Sense. I intend for it to help you find your way to more fulfilling and lasting love.”― Sue Johnson, Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships

The subject of Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples is addressed in two books by Dr. Johnson, Love Sense (2013) and Hold Me Tight (2008), which are supportive guidebooks that may provide additional support to couples engaged in Emotionally Focused Therapy couples counseling.

Is Emotionally Focused Therapy for You?

No matter how strained your relationship, there is love beneath the rubble waiting to be salvaged. This type of couple therapy works for people in all stages of the relationship cycle. * Whether you are dating, living as a couple, engaged, married, gay or straight, Laurie McNeil and Emotionally Focused Therapy can help.

*This type of therapy is not appropriate for people with untreated addictions, untreated mental illness, couples who are actively violent (including verbal and/or physical abuse), or those who are currently engaged in long-term extramarital affairs.

Reconnect With Your Partner

It is possible to have a happy, healthy, and emotionally secure relationship with the person you love. Although reconnecting with your partner may be hard to imagine right now, it is possible with Emotionally Focused Therapy.

Appointment Information

301-788-1612
laurie@cmbt.net

Messages and emails are checked throughout the day and every attempt will be made to contact you within 24 hours.

Laurie McNeil - Couples Therapy

Appointment Information

301-788-1612
laurie@cmbt.net

Messages and emails are checked throughout the day and every attempt will be made to contact you within 24 hours.

About Laurie McNeil

Laurie McNeil became a Licensed Certified Social Worker-Clinical in 1991, originally focusing her therapy on individuals. Her interest in working with couples developed as more and more clients cited relationship stress as their primary concern. Her emphasis on helping couples to have healthy, loving relationships is also inspired by 14 years’ experience working with individuals who were dealing with the trauma and impact of domestic violence in their primary relationship.* Laurie uses an emotionally focused approach in her work with individuals and couples.

*Couple work is not appropriate for relationships involving domestic violence.

My Areas of Experience

  • Relationship issues
  • Life transitions, including mid-life changes, separation and divorce, workplace / career issues
  • Trauma, shame, anxiety, depression, grief — Trauma specific to sexual assault and/or domestic abuse
  • Personal growth and life stressors

My approach with individuals in therapy

Anchored in a humanistic approach that places an emphasis on personal growth, my focus in my work with you is to help facilitate your unique process of personal growth through increased self-awareness and self-knowledge. I will hold a safe space for you to address the pain that brought you to therapy by meeting you where you are with empathy and understanding. You can begin to uncover the underlying causes of painful feelings by tuning into your deeper emotions. By becoming mindful of your inner world, you begin to shift from reactionary patterns of behavior to a more productive practice of self-awareness and thoughtful action. This new perspective can lead to greater fulfillment in all areas of life.

My approach with couples in therapy

“A relationship in crisis can make you feel like your whole world is on hold.”

“Our primary relationship is so important to the quality of our whole life. Conflict with our partner can keep us up at night and make it hard to focus during the day. We long to reconnect and resolve the differences that feel like they’re tearing us apart. When you face troubling times as a couple, it can be difficult to maintain the emotional closeness that you desire, especially when you feel more and more disconnected.

“You may find yourself wondering how you got to this place with each other. Despite surface appearances, there is often still a lot of love that has just been buried under all the stress, tension, misunderstandings, and slights that happen in intimate relationships.

“My passion is to help couples look beneath the rubble and rediscover the safe, emotional bond of love. You may be surprised by the deeper feelings that are buried under frustration and anger, and even relieved to discover that with the right tools, you can step out of the cycle of destruction and back into the loving arms of your partner.”

My Training

  • Emotionally Focused Therapy — intensive training in this evidenced based therapy approach with couples
  • Eye Movement Desensitization & Reprocessing (EMDR) trained
  • EMDR International Association (EMDRIA) member
  • The Work of Byron Katie — extensive training in this process of self-inquiry
  • Salisbury State University Trauma Treatment Certificate — certificate program in traumatic stress studies, Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute
  • Family Therapy Practice Institute of Washington DC. — certificate program in family, couple and individual therapy using a systems theoretical perspective
  • Licensed Certified Social Worker-Clinical 1991