Annie Schwain, MA, LADC, LAMFT      Let's Connect      612.325.2919    

Annie Schwain, MA, LADC, LAMFT

Let's Connect



Feeling disconnected from your partner... Like you don't talk anymore? 

Wondering if couples therapy works?

All relationships take work. Lots of it. You might be feeling like you've drifted apart, or that you just "fell out of love". You might still be reeling from the discovery of an affair or betrayal. You may find yourself in the midst of life changes that seem to have overwhelmed you and your partner. Whatever the reason that you're struggling, there is hope to move past these challenges and to feel more connected to your partner.

Not all couples counseling is the same.

Many therapists say that they work with couples - this does not mean that they are skilled at it. I view your relationship as my client, not you or your partner. To be successful in counseling, both you and your partner need to agree on a goal to work on - be it strengthening your relationship or learning how to fight fair. Both need to be willing to honestly look at your relationship, what's working and what needs help, rather than pointing fingers and trying to figure out who is to blame. I believe that the hurt that we experience in our relationships is from feeling disconnected and unsupported when we need it. Do you turn to your partner when  you are afraid, stressed, or hurt? Or does the anger, resentment, and contempt bubble over?  

My approach to couples counseling

I have experience working with couples of all types, partnered or married, gay or straight,  I particularly enjoy supporting couples whose lives have been impacted by alcohol or drug use and who are trying to rebuild their lives in recovery. While there is often mistrust, hurt, and fear amongst partners when someone has been using alcohol or drugs, there is also great hope and potential to build a stronger and more intimate relationship. I focus not just on solving problems, but on fostering a sense of emotional connection and intimacy with one another. I also enjoy working with couples in the process of transitioning into a family, who are learning to navigate the waters of being parents and partners simultaneously.

Do I matter to you? Will you be there when I need you?

I believe that we need each other, for support, guidance, understanding, and comfort. Our attachment style, learned in childhood, shaped in adolescence, and refined as an adult, influences how we connect, or struggle to connect with others. We all want to have a loving, secure, and emotionally close bond with the important people in our lives. When we know that we can count on others, especially our partner, to be there for us, we have greater courage, strength, and energy to be our greatest selves as individuals. Emotionally Focused Therapy  (EFT) is based on this belief that we need secure relationships with others and to know that we can count on our partner to be there for us.

EFT is regarded as one of the most effective approaches to relationship counseling, with results that last beyond the therapist's office. It focuses on what makes relationships distressed and what can most effectively heal and strengthen them. A highly researched and well-tested approach based on attachment theory, and effective in reducing couples distress in 70-75% of cases. EFT can help you go from “I’m not sure I can count on you” to “Yes, I know you are there for me. I know I matter to you. I know you will be there when I call.”

My work with couples gives them the opportunity to identify the negative dance they are caught in so that they can choose to take a step in a new direction, changing the dance into a playful, positive, and intimate one. The goal is to help you go from angry, withdrawn, hostile and guarded in your relationship, to feeling safer, warmer and more bonded. Most of all, the love, trust and connection that you once had with your partner can be rekindled and grow to a deeper level than ever before.

Check out our packages to explore your options for getting the support and guidance you want.

What's On My Bookshelf: