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Practicing through the auspices of Grateful Heart Holistic Therapy Center, a nonprofit organization providing affordable counseling & psychotherapy services
to children, teens, adults, couples, families and groups throughout San Francisco, the East Bay and Contra Costa County.
Registered Associate Clinical Counselor #4709 Supervised by Ina Moon LMFT #37818 © 2018

COUPLES/CROSS-CULTURAL COUNSELING

Any relationship that means anything is going to have moments of misunderstanding, pain, and disagreement.  What started off as something loving and exciting can sometimes turn sour—and this is particularly true for cross-cultural couples.

Is your relationship struggling?  Have you noticed difficulties related to differences in how you were raised, or how you see the world?  Do the two of you fight and argue about expectations from your families?  Or do you feel like “the spark” has faded?

 

If you answered “yes” to any of these questions, you might be struggling with some cross-cultural stressors in your relationship – and I am here to help.

 

Do we need therapy?

 

Any relationship that means anything is going to have moments of misunderstanding, pain, and disagreement.  What started off as something loving and exciting can sometimes turn sour - and this is particularly true for cross-cultural couples.

 

There may be differences between you in terms of ethnicity, gender, age, religion – you name it.  But here’s a little secret: every couple is cross-cultural! 

 

Everyone is born to a unique family with unique differences.  Even when two people grow up in the same country, share the same ethnicity, or have the same gender, there will be differences that come with lived experience.

 

Many of those differences come with expectations around things like:

  • Gender roles – what does your gender mean in the relationship?

  • Money and finance – how should you spend and save?

  • Work and home – who should be the primary breadwinner or decision maker?

  • Intimacy – what level of physical closeness is expected?

  • … and so much more!

 

Each of these differences can cause tension in the relationship as the couple begins to make important decisions together.  Many cross-cultural couples struggle with finding common ground, and some begin to struggle. 

 

If your relationship is struggling, let me help.  I provide cross-cultural couples therapy for people from all over the San Francisco, Berkley, and Oakland region – people just like you – because I believe that every relationship deserves a second chance.  My doors are open to couples of all types – straight, LGBTQI, polyamorous, cohabitating you name it! 

 

Contact me today to learn more about my services or sign up for your first session.  To learn more about cross-cultural couples’ therapy, read on!

 

What is Cross-Cultural Couples’ Therapy?

 

You and your partner deserve a loving, lasting relationship, and cross-cultural couples’ therapy can help you get there.

 

Although cross-cultural couples’ therapy (or counseling) is much like other forms of couples’ therapy, the focus of this treatment is to focus in on bridging the gap between your unique cultural qualities. 

 

Here are some common examples of issues we might address in therapy:

  • Poor communication

  • Differences in beliefs or values

  • Religious differences

  • Affairs, cheating, and commitment issues

  • Family expectations

  • Major life decisions (e.g., having children)

  • Debt and financial stress

  • Sex and intimacy

  • Frequent arguing or fighting

 

Any and all of these issues can affect a relationship, which is why I offer therapy for couples from all over the bay area – people just like you. Contact me today to learn how, together, we can get your relationship back on track. To learn more about how therapy can help, read on!

 

How will psychotherapy help our relationship?


Every healthy relationship relies on strong communication, commitment, and trust with one another.  Cross-cultural couples’ therapy focuses on these three aspects as you begin to build a new culture, together.

 

Cross-cultural differences can create tension, much like two ends of a ribbon:

 

 

When couples lack proper communication skills, nothing seems to work quite right.  Therapists are able to act as an outside observer for your communication style to provide insight and help disrupt unhelpful patterns.

 

Similarly, one or both partners may have difficulties with commitment—moving forward with major life decisions - marriage, moving in together, having children, etc.  This can create feelings of instability and anxiety in the relationship, which is also why therapy is so useful for couples.  Cross-cultural couples’ therapy provides a space for the two of you to have difficult conversations, build understanding of your unique culture, and empathize with one another. 

 

Finally, when the relationship experiences a loss of trust, such as infidelity, gossiping, or lying, the safety in the relationship quickly disappears.  Couples therapy can help the two of you work through those sorts of challenging and painful experiences - and yes, your relationship can get better.  We work hard as a team to rebuild trust in your relationship as we meet together in the safety of the therapy room.

 

Over time, we work together to get your relationship ribbon into something more uniform, shared, and new.  As you learn to appreciate your diversity and build the relationship, the two of you get to begin your own unique relational culture.

 

Our culture

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you and your partner have difficulties with communication, commitment, or trust, let me help.  I provide cross-cultural couples counseling for partners from all over the bay area, and I would love to work with you! 

 

What does couples counseling look like with Kristina Nakamura?

 

Together, we can get your relationship back on track.

 

Each session is completely confidential and specifically designed to meet your goals as a couple.  During the first meeting I will ask you and your partner questions about your relational story to get a sense of what might be contributing to the problem.  This also gives us a chance to get to know each other a bit better and answer any questions you might have before moving forward with therapy. 

 

In that very first session, I provide helpful insights and initial recommendations as we put together an effective strategy for enhancing your relationship.  I integrate techniques from Emotion Focused Therapy, the Gottman Method, and Psychodynamic into my treatment.  We will meet on a regular basis for couples’ therapy, which is where the real action happens. 

 

As you and your partner engage in couples counseling, you will:

Gain a new appreciation for your cultural differenceLearn how to build trust and empathy with one anotherDiscover new and more effective ways of communicating as a coupleBreak old habits and learn to work better togetherDeepen feelings of intimacy and connection

 

My ultimate goal is to build your ability to work well together, bond, and rediscover your relationship.

 

You and your partner deserve a happy, healthy relationship. 

 

Together, we can make that happen.

 

 

Interested in hearing more about my practice?  In addition to couples counseling and therapy for relational issues, I also provide help with other difficulties, such as depression, trauma, anxiety, and more!

 

Want to learn more about how I can help?  I would love to hear from you. 

 

Phone Number: 628-333-9775

 

San Francisco Office: 582 Market Street Suite 1108 | San Francisco | CA | 94104

 

Oakland Office: 2940 Summit St. | Oakland | CA | 94609

 

Berkeley Office: 1918 Bonita Ave | Berkeley | CA | 94704