Discover How To Transform Your Relationship With More Confidence and Less Effort!

Couples Therapy in Tustin, CA

Let Steve Cuffari, MFT of Tustin, CA be your guide.

We all know that relationships and marriage are not easy.

Like most couples, you want to enjoy the comforts and security of a loving relationship, yet simple conversations can turn into heated arguments because you don’t see eye-to-eye.

a couple arguing on the sofa. a therapy in Tustin, CA can help them
an old couple had a fight and they are not speaking to each other. Both are at the end of the sofa. A therapy in Tustin CA can help them

Did you ever think your relationship would be like this?

No one told you that you would be stuck thinking, “communication shouldn’t be this hard!”  No one mentioned that your best communication efforts would leave you feeling angry, hurt, or alone.

You’ve tried everything to fix your relationship:

Reading books, date night, grand romantic gestures, but nothing works! Everything feels like a battle. Discussing topics like money, sex, parenting, leisure time, in-laws, spirituality, or the holidays leaves you feeling stuck and isolated!

A concerned couple sits in couples therapy in Tustin, CA.
a photo of a heart representing couples therapy in Tustin

Something must change because…

Deep down, you know that you need to improve your communication. Otherwise, divorce or a lifetime of heartbreak, pain, and loneliness will consume you!

You are not alone.

I’m here to help.  And it’s easier—and less stressful—than you think.  For the past 22 years I’ve helped loving Tustin, CA couples reclaim their family harmony through couples therapy.

a photo of a happy couple after a couples therapy in Tustin CA
a photo of a very happy couple after a session of couples therapy in tustin

Tustin, CA Couples Therapy Can Teach You A Better Way.

Regardless of the challenges in your relationship, I want you to feel empowered with the tools and skills you need to free yourself from those old destructive conversations and enjoy a more secure and lasting bond for life! Therapy for couples and marriage can help.

If you want a clear path to deeper intimacy, I would love to be your guide. Contact me today to learn how couples therapy can help.

Frequently Asked Questions About Couples Therapy in Tustin, CA

Anyone in our modern world will confirm that intimate relationships aren’t easy! Discussing topics like money, sex, parenting, leisure time, in-laws, spirituality, or the holidays can leave you feeling isolated and overwhelmed! Some of these emotional snarls are normal and healthy for growing as a couple. But for many, the pressures linked with these conversations have reached a boiling point where the relationship will most likely end if they don’t seek treatment.  And, if they stay, a lifetime of heartbreak, pain, and loneliness will become the norm in that relationship!

With couples counseling, my goal is to provide a safe, warm, judgment-free zone so you can enjoy the comforts and security of a loving relationship. In short, couples counseling is where you can learn to:

  • Promote your wishes, wants, and desires to be a better version of yourself.
  • Consider your partner’s views—without pressure to agree. 
  • Develop greater awareness, increased sensitivity, and more self-confidence to become a more reliable partner in any situation.


All things considered, some benefits of couples therapy may include: 

  • Restore trust.
  • Improve communication.
  • Develop a deeper understanding of your relationship patterns.
  • Get an impartial and neutral sounding board.
  • Get and create a safe space to nurture a deeper bond.
  • Manage your differences with more confidence and less effort.
  • Begin to see each other’s perspective or viewpoint.
  • Repair relational roadblocks.
  • Learn new coping skills.
  • Clarify your feeling about each other.
  • Increase self-awareness and personal growth.
  • Boost your mental health.

Although I’ve been seeing clients for more than 22 years, my experience has taught me the importance of starting fresh with each couple. I like to keep my couples therapy simple, effective and well thought out. First, I help you identify measurable and observable goals. It gives me a better sense of your relationship’s unique values and qualities. For example, “We want to increase the comforts and security of our loving relationship for life.”  “By the end of therapy, we want to know if we are compatible together.”  “We want to become more united in our parenting and develop a more amicable separation agreement.”  Identifying and understanding those objectives helps me develop a treatment plan so together, we can help you accomplish those goals as fast as possible. 

Next, I invite each partner to share their concerns. For example, “We don’t communicate well. Instead, we get into heated arguments that make things worse.”  Next, I help you develop mutually agreeable solutions that address BOTH concerns interfering with those goals.  In the end, you get what you came for—a reduction in conflict as well as an increased sense of empathy, acceptance, and understanding in your relationship. 

Most couples start searching for “couples therapy near me” to get help during a challenging period in the relationship—like the birth of a child, a job change, or after moving in together. Rocky moments and rough patches in relationships are normal.  However, it’s no secret that persistent relationship distress harms each romantic partner’s mental and physical wellbeing. For example, when simple conversations turn into heated arguments, you can feel angry, hurt, alone, or desperate for connection, safety, and security.  Even more, relationship distress can have a profound impact on child development.  In trying moments like these, it’s crucial to take that first step and search for “couples counseling near me” so you can start to turn things around in your relationship. 

Listen to the experts

Accordingly, John Gottman—world-renowned for his work on marital stability and divorce prediction—the average couple waits six years before seeking professional help for relationship problems. (Yes… you read correctly… 6 years)

You may be asking yourself, “Why wait so long?” Gottman suggests that it may be due to some of the social stigmas associated with couples therapy:

  • We, as a couple, are weak. We don’t have what it takes to do it alone, and going to therapy is embarrassing.
  • Pretending or denial:  We don’t have nasty fights or emotional disconnection.
  • Convincing ourselves that the real problem is MY PARTNER. Ironically, it always “takes two to tango.”  This cultural idiom emphasizes that both people must accept responsibility for any unfolding drama.
  • Going to therapy will make things worse, not better. Yes, bringing up difficult issues in couples therapy will be challenging, but avoiding them is what makes things worse, not better.


So, how do you know when it’s time to go to couples counseling?  

Research suggests that with proper guidance and the willingness of both partners, marriages that might end in divorce can become healthy, vibrant, and supportive again.

That said, my 22 years of experience have helped me identify predictable and noteworthy signs demonstrating that you and your romantic partner may benefit from couples counseling. These signs can include any of the following. 

  • Trust and commitment issues
  • A lack of feeling empathy, understanding, and acceptance in the relationship. 
  • Escalating conflict and nasty communication habits.
  • Differences in parenting styles lead to conflict. (we are not a united front) 
  • Things feel unfair in the division of household chores.
  • Emotional distance and loneliness.
  • Mismanagement and/or disagreement on finances.
  • Falling out of love, i.e. “I love you, but I’m not in love with you.”
  • Secrets and not revealing private matters that impact relationships. 
  • Difficulty relying on a partner or not prioritizing each other’s wellbeing.
  • Fears of abandonment. 
  • Extreme dependence can make romantic partners feel smothered. 
  • Extreme independence can make a partner feel like they’re not a priority. 
  • Low or no sexual desire
  • Sexual intimacy is rarely discussed.
  • Difficulties with in-laws, friendships, work, or life stressors like health issues. 
  • Abuse, affairs, and addictions (alcohol, drugs, porn, etc.)
  • Untreated anxiety and depression issues complicate the relationship.
  • Unequal decision-making, or a lack of collaboration.
  • Difficult childhood upbringings make it difficult to stay engaged during the conflict.

Lastly, if you can relate to any of the relational signs or signals listed above, let’s meet.  I want you to feel empowered with the tools and skills you need to free yourself from those old patterns and enjoy a more secure and lasting bond in your relationship! I would love to be your guide.  Contact me today to learn how couples counseling can help.

Therapy can make a big difference in your life. The healing that you experience and the changes you can make will impact not only you, but your family and future generations as well. Although therapy can seem expensive, when it is understood as an investment, it is truly an investment in you, the health of your relationship, and your future of those you call important!

Feel free to check out my fee structure.

The short answer? I take pride in doing good therapy. I like to work myself out of a job. The long answer? Every person’s circumstances are unique to them. The length of time it takes to achieve your goals depends on your desire for personal development, your commitment to therapy, and the social factors that can interfere with therapy—things like work, parenting, and life.  Put another way, it depends on your needs and varies a lot from one couple to another. Some couples feel they get most of the value after just a few weeks, while others prefer to stick to the program for an extended period of time. The duration of time for couples therapy is completely up to you.

For many romantic partners, couples counseling signals their alarm.  In response, you might feel frustrated or confused when your partner doesn’t want to go to couples therapy. Rest assured that there are several options you can take: reading a self-help book together or alone, attending a couples workshop, going to counseling alone, or attending couples counseling online, or in person.

Of course, you desire is for couples counseling.  For starters, let’s try collaboration because it’s important to understand what’s interfering with your partner’s desire to attend couples counseling. 

In this article, I outline 3 steps to follow when your partner resists going to couples counseling.  

Virtually, each week I receive emails or voicemails from unhappy couples who have attended upwards of a year in counseling. So I ask…

  • To what degree has your relationship improved?
  • Have the skills you learned empowered you to build a stronger friendship or communicate better?
  • To what degree have you addressed the root problem that interferes with connection? 

The response?  “Well… there was a lot of venting…but things haven’t really changed.  I’m not sure if our therapist was a good fit for us.”  

So, how do I know if couples therapy is right for me?

My experience over the years has taught me that the most critical question you want to answer in couples therapy is why do I want to go, and what do I want from therapy. Your answer may be as simple as, “I want to feel better, or relate better” but being able to share that with your therapist will help both of you determine if it’s a good fit.  As a result, your next step is to take some time to…

Iidentify your goal(s) for couples therapy

Think about it… do you want to:

  • Improve communication?
  • Decide whether you should separate?
  • Resolve conflicts and disagreements?
  • Overcome adultery?
  • Restore trust?
  • Understand myself better?
  • Understand my partner better?
  • Get to a more fair distribution of household chores?
  • Reduce relational tension?
  • Prevent separation or divorce?
  • Learn how to fight fair?
  • Stop hurting each other?
  • Win back my partners love?
  • Love my partner again?
  • Discuss parenting issues?
  • Improve our sex life and emotional intimacy?
  • Divorce and separation mediation?
Reflect on your expectations 

For example, do want someone who:

  • Listens?
  • Gives advice?
  • Explores your past?
  • Teaches new skills?
  • Challenges your beliefs?
  • Confronts any bad habits?
  • Assigns homework?
  • Guides us to our goals?
  • Fosters the creation of a secure and lasting bond?


Lastly, it’s time to schedule a phone consultation with a couples therapist. This call will help you investigate things like your therapist’s voicemail response time, availability, cost, and how many therapy sessions to expect. Most importantly, the call should help you determine the degree to which you feel comfortable.  This call is like trying out a new shoe before you buy it.  While you’re on the call, ask yourself: 

  • Did they respond to my voice message in a timely manner?
  • Do I feel like I can talk to this person?
  • Do I feel like I can be honest?
  • Does it feel like this person accepts me, my culture, and my worldview?
  • Do they demonstrate reflective listening skills?  
  • Are they flexible?  Will they customize their approach to fit my needs?


During that call, your couple’s counselor should be an open line of communication. In your first session, you’ll be laying the groundwork for what you want to work on. Don’t be afraid to push back if something doesn’t feel right to you.  Even more, if something doesn’t feel right, you’re under no obligation to continue seeing that person.  Rest assured, therapy won’t always feel amazing, but you should always feel emotionally safe, understood, and accepted as a couple.


My office is conveniently located in Tustin, CA

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