Anya Kirshbaum, MA, LMHC
Psychotherapy & Counseling



“For one human being to love another, that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation”


-Rainer Maria Rilke

Two people in a relationship create a new world together.  This third space— the space of the relationship can be a source of refuge, love, strength, affection and security.  It can also be a source of great pain, struggle and conflict.  Relationships bring hidden parts of us to the surface— the best and the worst of us.  Because of this, relationships offer tremendous opportunity for mutual growth and healing.  Making a good relationship takes strength, bravery, faith, humor, compassion for ourselves and our partners, and a healthy dose of foolishness. 


The initial stage of a relationship can be luminous, expansive, alive with promise.  This is real, but it is a beginning.  And often what happens next is that the inevitable defense structures will surface— these habitual patterns of relating that most likely stem from unfinished business of the past.  These may seem threatening and often couples will part around this period.  But if worked through, this time of struggle can lead to a more satisfying, loving and authentic connection.  


I offer counseling for same-sex and heterosexual couples that is both practical and depth oriented.  Couples benefit from learning better relationship skills, becoming better listeners, kinder, less reactive, better at resolving and dealing with conflicts, and more able to tolerate emotion in themselves and their partners. 


In couples work, as with individual work, one of the tasks is to build awareness about our deeper layers of experience.  As we learn to understand and connect with the deepest parts of ourselves, we become more present for our partners, less encumbered by the past and more capable of creating the intimacy we so long for. Couples therapy provides a space to do this, to unravel, clarify, and explore the forces that support and hinder your relationship.  


Common reasons to seek couples therapy:


  • Improve communication
  • Increase or improve intimacy (sexual, emotional)
  • Create a more authentic and meaningful connection
  • Learn to resolve conflict healthfully
  • Learn to have more fun together
  • Working through infidelity or other trust issues
  • Premarital counseling
  • Relationship as a path to mutual healing and growth


Counseling is a courageous and loving choice to make at any stage of your relationship.  Not every couple who seeks therapy is in distress.  Many of the happiest and most successful couples seek counseling as a way to enhance their connection to one another.


For more information about my Seattle counseling services, please visit the Approach section.

Anya Kirshbaum, MA, LMHC
3417 Evanston Ave N, Suite 426, Seattle, WA 98103