2220 Mountain Blvd. | Suite 240 | Oakland, CA | 94611
  • 510.701.0846
November 16,2021

Do You Have a Conscious Relationship? Here Are the Signs

You and your partner have gone to therapy. You’ve attended workshops. You make an effort to practice Imago dialogue. You’ve read about having a “conscious relationship” in Getting the Love You Want. (more…)

October 13,2021

The Importance of Taking Turns in Conversation

Imago therapy offers many effective tools to improve your relationship, whether married, long-term, or just starting to get serious (before then, you’ll want to focus on building trust!). (more…)

September 14,2021

Meeting Your Partner’s Needs Fills in Your Missing Puzzle Pieces

In the heat of marriage conflict, you may find it difficult to imagine that energy leading anywhere constructive. (more…)

August 16,2021

Growing into Your Relationship Means Learning How to Stretch

In our last post, we talked about how most couples experience incompatibility eventually. We also detailed the universal emergence of the Power Struggle, plus its foundation:  “Why can’t you be more like me?” (more…)

July 19,2021

Yes, You Really Are Incompatible — and That’s a Good Thing!

Relationship incompatibility seems like a bad thing, right? After all, we’re flooded with ways to discern compatibility from the get-go: magazine quizzes, personality types, zodiac signs... The message from everywhere seems to be: you want to be compatible. Yet conflicts arise in even the most simpatico marriages. Especially in peaceful partnerships, an argument can feel alarming as an earthquake.  Fear not! Far from relationship incompatibility being a deal-breaker, you can actually use incompatibilities to build a stronger relationship in the long run. (more…)

June 9,2021

Romantic Love May Be the Best Kind of Bait-and-Switch

You’ve likely heard of the “honeymoon” or “infatuation” stage of romantic love -- and you’ve almost definitely experienced it. This is the time when you feel like your partner is amazing and perfect and can do no wrong. When you want to be around them all the time and may even feel physical discomfort when you are apart. When you hunger for them. There is no denying that this is an amazing time and an incredible feeling. But it’s important to realize that it’s not really your partner who is creating those feelings. Not exactly. What is? (more…)

May 14,2021

What Does It Take to Create an Emotional Safety Zone for You and Your Partner?

Where are the “emotional safety zones” in your life?  These are relationships where you can express difficult emotions without fear of rejection. You may have experienced this with close family members, tight-knit friends, or even communities like a church, sangha, or group therapy. But perhaps the most important person you can share a safety zone with is your spouse or romantic partner. After all, they are who most of us are coming home to at the end of the day -- both physically and emotionally.  Unfortunately, it is all too easy to interact in ways that make you and your partner feel anything but safe with each other. (more…)

April 14,2021

How to Make a Plan to Be Surprising and Fun

Why should you make a plan to be surprising and fun with your partner? “Relationship” with a capital R can feel like a heavy obligation supported by serious conversations and continual compromise. Sometimes that’s true. At pivotal moments, we must work to maintain a healthy, committed relationship.  But there’s an often overlooked backbone that helps couples last. What is the glue that holds us together through thick and thin? The answer is simple: have fun and surprise each other! Of course, sometimes that's a lot easier said than done. "Be surprising and fun" can be a lot of pressure. What if you don't have any ideas? What if you're just not spontaneous? (more…)

March 17,2021

Stop Having Frustrations — Start Having Requests

Remember the last time a conversation reached an impasse in your relationship? Instead of seeing your partner as a teammate, you suddenly saw them as an obstacle to your happiness. It’s an unpleasant but universal occurrence as we grow closer in romantic relationships. When we first start dating, we are hyper-focused on our partner. This can give the impression of almost having ESP at first. But eventually this fades. As we grow more comfortable with each other, we actually become more neglectful of each other’s needs -- unintentionally, of course. This can lead to feeling frustrated. Because your needs aren’t being met. If you want to change this, you have to learn how to turn frustrations into requests. (more…)

February 22,2021

Why You Need to Close the Exits in Your Marriage

“Close the exits.” When you hear that phrase in reference to your marriage, what does it make you think about? Do you imagine someone getting a divorce? Having an affair? While those are certainly good examples of ways that people can “exit” a relationship, they’re just scratching the surface. Essentially, a marriage “exit” is anything that allows you to back away from dealing with an issue in your relationship. (more…)

Are you tired of fighting? Feeling helpless and hopeless?

It really can be easier. You can understand and apply what it takes to be connected again -- or for the first time. CONTACT DANA

My first experience with Dana many years ago was so positive that I returned for more help this past year. I knew that she would be able to get to the heart of the problem quickly and to help me get on track toward a resolution.

Gloria P.

Before you give up on your relationship, let her try to help!


We are now able to communicate...in a constructive and loving way...

Shirley S.

Her explanation and application of the Imago technique was very practical and easy to grasp. She helped us immensely with some relationship issues that were quite deeply entrenched and painful.

Meg R.

Over the years I have come to find out parts of myself I didn't even know existed. The best thing I could say about Dana is I felt safe and compelled to open up more than I ever have before. And in doing so, I have started to love and accept myself just the way I am

Louella J.
Copyright @2020 Dana Cole, LMFT