Expert Couples Therapy & Counseling in West Hollywood - Improve Your Relationship Today

Closer Connections for Couples and Families.

We are a dedicated team of marriage and family therapists based in West Hollywood, committed to providing outstanding family and couples counseling. With a deep passion for our work, we strive to provide a safe and supportive environment for couples and families to explore and enhance their emotional connections. We provide therapy services in-person in West Hollywood and online to California residents. 

Our Approach


Communication skills are essential in building and maintaining strong relationships. When partners are able to express their thoughts, feelings, and needs openly and honestly, they create a foundation of trust & understanding.


Therapy can lead to a greater level of self-awareness and insight into one's own patterns and behaviors, as well as a better understanding of their partner's perspective. Understanding is the first step towards change


Therapy can be instrumental in deepening connections within relationships. By providing a safe and non-judgmental space, therapy allows individuals to express their thoughts, emotions, and vulnerabilities openly.


We help couples change aspects of their relationship that they identify as being problematic or difficult. We will work with you to identify those problem areas in a collaborative way.

West Hollywood Family & Couples Therapy provides specialized counseling services for couples and families in West Hollywood who are dealing with persistent or intense disagreements, dissatisfaction in dating, marriage, or parenting, daily life stressors, and sexual concerns.

There are times when an individual in a relationship wishes to communicate something significant but is uncertain about how to proceed or fears their partner's response. If this resonates with you, couples therapy at West Hollywood Family & Couples Therapy could be the key to breaking free from these challenges and fostering a stronger, healthier relationship.

Our dedicated team of couples therapists in West Hollywood is committed to helping you navigate these complexities, providing you with the tools and strategies to enhance your relationship and improve your overall quality of life


What are the next steps?



Couples Therapy, Marriage Counseling & Psychotherapy in West Hollywood and Online across California

As experienced couples therapists in West Hollywood, we specialize in relationships, marriages, premarital, and family therapy.

Relationships are not just our profession; they are our passion.

Our team engages in ongoing couples therapy training and research to devise the most effective solutions to the challenges couples encounter. Influenced heavily by family systems theory, we believe that a couple's difficulties as a problem exist“between people” rather than as “within people”. As therapists who work from a systemic approach, we seek to help the entire relationship as a way of addressing the issues and problems that couples might be experiencing.


LGBTQ+ Couples Therapy

We frequently work with LGBTQ+ Couples, families and households with same-sex parents. LGBTQ families and couples may benefit from working with a couples therapist who is trained in affirmative therapy and understands the unique aspects of being in a relationship as a member of the LGBTQ+ community in Los Angeles or California.

All members of our team are LGBTQ+ Affirming.


Couples Conflict Resolution & Conflict Transformation

Couples therapy provides a structured and supportive environment for partners facing conflict to openly discuss and work through their issues with the guidance of a trained therapist. It helps in identifying communication breakdowns, unmet expectations, and other root causes of conflict, facilitating a deeper understanding between partners. Through various therapeutic techniques, couples can learn better communication strategies, gain insight into their relationship dynamics, and develop healthier ways to interact and resolve disputes.

Furthermore, couples therapy offers a neutral space for each individual to express their feelings and concerns, which may otherwise be difficult to articulate in a heated, home setting. The therapist can help in mediating discussions, promoting a calm and productive dialogue. Over time, couples can learn to break negative patterns of interaction, rebuild trust, and improve their emotional connection, thereby fostering a more satisfying and harmonious relationship.

Our family systems approach to conflict is rather unique, and you can learn more about "why do couples fight" here.

If you're struggling with conflict, make an appointment or if you're not ready, learn more about your conflict style by taking the Conflict Style Quiz here.

Couples Therapy- West Hollywood Office

Our office is conveniently located in the heart of West Hollywood, near La Cienega and Santa Monica Blvd. There is ample metered parking in the area, as well as parking in local lots. Side streets on the north side of Santa Monica have two-hour free parking, but please look at parking signs carefully.


STEP ONE: Identifying the Issue

The initial phase of couples therapy involves scrutinizing the relationship to pinpoint the roots of discord and conflict. This stage can often be the "most awkward" part of couples therapy, as it necessitates partners to express feelings and observations that may have been suppressed.

STEP THREE: Implementation

After you identify the problems in your relationship and fostering a sense of empathy between you and your partner, your relationship will be prepared to implement custom solutions. These solutions may encompass various aspects of the relationship, and are tailored to your specific needs.

What To Expect....


Couples therapy at West Hollywood Family & Couples Therapy commences with an initial set of questions to gain insight into the dynamics of your relationship. We strive to understand you and your partner as individuals and as a couple to comprehend what led you to therapy and what you aspire to achieve from it.

STEP TWO: Fostering A Relationship

Your West Hollywood Couples therapist will provide you with specific, actionable advice on enhancing your relationships. Consequently, the second stage of your couples therapy session will focus on reestablishing the connection that once characterized your relationship.

STEP FOUR: Maintain.

Once the relationship is back on track, couples are often ready to conclude sessions and apply the skills they learned on a continual basis. Your therapist will collaborate with you to establish new skills and tools designed to keep you and your partner healthy and satisfied in the relationship.

What Types Of Relationships?

Our team of couples therapists, in Los Angeles and West Hollywood, as well as remotely via phone and video conferencing across all of California, hail from diverse backgrounds, and we understand that our clients do too. What's crucial is having a couples therapist who will invest the time to truly understand your relationship without needing a glossary to comprehend the fundamentals of:

  • Second marriages

  • Same-sex relationships

  • Long-term partnerships not defined by marriage

  • Blended families

  • Adoption

  • Mixed-race marriages and relationships

  • Open relationships

  • Consensually non monogamous (CNM) and polyamorous relationships

  • Relationships with a significant age differences

  • Transgender or gender-nonconforming members of a relationship

We believe in the power of understanding and empathizing with the unique dynamics of every relationship. As the leading couples therapists in Los Angeles and West Hollywood, we are committed to helping you navigate your relationship journey with confidence and clarity.


Our Team


Oliver Drakeford, LMFT, CGP

Oliver is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and the Clinical Director of The West Hollywood Relationship Institute. He trains in Modern Group Psychoanalysis, Family Systems and enjoys working with couples and families.

Carrie Rutman, AMFT,

Carrie helps couples in and outside of the LGBTQ+community with a range of needs, including communication dynamics, sex and intimacy, sexuality, boundary management, conflict, life transitions, financial hardship.

Keaton Flicker, AMFT, CN

Keaton is passionate about helping new and long term partners deepen intimacy, release toxic patterns and develop practical strategies for handling conflict. Keaton is LGBTQ+ and poly affirming

Philip Lewis, AMFT

Phil helps couples discover better ways to break through communication gridlock, repair relationship ruptures, and develop a deeper connection so they can get back to the fulfilling and successful lives they deserve.

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist #104987

Associate Marriage & Family Therapist #125151

Associate Marriage & Family Therapist #127194

Associate Marriage & Family Therapist #135110

I Think I Need Relationship Counseling In Los Angeles!

Great! We are here to help. Let me toll you more about the world of modern couples therapy and relationship counseling. In Los Angeles (West Hollywood) and across the US you'll find that today's couples therapists aren't just there for married couples. In fact, they cater to all adult relationships. Their goal is not about molding one partner to fit a certain mold or convincing someone they're in the wrong. Instead, it's about nurturing both the relationship and each individual within. A holistic approach to relationship health involves two healthy adults each of whom need to be responsible for themselves as well as the relationship.

There's a common misconception that many believe, that is marriage counseling is the final attempt to salvage a relationship on the brink of collapse. But that's not the full picture. Many content and thriving couples regularly attend therapy sessions. It's a proactive approach, helping them navigate disagreements, enhance their intimacy, and deepen their understanding of one another.

If you're contemplating couples therapy or relationship counseling, that's a commendable first step. However, it's not uncommon for one partner to be a tad more hesitant about the idea. If you find yourself in this scenario, perhaps sharing some insights about the benefits of relationship counseling might sway their perspective. After all, understanding and growth are at the heart of every strong relationship.

Every relationship, whether it's between same-gender couples, those who've been married for decades, the newly engaged, or those just dating, can find value in relationship therapy. The beauty of psychotherapy is its versatility. From navigating financial disagreements to addressing emotional challenges or even substance abuse, counselors act as a neutral, attentive listener, dedicated to fortifying the health of the relationship.

However, it's essential to note that therapy's success hinges on the participants' commitment. Both individuals must be open to the process, comfortable with the chosen therapist, and genuinely willing to address their concerns. When these elements align, therapy can be a transformative experience.

Types Of Family and Couples Therapy

Did you know that Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) boasts a success rate of 70% to 75% in transitioning couples from distress to recovery? And an impressive 90% show marked improvements. This approach, pioneered in the 1980s by Dr. Sue Johnson and Dr. Leslie Greenberg, zeroes in on fostering emotional bonds between partners.

Imago Relationship Therapy, conceptualized by Harville Hendrix and his spouse in 1980, emphasizes communication and addresses deep-seated issues from one's upbringing. Techniques like mirroring, validation, and empathy are central to this approach.

Then there's the Gottman Method, crafted by Drs. John and Julie Gottman, which equips couples to tackle conflicts constructively, cultivate mutual admiration, and build a shared life narrative.

And let's not sidestep the topic of intimacy. Sex therapy, a specialized branch of relationship counseling, addresses the intricacies of a couple's physical connection.

Is there a difference between relationship counseling and marriage counseling in Los Angeles?

Relationship counseling and marriage counseling are two terms that are often used interchangeably, but some subtle differences between the two. In Los Angeles, as well as in many other places, relationship counseling typically encompasses a broader scope, while marriage counseling specifically focuses on couples who are married or engaged.

Relationship counseling is a form of therapy that aims to strengthen the connection and improve the quality of any type of relationship, whether it is a romantic partnership, a friendship, or a family relationship. It can be beneficial for couples who are dating, living together, engaged, or even considering separation. Relationship counseling focuses on enhancing communication skills, resolving conflicts, setting healthy boundaries, and building trust, among other aspects of relationship dynamics.

On the other hand, marriage counseling is specifically designed for married or engaged couples who are facing difficulties in their relationship. It often addresses marital issues such as communication breakdowns, infidelity, financial problems, or difficulties with intimacy. Marriage counseling typically aims to help couples work through these challenges and find ways to rebuild their relationship.

While relationship counseling can benefit any type of relationship, marriage counseling specifically targets couples who have made a commitment to each other through marriage or engagement. The focus is often on preserving and strengthening the marital bond, and addressing specific challenges that are unique to married couples.

In Los Angeles, there are numerous counselors and therapists who specialize in both relationship counseling and marriage counseling. It is important to find a professional who has experience and expertise in the specific area you are seeking help for, whether

Do You Offer Online Couple Therapy Services Or Are You Just Seeing People In Person For Therapy In West Hollywood?


We offer couples therapy in person in West Hollywood and serve the Los Angeles area, our office is close to La Cienega and Santa Monica Boulevard. We offer on-line couples counseling to anyone in California.

What are the benefits of relationship counseling in Los Angeles?

Relationship counseling in Los Angeles offers a multitude of benefits for individuals seeking to improve the quality of their connection. Whether you are dating, engaged, or married, relationship counseling can provide you with invaluable tools and insights to enhance your partnership. Here are some of the key advantages of relationship counseling in Los Angeles:

1. Improved Communication: One of the primary goals of relationship counseling is to enhance communication between partners. A skilled therapist can teach you effective communication techniques and help you identify and address any communication barriers that may be hindering your relationship. This can lead to healthier and more productive discussions, ultimately fostering a stronger bond.

2. Conflict Resolution: Every relationship encounters conflicts, but how you navigate and resolve them is crucial. Relationship counseling in Los Angeles can equip you with conflict resolution strategies tailored to your specific needs and dynamics. You will learn how to express your needs and concerns in a constructive manner, listen actively, and find mutually satisfactory solutions. These skills can prevent small disagreements from escalating into larger issues and promote long-term harmony.

3. Increased Intimacy: Intimacy is a vital component of any successful relationship. Relationship counseling can help you understand the factors influencing your intimacy levels and guide you in exploring ways to deepen emotional and physical connection with your partner. By addressing underlying issues, building trust, and fostering vulnerability, you can reignite the passion and intimacy in your relationship.

4. Strengthened Trust: Trust is the foundation of a strong and healthy relationship. Relationship counseling can assist you in rebuilding andstrengthening trust if it has been damaged. A skilled therapist can help you and your partner address any trust issues and work towards building a solid foundation of trust. This can create a sense of security and stability in your relationship, allowing you to feel safe and supported.

5. Enhanced Self-Awareness: Relationship counseling not only focuses on the dynamics between partners, but also on individual growth and self-awareness. Through therapy, you can gain a deeper understanding of yourself, your needs, and your patterns of behavior that may be impacting your relationship. This self-awareness can lead to personal growth and positive changes, ultimately benefiting your relationship.

6. Pre-Marital Counseling: For couples who are engaged and preparing for marriage, relationship counseling can be particularly beneficial. It provides an opportunity to discuss important topics such as communication, finances, values, and expectations, ensuring that both partners are on the same page before making a lifelong commitment. Pre-marital counseling can help identify potential issues and provide guidance on how to navigate them effectively.


Tools for Relationships