Copyright © Carolyn Swearingen, Ph.D.. All rights reserved.


Licensed Psychologist

415-321-9171     •    carolyn@carolynphd.com

3641 Sacramento Street, San Francisco, CA 94118


Couple Therapy

Couple therapy is for people who want to resolve ongoing conflicts, change negative patterns of communication, and improve their connection by more fully understanding and caring for each other. The goal of couple therapy is to provide a setting in which both partners can safely explore their relationship, gain insight into their differences, and create desired change. I help couples safely explore difficult issues from each person's perspective and resolve issues in a manner that meets the needs of both individuals. 

I am a Certified Emotionally Focused Couples Therapist. Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), is a highly researched, effective, and evidence-based therapy that focuses on the emotional bond between partners, and presumes that most relational problems arise from a disruption in this bond. It helps partners learn not only to be more open and trusting with each other, but also to reach out for one another and take emotional risks more effectively.

EFT is based on an attachment theory of love and helps address the central questions we often ask ourselves in our most important relationship: "Do I matter deeply to my partner? Will she/he be there for me when I need them the most? Do I feel safe and secure enough in this relationship to be my full and authentic self?" These questions are typically at the root of what couples fight about: the emotional bond and security in their relationship. When we fear that the answer to one of these questions may be "No", it can cause us to feel isolated and alone and can result in negative patterns of interaction that lead to increasing feelings of distance and disconnection. 

EFT helps couples regain a sense of intimacy, closeness and security by identifying and replacing negative patterns of interaction with new experiences of emotional bonding. By restoring the emotional bond EFT helps both you and your partner regain a sense of emotional connection, mutual understanding and lasting fulfillment in your relationship. 

I welcome all types of relationships and have experience working with married, unmarried, same-sex, and bi-cultural couples.