Dr. Amy S.
Ph.D., LMFT, CFLE
Empowering You to Create Lasting Change
- Couples Therapy, Marriage Counseling, and Relationship Coaching
- Premarital Counseling
- Parenting, Co-Parenting, and Blended Families
- Individual Therapy
- Life Coaching
- Dating Coaching
- About Me
- Schedule with Amy
Hi, I’m Amy. I understand that finding the right coach or therapist is incredibly important. I appreciate you taking the time to learn about me and exploring if you think we might be a good fit to work together.
I believe that relationships are foundational to all aspects of our lives. This is a key reason why I am passionate about supporting you in creating and maintaining positive, healthy relationships — both with yourself and with others.
Similarly, I view a strong, affirming professional relationship as an essential component of effective therapy and coaching. I work with you collaboratively and intentionally create a space that is safe, supportive, and accepting. My goal, first and foremost, is for you to feel comfortable, safe, and accepted so you can be open, honest, and authentic. People who work with me have often described me as warm, open, approachable, insightful, and direct.
I have a very client-centered approach, which means that when I am working with you, my priority is to help you meet your goals in a way that works for you. I view everyone as the expert of their own story and seek to support and empower you to create the changes you desire. I operate from a strengths-based approach which helps you to use your own, unique strengths to reach your goals. I am action oriented in my approach, helping you make your desired changes a reality in your day-to-day life, providing the tools and structure for you to make this happen.
I draw from a variety of evidence-based clinical practices and therapeutic approaches, including the Gottman Method, Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT), Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Solution-Focused therapy, mindfulness-based approaches, and parts language from Internal Family Systems Therapy. I rely on practices that have been shown through research to be effective, while tailoring my approach to fit with your personality, identities, culture, desires for our work together, and personal needs.
I am a researcher and educator in addition to being a clinician, and I have studied the ways that our mental, physical, and relational health overlap. I bring perspectives about how our brains and bodies function, and how our relationships can influence and be influenced by these physiological processes, into our work to help you understand your patterns might occur and empower you to make the changes you wish to make.
As you read on, you will learn more specifically about my background, the services I provide, and how I can best support you. I would like to thank you for taking the time to learn a bit more about me and I look forward to meeting with you in a free consultation, where we can discuss how we might partner together to create the life and relationships you desire.
Working with Couples and Families
I provide counseling services to couples and families located in Colorado and Wyoming, and coaching services to clients located across the country or internationally via secure online video. Learn about the differences between relationship counseling and relationship coaching and which approach is right for you.
Couples Therapy, Marriage Counseling, and Relationship Coaching
In my role as a couples therapist, marriage counselor and relationship coach, I specialize in supporting relationships, particularly through the use of healthy communication. I work with relationships at all stages and am excited to work with you, whether you are newly dating, or you’ve been together for years.
When working with couples, I help them identify the core of their concerns and express their needs to one another. This helps you see each other’s perspectives, identify the patterns that are not helpful to your relationship, and work to build new patterns and interactions. My priority is to create an environment where each of you feels safe, understood, and supported, and to help you work together to create the relationship that you desire. I often provide exercises to build new skills and ways of interacting and work to make sure what we practice in session works outside of sessions as well.
I have experience working with couples (and families) on a wide array of relational issues. My goal is that in our work together, you will be able to build and maintain a relationship with your significant other that is fulfilling, secure, intentional, and trusting, and that will serve as a strong foundation as you navigate life together. I can help you to have important and sometimes difficult conversations, help facilitate healthy, open communication skills, avoid conflict escalation, and increase the emotional safety, intimacy, connection, and trust within your relationship. I can also help you learn to know your partner on a deeper level.
Here are a few relationship areas I can help you with:
- Improving communication.
- Conflict resolution and learning how to “fight better.”
- Building your family or making the decision to have children.
- Navigating life changes, such as career changes, new life stages, or shifting roles in your relationship.
- Building or rebuilding friendship, connection, and intimacy.
- Establishing and communicating boundaries.
- Managing in-law or extended family relationships.
- Navigating grief and loss, including the pain of miscarriage or infertility.
- Navigating the impact of mental health challenges in your relationship
I also have a lot of experience helping couples to overcome the destructive communication patterns that plague so many relationships, and replace them with new ways of communicating that make relationships stronger and more satisfying. If you’d like to learn more about this work, check out my article on the most common communication problems, aka the “Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.”
Premarital Counseling and Coaching
Premarital counseling is a unique opportunity for couples to invest in their future and create a strong foundation for their marriages. I am a Certified Prepare/Enrich Facilitator of premarital counseling, and have additional training specifically in providing relationship education. I’m committed to helping couples have the information they need to have a successful relationship before problems start to emerge. In fact, part of my dissertation specifically focused on the value of relationship education.
I use my own, structured premarital program, adapting it to meet the needs of each specific couple. Each session is designed to help you have the conversations that you might not know to have that will support a healthy relationship for years to come. This experience is perfect for engaged couples, but couples in an earlier stage of dating find a lot of value in it as well. I provide activities and resources for you to build your “relationship tool bag” to help support you as you move forward in your relationships.
If we work together in premarital counseling, we’ll cover topics like maintaining friendship and connection, healthy communication and conflict resolution, managing finances together, maintaining balance in your relationship, understanding each other’s needs for security, and more.
Parenting, Co-Parenting, and Blended Families
I believe that families are the foundation of our lives. While they’re wonderful, I know they can also be messy. I am a published researcher on healthy parent-child relationships and how our family interactions are connected to mental and physical health concerns. I love working with families of all different shapes, sizes, and structures and I value the uniqueness of each family. I have experience working with children and adolescents and have also worked with blended families, families built through foster care or adoption, single parent families, grandparents raising grandchildren, and interracial/intercultural families.
In addition to working with couples on their romantic relationships, I often work with couples who want help with parenting. I can help you understand your child from a developmental perspective — what is going on in their brains and how they see the world. Further, I work to support parents in identifying their own parenting styles, examining how their parenting role models impact their current parenting, and building a team-oriented approach to parenting that allows both partners to feel supported. I operate from a gentle parenting perspective and my goal is to help you find the way to feel connected and empowered in your parenting skills. I also integrate principles of emotion coaching, helping you to understand and connect with your child’s emotional experiences (as well as your own).
I particularly specialize in working with blended families and the complexities that can come from joining multiple families together through new relationships. In our blended family work, I can support you in creating a shared family identity, working to identify and meet the needs of each family member, managing the impacts of co-parenting dynamics on your current relationship, and I can give practical support about the best way to blend families to facilitate the least resistance and higher levels of satisfaction.
In both parenting and blended families, I often work with only the parents and I also provide family therapy services. When working with families, I utilize a systems perspective to identify the needs of each family member and how the family is working together to ensure that the needs of each person are being met. I have experience working with children and adolescents as well as families where the “children” are currently adults.
I also work with co-parents who are seeking support to build positive, healthy, and constructive relationships as they transition to a new form of relationship with their ex. In co-parenting work, I can help you create a relationship built on a foundation of mutual respect as the parents of your children, and find effective ways to communicate with one another and to parent in a way that supports your children through the divorce/separation and co-parenting experience.
Working with Individuals
I provide counseling services to clients located in Colorado and Wyoming, and coaching services to clients located across the country or internationally via secure online video. Learn about the differences between therapy and coaching and which approach is right for you.
In addition to working with you on your relationships, I often work with clients individually. In individual therapy, I seek to help you gain additional self-awareness, develop new coping skills, and cultivate the life you would like to have. Sometimes life knocks us off balance and we need a bit of extra support to learn how to navigate a world that looks different than before, whether that is learning to live without that important person, figuring out how to find a new dream when one is no longer an option for you, or figuring out what you want the next steps in your journey to be.
I often work with individuals in the following areas:
- Grief and loss.
- Caregiving for a loved one (particularly those with a chronic illness).
- Exploring the impact of relationships on your wellbeing.
- Understanding and connecting with your emotions.
- Improving self-esteem and self-acceptance.
- Identity exploration.
- Managing mild mental health concerns.
I operate from a trauma-informed lens and use a holistic approach, combining evidence-based therapeutic approaches, the mind-body connection, and experiential work. I use techniques from modalities such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Motivational Interviewing (MI), Solution Focused Therapy, and Internal Family Systems (IFS), maintaining a systemic and developmental perspective, to help create the therapeutic space that feels like a good fit for you. I serve as a confidant, encourager, and partner on your journey and I intentionally create a therapeutic relationship that is safe, supportive, empathetic and empowering.
We all have times in our lives when we could use a bit of extra support getting clear about what we want and the best ways to reach our goals, whether they’re goals for our relationships, our careers, or our lives.
In coaching, I use a collaborative, solution-focused lens to help you identify patterns that may be holding you back, clarify your desires, cultivate motivation for change, set attainable goals, and develop a clear plan for how to achieve the milestones you have identified. I believe you are fully capable of change. I work to empower you to take control of your journey and transform your life through an encouraging and strategic partnership. Life coaching with me may be the right fit for you if you are looking for a supportive partner to help encourage you, brainstorm with you, and provide accountability for moving toward your goals.
Dating can be challenging. Many people struggle to find a compatible partner, and the process of dating can feel scary, uncertain, and confusing — but it doesn’t have to be.
In my role as a dating coach, I help you define who you are looking for, clarify which relationships are healthy for you, and take smart steps to find the relationship you desire. I work with you as a collaborative partner, providing activities designed to help increase clarity and insight, developing plans to help you navigate dating in a way that feels positive and authentic to you, and creating a space for you to find support, encouragement, and guidance.
I earned my Ph.D. in Applied Developmental Science and my M.S. in Human Development and Family Studies with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy, both from Colorado State University. I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Colorado and Wyoming. Additionally, I am a Certified Family Life Educator through the National Council on Family Relations. I have completed training in the Gottman Method of couples therapy (Levels 1 & 2), and I am a trained facilitator of the PREP (Prevention and Relationship Education Program) curriculum and Prepare/Enrich Premarital Assessment.
In addition to my work with clients, I regularly teach university courses and supervise graduate student therapists at multiple universities in Colorado. Course topics include human development from conception through older adulthood, risk and resilience, grief and loss, and healthy relationships. I am an author of over 15 academic publications, including peer-review journal and encyclopedia articles, and have presented research at national and international conferences on topics such as healthy communication in romantic and parent-child relationships, the therapeutic alliance in systemic therapies, and therapeutic-based intervention programs.
In my free time, I enjoy spending quality time with my friends and family, enjoying the many days of Colorado sunshine on long walks, hanging out with my pets, and traveling to enjoy the many opportunities our world has to offer.
Schedule with Dr. Amy