Robert Shafer, Ph.D., LMFT

Relationship & Couples Counseling
Santa Barbara California 93108

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About Dr. Robert Shafer

Couples therapy or marriage counseling is designed to help individuals recognize and resolve difficulties occurring in their relationship. Most often, when people first come for help they find themselves polarized around one or more issues which seem to be “the problem”. The first step in resolving such issues is a clear empathic understanding on both sides.

Empathy can be defined as the capacity to recognize the feelings of the other. In Marshall Rosenberg’s words, it is the “understanding of the heart in which we see the beauty in the other person … the life that’s alive in them.” Empathy is the true foundation of a relationship.

Sadly, empathy often gets covered over by unresolved negative feelings of hurt, anger, resentment, and disappointment. When this occurs, this tends to undermine the relationship; sometimes the bond may be in danger of crumbling altogether.

This is where therapy comes in. My primary task as a therapist is to provide a ‘therapeutic space’ in which mutual empathy can be re-established. With my own empathic grasp of the predicament from both points of view, I am able to help each of the partners gain a deeper empathic understanding of the other.

Couples therapy helps people develop respect for, or even appreciation of, the conflicts which occur with their partners. As both gain skill in constructively examining themselves, this process begins to smooth out the rough edges in the relationship and helps both people to grow.

At times when a member of the relationship is in need of further psychological work, I am very sensitive to individual needs and can provide competent psychotherapy or psychoanalysis when desired. My training in contemporary psychoanalysis is a modern way to get deeper into the difficulty.

Feel free to visit my website to learn more about me. You are welcome to email me directly using this form, or call my office. I look forward to hearing from you and I’m here to help.

    Contact Information

  • Phone Number
  • Show Phone Number
  • Street Address
  • 189 Hermosillo Drive
  • City
  • Santa Barbara
  • State
  • California
  • Zip Code
  • 93108
  • Online Social Profiles
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    License Certification

  • What type of license/certification do you hold?
  • LMFT - Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
  • License Number
  • MJ-019148
  • License State
  • CA
  • Education

  • Graduate School/University
  • Cambridge Graduate Of Psychology
  • Highest Degree Earned
  • Ph.D.
  • Graduation Year
  • 1984
  • Gender
  • Male
  • Therapy Settings
  • In Office Online

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