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Kristen Qualls, LMFT, LPC

Relationship & Couples Counseling
Rochester Hills Michigan 48307

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About  Kristen Qualls

Are communication issues, parenting struggles, loss of connection and intimacy, or infidelity or trust violations threatening your relationship? 

Do you ever feel like no matter how hard you try, you're not getting anywhere? Angry, frustrated, or sad that the most important person in your world just isn't understanding you? Conversations always seem to end in the same unproductive fights, over and over. No matter what you try, you end up in cycles of criticism, defensiveness, disrespect or hostility, and withdraw. One person chases the other emotionally, and ends up feeling lonely and misunderstood. A cutoff ensues. Now, nobody is talking. Or sleeping well. How long does that go on for before you finally get a chance to reconnect? Did anything really get resolved or did you just wait for the "mood cloud" to blow over and call it good enough for now? Sure enough, it comes up again. Each time it does, you feel more frustrated, and more tired until the disconnection leads to intimacy issues or emotional gridlock. You're hurting and stuck. Now what?

Maybe the relationship started out hot and heavy and has completely changed. Who is this person? How did this happen? This isn't what you signed up for. It's confusing and you're taking it personal. Sometimes you wonder if your partner is attracted to you. Do they like you? Did they ever really like you?

Or perhaps the relationships started out rocky in the beginning and has never really improved. You hoped it was just a bad day, or an issue that would resolve itself over time. The more time has passed, the more you struggle. Things have not changed. The more life goes on, the lonelier you feel. 

Maybe you have weathered the storms of life raising or blending a family, and have lost touch with each other. The decades of hardship and parenting have taken their toll. As the Executive Directors of The Parenting Corporation, you were successful. But what about the partnership? What happened to the relationship? The empty nest is approaching or past. You're afraid of what will happen next, what will happen to you, and everything you've worked so hard for. Is the relationship permanently damaged? Can it be repaired? Will you have to start over? 

This may be the loneliest or most desperate you've ever felt: in the same room, same bed, same life as your partner, but you are world's apart. Relationship disconnection is so painful. You are doing everything you can think of. Or nothing at all. None of it works, and it's getting worse. You confront it. Or avoid it. Bargain with it. Or wait. Maybe it's just a relationship rut. It's exhausting and scary. You think to yourself, "What are we doing wrong? Does everyone feel this way? Do other couples struggle with communication problems or intimacy issues? Maybe it's even embarrassing to admit, or you've started to feel hopeless and don't know how to fix it. 

Relationship issues are common and you're not alone. Effective couples counseling works wonders.

Relationships are vital to our health and wellbeing. They are the safe harbors in the storms of life. When they aren't functioning, it hurts at the core. Conflict can distract you all day long. 

Conflict, communication issues, parenting struggles, intimacy issues, infidelity or affairs, and trust violations are common in relationships that are not functioning well. Clients often ask me, "Are we your worst couple? Do other people struggle like we do?" In other words, "Can you help us? Is there hope?" Yes! When people are willing to work together and learn, things improve greatly. Even people who are struggling be on board with relationship counseling can benefit. Working through resistance and learning are part of the work that needs to be done. 

Successful couples counseling or marriage therapy can help you learn real, practical, and effective skills to improve your relationship communication, repair the disconnection, restore intimacy, and resolve differences. I tell my clients that relationships are like cooking; you can either bake bread or burn it. If you've found me, you're in the kitchen (that's great) but likely burning the bread (that's painful). There are research-driven methods or "ingredients" that work. You've already experimented with ones that don't. Let's work together so you can develop the skills you need to carry your relationship through the next phases of life successfully. 

Who is helped in couples counseling?

I help couples who feel disconnected learn to communicate effectively, explore satisfying intimacy and restore trust after mistakes are made. 

I help busy parents gain structure and find joy int eh midst of the chaos.

I help women in disrespectful relationships understand what disrespect looks like and break the role they play in the cycle. 

I help hurting men who struggle to identify and express emotions, and who feel lonely in their relationships learn to heal and connect. 

I help individuals suffering from anxiety. A lot of our anxiety is exacerbated by our relationships or is causing problems in our relationships. I'm very effective at helping people see what causes that and bring it way down, so they can have the connections they want.

How do you do successful couples therapy with people? What are your biases?

In the first session, I'll ask you what your concerns are, immediately start mapping out the problems, and then start giving feedback. Everyone deserves to understand, in plain language, what is wrong, what is causing the problem, and how to fix it. I give out actionable items to work on between sessions so you know exactly what to work on to improve your relationship. 

I teach communication skills using methods from trusted leaders in the field such as John Gottman, Sue Johnson, and Murray Bowen. I have honed my methods and can quickly translate the research in the field so it is easy to understand and you can successfully use it. I can see the problems clearly in the very first session, and help you start seeing them as well.

I am skilled and gentle with managing infidelity, affairs, and trust violations. I help balance the guilt, shame, abandonment, and underlying pain of the person who stepped out of the relationship with accountability and healing, while helping the person who feels betrayed have a voice in their pain, grieve, heal, and restore trust. I will help you see what is underneath the affair and driving the disconnection in the first place. We work using a three step method: stop the affair, heal from the affair, prevent it from happening again.  

I help parents who are drowning in the chaos of working, raising a family, and sacrificing one basic need after another just to get it all done in a day. We will work on understanding your needs, how to regain balance while prioritizing what is most important to you, and effectively implement behavioral changes that will help alleviate the stress, organize the chaos, and give you the time you need for yourselves, each other, and with your children.

I help blended families understand the inherent challenges in blending a family after a divorce. We will talk about the do's and don'ts, how to create boundaries and connections, find balance, and set accurate expectations for your situation. There is a lot that goes into blending a family. It's not easy but it can be so much easier with the proper help and guidance. 

I am biased towards respect. I believe in helping people decide for themselves what the best course of action is for them, and have heard sad stories of “marriage” therapists telling clients what to do, or that their relationship is hopeless and to just get divorced. It is not the therapist’s job to tell couples what to do; the therapist’s role is to help couples figure out what is best for them after considering their needs and goals. I am a strong advocate of helping people repair relationships they want to save. Sometimes, people don’t know what they want, so I work with them until they decide. 

Finally, some couples decide to end relationships. I will journey with you until you know exactly what you need. I also have much experience people separate or divorce with minimal harm to all involved, especially children.

Will you work with me if my partner won't attend?

Absolutely. We cannot control other people. You still deserve to get all the help you want and need, even if other won't cooperate with you. 

Are you LBGTQ+ friendly? Do you work with blended families, and people with spiritual or religious differences?

I welcome all types of families, people, and relationships, and would be happy to discuss your needs. I'm very respectful and help people work through all kinds of differences. Please feel free to contact me with your questions or concerns, and we will work together toward meaningful connections and happiness.

Clients who love working with me say they love my genuine approach, straightforwardness, ability to balance direct feedback with empathy and understanding, make it very easy for them to see and understand what is going on, and really appreciate getting tangible items to work on so they can make changes. I'm a doer. I love to get things done and get down to business in the first session.

Please feel free to give me a call. As a seasoned couples counselor of 15 years, I've helped tons of folks. You won't scare me off with your particular brand of pain or struggle. I love helping people heal. Give me a call or drop me an email. I will personally respond to you the same day or within 24 hours. I value my clients and work hard with them so they get what they need.

Contact Information

Phone Number
See Phone Number
Business/ Practice Name
Kristen Qualls, PC
Street Address
705 Barclay Circle
Suite, Apt, Other
Suite 105
City
Rochester Hills
State
Michigan
Zip Code
48307
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License Certification

What type of license/certification do you hold?
LMFT - Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
License Number
4101006433
License State
MI
What type of license/certification do you hold?
LPC - Licensed Professional Counselor
2nd License Number
6401011017
2nd License State
MI

Education

Graduate School/University
Oakland University
Highest Degree Earned
Masters Degree
Graduation Year
2008
Gender
Female
Therapy Settings
Online Phone

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