Young Couple Expecting


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Do you provide extended therapy, retreats or intensives?

Yes. Sometimes couples need more than one session per week, specially if they are in crisis. You can learn more about my Private Couple Retreat at this link.

What if I struggle with DEPRESSION OR ANXIETY?

If you are in a significant relationship, one of the best ways to deal with the depression is through Couples Therapy for Depression. I work closely with both partners to bring the depression under control while working on improving how you and your partner interact.

Will talking about a problem just make things worse?

You're probably asking this question because that is exactly what has happened. I work really hard to help you constructively handle reactivity and negative emotions. You will learn a highly structured way to talk that will feel different and hopefully safe. Conversations should shift from a battleground to a safe and productive place to connect.

What if our problems have gone on so long there's no way to fix them?

Research shows that on average couples endure six years of marital distress before seeking counseling. Nonetheless, therapy is very effective in dealing with long-standing problems by helping you try something different (as opposed to just trying harder). No matter how long you have been struggling, if you are willing to try, there is hope.

Will you tell us whether we should stay together or break up?

I am a "marriage-friendly" therapist and thus focus on restoring your relationship to full health. My goal is to guide you toward healing as long as you are willing to work at it. Nonetheless, if your decision is to end the relationship, I will fully honor the decision and support you. Staying together or breaking apart is simply not my decision to make.

Will I be blamed for all the problems?

Unless there is a severe case of neglect or abuse, you will not be labeled as "the problem". We will focus on the underlying cycles of interaction instead. Each partner has to become aware of his or her role in maintaining a pattern in order to break it. Even in cases of an affair, long-standing unhealthy patterns must be examined as contributing factors (but not as an excuse).

Is spirituality part of therapy?

First, please know that all you need to be in therapy with me is the desire to improve your lifelong patterns and the willingness to show up and have an open conversation. Some clients prefer for faith to be a part of their therapy process; others prefer to leave spirituality at the door. Please know that you will never be forced to discuss spiritual matters. Whatever arrangement that works best for you is what I'd like to honor. My most basic goal is to serve individuals of all walks of life and all faiths. The main way that my own faith will show up for everyone is in my commitment to see you as a wonderfully unique, imperfect but valuable, struggling but resilient human being worthy of love and belonging. Wherever you may be in your life and relationship journey, there is space for you here.

What's the FIRST STEP to starting therapy?

The first step is to fill out the contact form at the bottom of this page. That will start our communication, typically by me responding with an email or giving you a call within 24 hours. It's really that simple.

What if we just come and argue in front of you?

I will NOT let you get stuck fighting in my office. That's a complete waste of time. Couples typically come to a therapy session in the midst of one of these two states:

  • fighting (quietly or loudly) and
  • withdrawing (not talking about what mainly concerns them).
One approach that is effective is for me to move next to one of you and speak as if I were you talking to the other. If you are: fighting, I try to convert your angry and defensive comments into confiding ones. withdrawing—(not talking about your feelings)—I guess about what these feelings might be and ask if my guess is correct. The result is often that the fights or withdrawal turns into an intimate conversations. The very thing that was hurting your relationship shifts into a way to deepen it. WHY WE FALL INTO THE PATTERN: Fighting is a stuck pattern in which both of you feel:
  • too unheard to listen,
  • too misunderstood to be understanding, and
  • too hurt by what the other just said to do anything other than hurt back.
Withdrawing is a painful relationship position in which partners don’t talk about what most concerns them and may not talk much at all. Intimacy, the alternative to fighting and withdrawing, occurs when partners reach out to each other with what they need in a loving way that makes their partner their teammate, not the enemy. You strive to be closer rather than to hurt the other or to act angry, defensive, or distant. To achieve this level of intimacy, you have to learn how to have a "recovery conversation" in which you:
  • share feelings,
  • make acknowledgments of your mistakes,
  • reach out to the other with comfort, forgiveness and acceptance, and
  • look at things from the other’s point of view.
In these recovery conversations, you learn to first take care of the relationships, putting it at a higher plane (meta-level) than the fight of the moment. By being able to jump to this meta-level, you are able to recognize when you slip into a fight and return to what is most important. In summary, in my work with you, I will:
  • help you transform fights and withdrawals into recovery conversations
  • show how to build a higher platform from which to hold a conversation and
  • enable you to transform problems into intimate connection.
FOOTNOTE: This approach is completely based on Emotional Focused Therapy. See Sue Johnson's book, "Hold Me Tight".

Will you make me cry?

I couldn't make you cry even if I wanted to! My aim is to create a comforting environment where you can share as much or little as you want to. Sometimes when you are able to share with your partner, you will feel a deep connection and tears will come. Many clients experience this as a welcome relief. Like you've held these emotions in for a long time and they finally get to be expressed. Nonetheless, if you ever feel uncomfortable, pleasle let me know and we will make changes to take care of you. I don't want you to feel overwhelmed or pushed to be vulnerable when you are not ready.

About Dr. Motro

How are you different from other therapists?

My practice is completely focused on working with couples. This allows me to offer an extensive set of tools to help you improve your most important relationship. I also have received advanced training on marriage counseling at the Master's and Doctoral level. Many counselors prefer to be generalists and approach marriage counseling by relying on psychotherapy methods centered on the individual instead of on the marriage relationship. A lot of people who primarily work with individuals feel overwhelmed by the number of variables they have to deal with when they work with couples. As a couples counselor, I have to be very active in structuring a couples session to keep our work safe and under control.

Are we a good fit?

That is a question that only you can answer! I work really well for most couples but certainly not for all. As a therapist who helps couples heal together, getting the two of you to interact together in a positive way is really important to me. It’s critical for you to feel safe enough in therapy to explore painful areas of your life; it's my job to create such a space for you. Your interactions with each other when you are with me deserve the utmost of care. When considering fit, please trust your intuition (gut), and ask a lot of questions. This starts with a free consult call with me. I promise that I'll give you an honest answer to any question you ask. If it's too personal for me to share, I will kindly let you know. Once we get started, I'll check in after the first few sessions to make sure we're heading in the right direction and confirm that you're feeling comfortable. If you are struggling with me for any reason, PLEASE let me know and we'll most likely be able to fix it. If, after a few sessions, we're not connecting (for whatever reason) and can't seem to fix it, that's alright - I won't take it personally! Please let me know, and I will gladly point you towards someone who may better serve you.



Although I love to help your fight for your marriage, if you decide to end the relationship, I will help you part amicably, keeping mutual respect as part of the process and remembering the needs of any children involved. Given this goal, I strongly recommend seeking a divorce mediator. Divorce mediation is a process that allows divorcing couples to meet with a specially-trained, neutral third-party to discuss and resolve common divorce-related issues. Mediation is typically much less stressful and less expensive than a divorce trial, and it usually proceeds much faster. I recommend the following mediators:

Adriana C. Moore
(408) 606-8493 or (650) 867-2432

Stan L. Bartelmie
1011 West Taylor Street, San Jose, CA 95126
Phone: 408.298.1585 Fax: 408-286-4142

Dina Hiddad, Divorce mediation attorney,, Families First Mediation
560 S. Winchester Blvd., Suite 500, San Jose, 95128
(323) 786-3486

Rebecca Tran
The Garden Alameda
1570 The Alameda, Suite 212
San Jose, California 95126
(408) 975-9500

Lorna Jaynes

37978 2nd St Fremont, CA 94536

(510) 795-6304

If you and your partner can not agree on mediation, I can recommend a divorce attorney who has been mentioned favorably by some of my clients:

Adam Diran,
551 Stockton Avenue, Suite A
San Jose, CA 95126
(408) 279-1118

Can you recommend a couples therapist with LOWER FEES?

Some couples greatly desire counseling but financial circumstances may become an obstacle. For such couples, fill out the contact form below and share your need for lower fee counseling. Let me know how much you feel you can afford and I will try to match you with the right therapist.

Can you refer us to couple therapists who specialize in NEURODIVERSITY and/or ASPERGER'S?

I am fortunate to be part of a group of therapists that have formed the Neurodiversity Couples Counseling Center. We have come together to:

  • develop a robust set of tools to help neurodiverse couples,
  • approach neurodiverse healing from a strength-based approach,
  • share best-practices for neurodiverse therapy amongst the team so we can offer you a beneficial experience, and
  • offer integrated therapy where the couple and both individuals can each get their own counselor; yet, the therapy itself is synchronized to move to the same goals.
You can meet the team at:

Can you recommend other COUPLES THERAPISTS?

I can highly recommend checking out the Couples Recovery Center and the Neurodiverse Couples Counseling Center. These therapists are extremely well trained and personally vetted by me.

Can you recommend a PSYCHIATRIST?

Dr. Nely Coyukiat-fu MD 85 Saratoga Ave #206, Santa Clara, CA 95051 408-808-1652 William C. Klindt, M.D. 15215 National Ave. Ste. 101 Los Gatos, CA 95032 (408) 369-2270 These psychiatrists should be able to help you but you should have a thorough conversation to verify that their skills and temperament match you and your needs.

Can you recommend skilled therapists to support us INDIVDUALLY while doing couples therapy (especially if there has been an affair or other betrayal)?

The following therapists are experienced in supporting you emotionally, helping you process your options, and understanding the work you need to do on your own to heal. I often consult closely with them (with your written consent) to build an integrated treatment plan: MALE THERAPISTS Hamed Fatahian Stephen Robertson MALE THERAPISTS FOR SEX ADDITION Alex Lerza, MFT, CSAT. Jerry Fihn, MFT, CSAT Invia Betjoseph, PsyD. CSAT Ed Gresick, MFT, CSAT MALE THERAPISTS FOR ANGER MANAGEMENT Mark Clayton, MFT FEMALE THERAPISTS FOR PARTER OF SEX ADDICT Muna Haddad Farhat, MFT. (Highly trained in supporting betrayed spouses. Understands addiction. Can lead you through a clear recovery plan.). Susan Rowland, MFT. Christine Lee, MFT. FEMALE THERAPIST Rosario Puga-Dempsey, AMFT. Bassy Lee, AMFT Kate Meek, AMFT Adela Stone, AMFT These therapists should be able to help you but you should have a thorough conversation to verify that their skills and temperament match you and your needs.

FAQ's - For Dr. Harry Motro (See below)

Couples Recovery Center FAQ's - Click here
(Dr. Motro follows these general policies)