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About Michelle Wangler Joy, LMFT

Michelle Wangler Joy, MFT, has been employed at The Couples Institute in Menlo Park, CA, since 2002, and is currently a therapist on staff. She trains with relationship experts Ellyn Bader, Ph.D and Peter Pearson, Ph.D to deliver state of the art tools for couples. Michelle provides both couples and individual counseling, teaches communication workshops, and conducts training seminars both locally and nationally for therapists on how to help more couples.

How to have open, honest conversations in your relationship

The other day my husband, Dan had a reaction about me, which he chose to share. He said something along the lines of, “you know, you are really a good balance between being creative and detail-oriented.” I liked what I heard. “Oh? Tell me more”, I said. He went on to elaborate, and I ended up learning more not [...]

Can you change your partner?

"People don't change." Do you think that statement is true? In my 15 years of working with couples, I have seen many people change. In fact, I think that's what good relationships are all about...we pull on each other to change... to grow.  This growth is what keeps juice and vitality in relationships over time. A relationship void of growth is [...]

“I just want my partner to understand me”

In my practice, I hear many couples say, " I just want my partner to understand me. Who wouldn't want that? You tell your partner things, they truly get what you say and you feel understood. And vice versa: your partner shares their deepest feelings and thoughts with you, you receive what they say, and everyone in the end feels [...]

What To Do When You Screw Up With Your Partner

You messed up.  You really blew it.  Your partner is giving you heck about it, seething with disappointment and hurt.  Guilt washes over you, as your conscious mind reminds you that you didn’t keep your word or your end of a commitment.  Or you might have a more flippant attitude, “What’s the big deal anyway? Get over it!” If you [...]