All sessions are being done through telehealth on a secure video platform. In-person sessions are not being offered at this time.


I believe our primary relationships impact us on a deep and lasting level and therefore the health of these relationships is vital to our well-being. I have received specialized training and experience in couples therapy to help you and your partner gain the insight and skills needed to address where you are out-of-sorts, resentful, confused, hurt, or angry. In a collaborative process we will identify what needs to be strengthened and nurtured between the two of you and eliminate the blocks that are keeping you from experiencing your love with joy and abundance.

I am a LGBTQ affirming therapist.

Christie J. Sanders (C.J.) is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in the state of Oregon #T2235.


Couples Institute Developmental Model

Photo by Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash


I work with couples of all types at every stage of their relationship. Talking about our most private relationships can be daunting and uncomfortable. No matter what stage your relationship is at and what the challenges are you are dealing with I will offer a non-judgmental ear and create a space for hope and healing.

My approach to couples  therapy has been shaped by many influences.  The first, of course, is my own experience.  My parents have been married for over 50 years and my own marriage is on year 28.  This lived experience allows me to have greater empathy, understanding, and insight into the struggles, challenges, and choices that every couple experiences.

Another influence would be my graduate and post-grad training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy.  This is a form of therapy that looks deep under the surface to see what is behind the motivations, thoughts or behaviors that are troubling you.  Have you ever had that thought, “why do I keep doing this?” or “this isn’t really how I want to be but I can’t seem to change?”.  We can explore that together and I have the skills to help you uncover what is keeping you stuck.  Sometimes we will focus on one or other partner because, as you already know, individual issues affect the relationship’s wellness.  This is a very effective way to spur individual growth that contributes to relationship satisfaction.

The last key influence in how I do couples therapy is the year-long training program I completed and my continued association with The Couples Institute in Menlo Park, CA.   This training teaches the Bader-Pearson developmental model.  The model includes attachment theory, differentiation theory, and neuroscience.  I will not only educate you about these different components but you & your partner will practice them in session.  Every couple is different and has varying needs and concerns.  We will work together to identify your goals and then work through them to increase your skills and expand your capacities.

Are there old wounds, bad habits, or a general feeling of discontent getting in the way of your relationship? Together we can address how to de-escalate conflict, learn authentic communication, interrupt negative patterns and then increase nurturing, bonding, and intimacy.

Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength.  Sigmund Freud


The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.    -Audrey Hepburn

If you & your partner are curious about therapy and ready to take the next step I offer a free 30-minute phone consultation.

Call (503) 389-6320 or e-mail CJ@CJSandersTherapy.com

During the consultation you will be able to ask any questions that you may have and I will have some questions for you so that we can determine if we are a good fit. If we decide to go forward then we will schedule your first office visit. Clinical days are Monday, Wednesday and Thursday.

My fee is $135 per 50-minute session. Sliding scale fees are available based on income and life circumstances. I am happy to offer these lower fees to motivated couples who otherwise could not afford counseling.


On-line video therapy is available to all residents of Oregon: Portland, Medford, Eugene, Salem, Hood River, Pendleton, Bend, Ontario, and coastal towns from Astoria to Coos Bay to Brookings.

Mailing Address: 7805 SW 40th Ave, PO Box 19321, Portland, OR 97280.

To make inquiries or schedule an appointment please call me at (503) 389-6320 or e-mail me at: CJ@CJSandersTherapy.com.

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