Counseling for You and Your Other
Whether you are a new couple, married for decades, struggling to stay together, wanting a more amicable divorce, looking to co-parent separately but effectively, or want to change the way you relate to a family member, counseling can qualitatively change the way you see, experience, and relate to another. I aim to give you the tools to communicate openly and effectively, reconnect authentically, understand and gain control over your reactions and patterns, define your vision of a more fulfilling relationship, and begin your work towards creating that relationship you've always wanted.
We are what we are in relationship. We can be our best selves, excel our growth, and actualize unimaginable potential that is unobtainable as an individual. And, we also often find ourselves relating in ways that confound us, uncertain how much to invest in a particular relationship, wondering why we repeat patterns, and how we've developed habits of relating that cause stress and discord. I use what I have found to be the best of several approaches to couples and family counseling. I use elements of Emotionally Focused Therapy, helping everyone involved to deescalate conflicts and define their underlying needs, fears, and desires, creating a stronger and more emotionally safe bond, and Imago Relationship Therapy, working to better understand how our primary attachments have shaped the patterns and cycles we find ourselves in now, and using that information to help individuals use conflict as a constructive stepping stone for building a bridge toward a more connected and attached relationship. As in all of my therapy, I place primary importance on the experiential and how we are in the current moment together, using interactions and communications in the therapy room to foster a new way of interacting and experiencing one another.
My approach to counseling people in relationship is for us to begin to attend to the third entity that is created by the two of you, that third is my client as well and must be understood and attended to in the way any individual would be in therapy. What is the experience of being with each other, how is it different than when you are alone, how did this particular collection of 2 people come into being, what is enhanced, triggered, overlooked when you're together, what is your ideal way of being with each other and in the world, what are you both subconsciously trying to heal in being attached to each other and how can you help each other to become aware of your subconscious motivations and fears and begin to help each other heal so that you can grow together and become the people you want to be?
Couples counseling in general has shown to be extremely effective. Simply committing to working on the relationship together, increasing communication, and having a third party help to identify negative cycles can begin to build positive cycles and work through the most difficult points in your relationship.
Romantic relationships tend to have well-defined stages that are shared by most couples. The well-known saying, "seven year itch" refers to the statistical fact that the majority of divorces happen around the 7 year mark (often accelerated by external negative events or slowed down by frequent absences). Couples who sailed through the honeymoon stage, struggled through the disillusionment stage, and did some harm to the relationship during the finding independence stage, often come in to counseling as a last resort during this make it or break it stage. If you find yourself there, know that there is hope! This is a normal progression of committed relationships and being at a crossroads means you both have a choice. Being in counseling at this stage can help to stop the damage being done to your relationship and give you a path that you can walk together toward a more connected, honest, communicative, and authentic relationship that is thriving, instead of simply surviving. Even if individuals have acted outside of the relationship through infidelity, secrecy, heavily investing in activities that are not relationship-conducive, not all is lost. To forgive, rebuild trust, and be open to the possibility that each person is capable of recommitting and changing in drastic ways, then a whole new relationship has to be created. But first both people need to grieve the loss, and let go, of the old relationship, to process the hurt caused, and to recommit to starting a whole new journey- one of openness, vulnerability, and growth. Once people have done this, so much is possible! By committing to a therapeutic process now, you're giving yourselves the best chance at fulfilling your relationship's potential.