- Relationship issues
- Low self-esteem
- Assertiveness in relationships
- Women’s empowerment
- Entrepreneur stress
- Imposture syndrome
- Veterans issues
- Imago couple’s therapy (please see link for description of imago therapy)
Do you feel misunderstood by your partner or confused about what has gone wrong?
I find that most of the time couples come to me afraid to connect to each other and feel distant, misunderstood, and fearful that things will never get better. Each person wants so badly to be seen and heard and have a difficult time hearing each other without reacting to their own pain. Sadly, the more difficulty we have hearing our partner, the less likely it is that they will hear and understand us. Each person keeps their self-protective walls up for fear that vulnerability will break them. A worry develops that if you stop and listen to your partner without defending yourself, your point will never be heard and you will be invalidated. The more time that goes by without authentic communication, the higher the walls grow and the more frightening it becomes to be vulnerable. There is nothing in this world more intimidating than to love and be vulnerable to another human being and that is what I help people learn to do.
In order for things to feel safe enough for each partner to listen and to share authentically, the conditions have to warm and accepting. Most people have never been taught how to be truly PRESENT with a partner and to make the space safe enough for that partner to truly see your authentic self.
How did we get here?
As children we were often given the message that something about us is wrong or deficient or certain aspects of our being should be repressed. As we grow and develop, fear often surfaces that if we show our true selves, our partner will ultimately reject us. This is not true. I help couples build trust and learn new ways of relating and communicating with each other that allow each partner to be themselves and grow together, rather than spending time trying to change each other we’re trying to be right.
On the other side of fear is love.
Learning to tune in and connect is a skill set that requires training and self-compassion. As a Certified Imago Relationship Therapist, I provide tangible skills to enable couples to build these abilities in a patient learning environment in which each partner’s experience is respected and heard. By learning and practicing skills in sessions, you will learn new ways of relating to yourself and your partner and build new neural Connections in your brain to increase comfort with turning towards relationship, rather than away. Through the therapeutic process, partners create the relationships that they never thought possible by increasing honesty, tenderness, understanding, support, and appreciation for each other. It is natural to see this as an impossibility, especially if you are experiencing conflict, anger, and sadness in your relationship. Often, couple’s long for the old days when everything was fresh and new. Naturally, this phase does not last forever, and every couple faces the conflict phase, in which we often get stuck. It is normal and expected to reach the conflict phase and what most people don’t realize is that true love or as I like to call it a “conscious partnership” comes AFTER the conflict phase. That’s right. There is a deeper and more meaningful level of connection on the other side of your current hurdle. It is better than the chemical excitement that we experience in the beginning of romance. It is REAL, AUTHENTIC, and requires VULNERABILITY.
Being vulnerable. What’s in it for me?
The goal is not to be perfect but is to learn new ways of relating to increase your curiosity about yourself and your partner. Without vulnerability, we can only experience surface-level relationships. Deep connection with others or with yourself requires vulnerability, which can feel frightening and foreign. In sessions with me, I create a safe space where authenticity is encouraged and can lead to deepening of acceptance and warm connections.
If your partner won’t join you for sessions or if you’re single, our sessions together can help you to develop the same skills, insight, and self-acceptance. It is impossible not to have an impact on your relationships by doing this very brave work for yourself. Often, it can be very confusing to objectively look at our own situations, challenges, and make sense of our personal histories without guidance or support. By having the courage to look at our own internal workings to make sense of our journey, is how we develop wisdom. We are all hard wired for connection and relationship to other humans and through our exploration together, I can help you to develop new insights, acceptance, and a life that is based on your unique values. I truly believe that all of the answers you need are like seeds inside of you. With the right conditions and environment, you may be amazed to see what grows.