You and your partner get caught in a cycle of connection and disconnection. We all like to think that we can avoid the mess of disconnection in relationships. But we can’t.
The simple truth is that relationships are difficult
You know this about relationships – after all, you watched your own parents (or caregivers) go through all of their own ups and downs. They did their best, but perhaps they fell short on modeling healthy fights and disconnects for you. But if they couldn’t show you how to do the partnership dance in a healthy way, who was going to teach you this stuff?
As you and your partner seek a deeper, more sustainable connection, you must also allow often necessary and powerful times of disconnect – even when that’s horribly uncomfortable to do.
Here’s a secret: relationships worth having, still have conflict
Even happy couples fight. They just do a somewhat better job of it than unhappy couples. And a big part of that “better” lies in their repair skills.
It’s in the repair process that we grow.
Couples Therapy helps you learn the skills of repair that you may not have absorbed in your own childhood.
It’s in recognizing the uncomfortable moments of disconnect and then in the reaching out – beyond our autopilot reactions and responses – that real, relational healing happens. A repair conversation isn’t about pointing your finger and telling your partner what you need them to do differently. It’s about taking personal responsibility for creating a safer relationship by keeping the focus on what you have influence over: you.
Sixty-Nine Percent (69%)¹ of the time, all of your relationship conflicts are going to be perpetually unresolvable. And that’s good news, because when you recognize that almost ¾ of all your conflicts will be unresolvable the conflict itself becomes an invitation to shift your focus.
It only takes a small gesture to start a ripple of connection. The problem most couples have: when one person attempts a reconnect, the partner may not notice. It’s common for you or your partner to miss a “we need to connect” moment simply because you didn’t realize the other desired some extra support and attention. Now and then, it’s understandable, but when “little moments” repeatedly get missed, negative sentiment builds up.
And then, you or your partner may wonder how the person you entrust with your deepest vulnerabilities can be so unavailable or unresponsive. Over time, one or both of you may begin to feel angry, panicked, and alone. This is not the space that healthy relationships live in.
You know the worth of your relationship
I suspect that’s why you are seeking counseling. This is an opportunity to put the focus back on enduring through the everyday challenges that long term love relationships evoke.
I work from the perspective that all of the attachments and losses you’ve experienced throughout your life —especially with the people with whom your stories entwine— are the heart of who you are. We explore the stories you tell yourself and how those stories affect your relationships. Everything from your own birth and childhood, through your emerging awareness of your own sexual self, your exploration of parenthood, mating and life partnership…
You’ll learn to regulate the overwhelm and vulnerability that keeps you and your relationships stuck in a loop. You’ll find your way back to your relationship by learning how to infuse more meaning, playfulness, and intimacy into your relationship, family and daily life. You can watch this video to learn more about me and my approach.
I work with all types of couples, including the LGBTQ community and diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds.
¹ This statistic comes out of 4-decades of research by The Gottman Institute.