People come to therapy for all kinds of reasons. We all can benefit from added support during times of change or challenge, and we all have experiences that trigger us to varying degrees. I support clients while also gently urging them to get curious about themselves in a new way.
Whether or not you come in with a partner or family member we'll explore the connections that make up your world. When individuals come in for relationship issues, whether it be concerns with relationships with partners, family, friends, co- workers, we almost always end up identifying a few key patterns or themes across relationships. Themes in our relationships with others are closely linked to how we think about our self.
For authentic connection and intimacy to occur, we need to feel like we can be ourselves. To regularly nurture our true self, we need to look at self-esteem and sense of inherent worthiness.
To practice self-esteem, we may need to challenge current narratives and clear out some old, outdated, or even traumatic messaging.
In going down this path, we are also exploring the heart of any depression or anxiety symptoms as well.
Sometimes our symptoms are even more severe and debilitating. We will focus on symptom reduction while also exploring deeply held belief systems that are constraining or even crippling, and that affect how we feel (perhaps without awareness).
Life Transitions (such as graduating college, launching, getting married, having a child, losing a parent, moving) can be stressful, and stress affects our thinking, our emotions and our behavior. Clients learn practical tools to get through the day-to-day challenges. In individual work this will include addressing and managing symptoms, finding a sense of healthy self-esteem, creating healthy boundaries, identifying what gets in their way. In couple therapy this will include tools for improving communication, better understanding one another, getting unstuck and turning toward one another instead of away.
Transitions can stir up OLD stuff. And often we are completely unaware of it happening never mind why it's happening.
Once you are committed to making changes and feel open to the process, we may dive deeply into what the struggle or relationship is trying to help you repair and learn.
"All relationships are a rhythm of harmony, disharmony, and repair."
In couple therapy I gently guide clients through looking at their stuckness from many different angles. Real change will come when each partner is truly ready to evaluate not only what's happening in their daily life together and in the room, but also what's being stirred up deeply within each partner when they repeat the same pattern over and over again.
Being in a relationship isn’t always easy; we are all unique, and learning as we go. Sometimes partners can be further polarized by the time they come to therapy if they’ve been struggling for some time. It is reassuring for a couple to see that in therapy with me they can be very differently minded but yet find communication that meets both of their needs... while also being challenged to find growth and an understanding of their partner's perspective.
I have experience working with couples in various life stages and transitions (see Transitions & New Parents), as well as couples dealing with high stress, high conflict, infidelity, parenting issues, extended family issues, loss and separation.
Many new parents can use a safe, supportive space to process thoughts, feelings and relational dynamics that are new and unfamiliar with the transition to parenthood.
The early stages of parenthood are full of mixed eexperiences and emotions. It will bring joy. Unconditional love. Protective instincts. Fear. Guilt. Acceptance. Grace.
It will inevitably bring growing pains.
My therapy with new mothers, fathers or both, often includes expanding the parents' identity and acknowledging losses; managing worry; prioritizing self-care; communication and (re-)negotiation of roles and rules; intimacy and connection; healthy boundaries.
We work on self-compassion and "good-enough" parenting over perfectionism. Embracing the challenges and inherent imperfections that characterize the precious, delicate, often unilateral parent-child relationship, as well as voluntarily (and involuntarily) digging deeply into one's own early attachment stuff in parallel, are continuous processes that open adults up to levels of awareness they previously could not access.
My therapy with parents offers support for all family relationships: the parent-child, the sibling subsystem, the couple dyad, and relationships with in-laws, grandparents, and extended family legacies.