Do you feel that you and your partner have trouble communicating? Do you feel you have the same fight over and over again. Do you remember a time in your relationship where you felt more fulfilled, heard, and appreciated? Do you feel frustrated by having to ask for what you need or by repeatedly respond to the same complaints.
Communication problems are what bring couples to therapy more than anything else. I find that beyond communication, people struggle to feel empowered to get what they need out of their marriages, or to be understood and appreciated..
I help couples see the pattern of their conflicts, and to understand their own needs and feelings. I help couples change their usual conflicts, and better reach their partners. I help wives and husbands feel heard and teach them skills they can use to feel more empowered.
I use attachment based practices and I operate on several assumptions about couples that I own from the first meeting. First, I believe that our fundamental human nature is to love. I believe that we are all driven by a desire to love and connect with those whom we love, though I also believe that along the way, life gives us reasons to worry or reactwhen we try to love an other.
Second, I believe that every wife or girlfriend, and every husband and boyfriend want to be a good partner. I believe that people get married all the time with sincere intentions to uphold their vows, "to love and to cherish".
Third, while people want to be good partners, and that our fundamental nature is to love, I believe it's hard to figure out how to love and cherish our partners.
When you get into a relationship you don't get a user's manual for your partner. Further more, there is no updated and annotated "Standard Rules and Regulations for North American Marriage and relationships". When we get together with someone we fall in love with we're all trying to figure it out ourselves.
Communication problems are what we all run into when we don't feel that love from our partner the ways we feel we should get it, or when we're trying to love our partners the best we can and feel dismissed. I help couples hear with a different understanding and speak with a different voice.
What's been better?
That is the question I start every session with. I believe everyone has the resources they need to handle the problems in their life. However, sometimes we each need help. With a little bit of help we walk a path, sometimes longer than others, to making our lives better. Usually a little at a time.
The path that brought us to where we are today has a strong influence on who we are and how we relate to the world. While we can't change the past we can look at ourselves now and learn to change how we see ourselves and how we relate to the world.
Along the path we've walked are the facts of our own resiliency. Everyone has faced challenges, and in them we can find what has helped, what capabilities we've had, the gifts we used and can use again.
Unfortunately, we all carry the pain and loss from past experience and this contributes to fear. We can fear losing more. We can fear not being good enough. We fear becoming more hurt. Getting past fear is part of learning who you are now and what you can do. I sometimes ask people, can you tell me about a time you were worried about something that ultimately did happen and you didn't make it through? We all make it through the tough parts of life. Those times are painful and we wish to avoid more of them, though they also tell us of our own resiliency too.
Everyone is trying to be good. That's another assumption I have in doing the work I do. I truly believe everyone is trying their best to be good. When pain, suffering, rejection, loss, and disappointment get in the way too much, our drive to do well and be good still comes through - we're tenacious like that, however that also brings forward strong self-protections like anxiety, anger, judgement, doubt and other traits that can contribute to struggle.
In our lives our self-protections - our fears, angers, negative reactions to others - become well-ingrained habits. Sometimes those habits and struggles require some outside help in changing. Otherwise we might continue do repeat ourselves and if you always do what you always did, then you always get what you always got.
I enjoy helping others rediscover the strengths they have, and more easily return to their basic desires to connect more fully with others and to be their fullest selves in life. If you would like to work with me please call me at (916)205-6165 or send me a message through the contact page on this site. I look forward to working with you.
"All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way."
- Leo Tolstoy, Anna Kareninna
To many, family means love, support, warmth, and belonging. Unfortunately, family is also a word often followed by the words "issues", "drama", or "problems".
Family is never all good or all bad even if it may seem like it sometimes. What is the bad in families? It includes divisions, alliances, gossip and lack of trust. Sometimes a family can be too focused on one member and in others a family can leave one of it's own out in the cold. Families can become overly tangled in each others affairs and families can become distant and fractured.
Family dynamics are often overwhelming and navigating them is difficult especially when compounded by the increasingly common occurrence of cultural and social differences across generations. Listening from all points of view and translating messages when emotion gets in the way becomes more important usually just when it's harder to do.
In therapy I help members explain their point of view in ways that will be understood by all others. In helping families this way members can see behaviors in a different way and learn to more successfully respond to each other, setting and honoring the boundaries that need to be in place and bridging the divides the need to be mended.
Problems from the past can linger, dividing family members and building walls. One of the main things each family needs help in doing is letting go of the past to be better able to live in the present, see each other more clearly without the distorted lens of the past getting in the way.
A happy family is not one that has no issues. The healthy family has issues, acknowledges them, and has the strength of internal connections, resiliency, and love to handle the difficult work of forgiveness and reconciliation.
most complex and challenging circumstances. Contact me today and let me help you find the best in yourself.
Benefit from my professional experience and wide range of psychological services.