“We are never so vulnerable as when we love.”
One of the first tasks in couples therapy is discovering patterns in your disagreements that make it difficult for you to have the connection you want and deserve. I believe if we can transform the couple’s relationships, we are not only helping them, but also helping them and their families for generations to come. Also, most of people’s toughest struggles are related to their relational issues so, as the relationship improves, the person's individual problems seem less challenging.
My specialties in working with couples include:
High Conflicts Couples
Couples Struggling with Trauma
Affairs Recovery (Attachment Injury Repair)
Grief after Divorce
Healthy Grieving as a Couple
Couples going through life transitions
What is Neurodiverse Counseling?
Individual brains are wired differently. You might have felt that you and your partner are on different channels in the way you experience the world or communicate with one another. This might be a neurodiverse relationship; when one or both partners being on autism spectrum. Neurological differences in the way your brains work may make it hard to see eye-to-eye, live together, co-parent, be in social settings together or communicate about certain topics. While all couples experience challenges within their relationship, neurodiverse couples may face unique challenges based on these neurological differences. Neurodiversity can lead to rich, fulfilling relationships but it can also cause frustration, stress and heartache.
I am part of the Neurodiverse Couples Counseling Center, which you can head to for more resources.
What is Attachment Injury and The Attachment Injury Repair ?
An attachment injury is an emotional wound to an intimate, interdependent relationship. It usually happens after a breach of trust—particularly in a time of need or a moment of loss or transition. Once an attachment injury occurs, it can leave one or both partners feeling betrayed or abandoned.
Like a physical injury, an attachment injury is usually the result of a specific incident. The incident could be something obvious such as infidelity. The injury could be caused by one partner’s unexpected reaction to a pregnancy, miscarriage, or a diagnosis such as cancer, traumatic brain injury (TBI), or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). An attachment injury also could be more subtle and seemingly insignificant, such as being left out of a family photo, not getting a “happy anniversary” call during a deployment, or having a deployment homecoming experience that falls short of what one of you expected.
The Attachment Injury Resolution Model (AIRM) seeks to help couples process and integrate emotions associated with injury and restore connections with loved ones that become a safe haven and source for healing.
What is Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)?
Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) was originated in the 1980's by Dr. Sue Johnson and Dr. Leslie Greenberg. It was developed when Dr. Johnson noticed that her couples were not interested in fair fighting rules, negotiation skills, or insights. Love relationships are emotional bonds and not subject to all that verbal rationality. Emotion has a rationality all its own, a necessity for survival.
Emotionally Focused Therapy focuses on the needs and longings we all have for love and acceptance– our attachment needs, especially from our romantic partners. Love makes sense when you can see that fighting and distance in a relationship happens when love and acceptance seem threatened. Often the response to threat is anger, criticism, or avoidance- a response that further threatens the relationship. A self-perpetuating cycle sets in that is hard to break free from.
We have relatively new science about how the brain operates under the stress of disconnection and the protection afforded by a safe trusting relationship. The way to build the safe relationship is through new safe experiences in therapy.