Being in a relationship isn’t easy. Each person comes with expectations, fantasies, fears, and well-worn patterns of relating—often based in our early family histories. Because most of the material we carry was created very early in our lives, we do not tend to question our assumptions. Entering into a committed relationship takes great courage, and yet most of us still struggle to get our needs met, and we are challenged to communicate with the mindfulness and intention that we would like.
Here enters couples therapy.
In my work with couples, we start by looking at each partner’s relationship history—especially based in each of your own family of origin—to understand how unconscious patterns come from historical material. Drawing on the work of Harville Hendrix, we look at how each person tends to be unconsciously drawn to a partner (our “Imago”) who has the capacity to reinforce our original emotional wounds, but who also has the potential to help us heal, if we enter into mindful, loving relationship together.
Together we look at the pain that has occurred in your current relationship, and seek to help each member of the couple understand the impact s/he has on the other. Together we identify better ways of relating, including more realistic expectations, and ways in which we can communicate without inciting frustration or hurt.
In addition to working with couples in intimate relationships, I also work with family members whose relationships with one another need support as well. This has included siblings as well as parents and child/ren. Though the specifics may be different, the essence of relationship is the same. And my respect for the challenges remain the same as well.