Relationship Therapy

Your relationships are important to you, and they are important to me, too.

One of my specialties is working with people who are motivated to improve communication and other dynamcs in their relationships. My point of view is that our relationships are the place where we want to find a safe haven and a soft place to land. I will provide you with the skills to communicate effectively, identify the strengths in your relationship, and connect with each other on a deeper level. You will gain tools for change in your relationship that are proven to be effective. Ultimately, I want you to be on the same team! I provide therapy for all types of relationship constellations:

  • Couples -- Lesbian, gay, bisexual, heterosexual or however you identify your couple relationship, I am prepared to help you discover your particular needs for growth. For same sex/same gender relationships, I am painfully aware of the cultural, outside influences that can cause further stress in relationship. The same can certainly be true for heterosexual couples based on ethnicity, family of origin issues and beyond. I am also experienced in and enjoy working with couples wherein one or both partners are going through gender transition.
  • Polyamorous constellations -- I am experienced in working with polyamorous relationship constellations and understand that the nuances of each relationship are particular to the people involved. I also have a working knowledge of those nuances.
  • Friendships -- Sometimes our friendships are our most important relationships. It is common for people to either "live with" the problems in friendships or write them off due to conflict, because of the misconception that they aren't as important as romantic relationships. If you are feeling unsure about how to communicate in a friendship or want to repair issues in a friendship, I can help.
  • Family of origin
  • Chosen family
John Gottman (1999), in his extensive research about relationships, has identified 4 toxic ways of communication that he terms "The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse". These are:

  • Criticism -- Any statement that implies there is something wrong with the person with whom you are interacting. "You never..." and "You always..." are hallmarks of criticism.
  • Defensiveness -- Defending against a perceived attack. One of the hallmarks of defensiveness is responding to a complaint with a "counter-complaint".
  • Contempt -- Statements or non-verbal behavior that put one person on a "higher plane" than the other. Mocking, correcting, tone of voice, rolling of the eyes are some examples of contempt.
  • Stonewalling -- Withdrawal from the conversation in the form of silence and non-verbal behavior.
Though these unhelpful and damaging forms of communication were identified in the context of the couple relationship, I tend to help clients identify these no matter what the relationship is. My view is that if you are using these tactics in your romantic relationships, you may be using them in other relationships in your life as well. I can give you the tools to overcome these toxic tactics and become more effective in your communication and responses. This is but one of the tools that I use in my work with people in relationships.

Relationship therapy is my first love, and I look forward to working with you!

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