What to expect
I typically start the therapy process by assessing the relationship. During assessment, I meet with the couple and get an idea of shared and individual goals for the relationship, which includes meeting briefly with individual members so they can speak frankly about where they're feeling stuck without fear of judgment or retaliation, and so I can learn more about individual family history. I have a no secrets policy and will expect partners to disclose information relevant to the relationship with each other. I also may observe a typical disagreement between the couple to observe typical patterns and learn about attempted solutions to identified issues.
Next, we collaboratively devise a treatment plan where we identify each person's perspective in areas of needed improvement as well as strengths in the relationship. I will provide valuable information about research findings on highly satisfied versus unsatisfied couples and families, and how these relate to your relationship. With your input along each step of the way, we come up with a plan to address each party's needs, goals and desires for the relationship.
I will collaboratively offer suggestions for clients to notice or approach the relationship differently in between sessions. The purpose of this is to begin a mindful awareness that greatly assists with the change process. In session, I also facilitate exercises to help teach you in real time how to apply new behaviors and approaches to your relationship to help you get what you need. We will explore history, values and emotions for each individual to increase understanding of differences in the relationship, and to uncover how automated thoughts and reactions may be impacting these. We practice new techniques for resolving conflict and strengthening your bond, and I will ask that you put in the work to improve your relationship satisfaction, and be willing to step out of your comfort zone. My goal is not only to disarm conflict and get relationships back to a healthy level of functioning, but also toward a strong, satisfying and meaningful way of relating to each other in the future.
Most individuals I see are seeking assistance about a specific relationship issue, such as recovering from a breakup, transitioning into relationships, dating with intention, deciding on whether to commit to your current partner, entering a polyamorous relationship and other complicated relationship situations. I will create space for your goals and honor these throughout our work together. I will help you tap into your thoughts, feelings and behaviors surrounding certain problem areas and assist you with understanding your own needs and desires before taking action. I will never tell you what your decisions should be, but will reflect and validate what I hear you leaning toward. As your therapist I will help you to create change in your relationship based on what is in your control, and make decisions that feel ultimately the most beneficial to you. I will help you advocate for yourself to others, and I will sometimes challenge your assumptions or actions. I may invite you to empathize or consider another person's perspective My goal is to help you achieve clarity, act with intention and to provide you tools to thrive.