“And now that you don’t have to be perfect, you can be good.” – John Steinbeck, East of Eden
Our closest relationships can be a place of refuge. But unfortunately, they can also be a source of pain and frustration. Rather than experience our relationships as comforting or fun, we may spend more time avoiding, attacking, or defending ourselves with those we care about most.
“There is nothing in the world more difficult than another person,” says Stan Tatkin, developer of the Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy, and that is why we sometimes need outside help navigating the complex world of a life shared with another.
I work with all couples – dating, married, newly committed, long-term partnerships, straight or gay – who need help identifying and breaking unhealthy patterns, improving communication, recovering from betrayal, or seeking guidance to end a relationship well. I also work with those who are simply interested in taking their relationship from good to great.
I believe in order to understand where we currently are in our relationships we need to look closely at our earliest and most significant attachments, as this is where we most likely learned how to “do” relationships. Our automatic responses to those closest to us may be helping or hurting us (or both) but our responses are there for a reason. Couples therapy works to understand these automatic responses and take better control of the process. In this way, we can move away from a stance of defensiveness and self-preservation and instead towards security, freedom and authenticity. I draw from attachment theory, developmental neuroscience, and arousal regulation to assist couples in navigating their complex interactions and transform problematic patterns.
I am also certified to facilitate PREPARE / ENRICH inventories, a comprehensive couple assessment tool for pre-marital counseling.