My Approach to Helping
We all struggle in our relationships sometimes. Maybe you and your significant other find yourselves arguing about the same issues again and again with no resolution. Maybe you feel unheard, as if your needs don't matter, or like you just can't ever get it right for your spouse. Perhaps you miss the closeness you once had but can't seem to find your way back to one another. Maybe you wonder if you are falling out of love.
You are not alone and there is hope. My goal is to help you break free from your typical way of communicating that leaves you both feeling frustrated and distant from each other. Instead, imagine a way of talking where you both feel more understood, less defensive and simply closer to one another. Helping couples find this connection again is why I love couples therapy.
More Info About My Practice
I enjoy working with all kinds of couples including remarried couples with stepfamilies. Stepfamilies have unique challenges (step parenting, problems with ex-spouses, finances) that can put pressure on the remarried couple's relationship. I understand these challenges (personally and professionally) and enjoy helping remarried couples navigate pitfalls common to stepfamily life.
I also love working with couples and individuals on parenting issues and negotiating differing parenting styles. At times I think raising another human being can be the hardest job on earth! I help parents gain awareness about their own thoughts, feelings, and behaviors so they can respond to their children from a place of relative calm, even during an epic toddler (or teen) meltdown!
Specific Issue(s) I'm Skilled at Helping With
I am remarried with a biological child and a stepchild. Years ago, when I was looking for therapy myself I found that most therapists weren't trained in the specific issues that remarried couples and their children experience. After completing my graduate degree in social work, I went back to school for a two-year program in marriage and family therapy. There I focused on the unique dynamics of stepfamilies and learned why many remarried couples with children feel so at odds with each other.
I use 3 models of therapy that help people gain clarity on why they have conflict, how to reduce the conflict and feel more understood, and lastly, gain awareness about past experiences that may be shaping how they manage their relationships in the present.
Had a Negative Therapy Experience?
Many of the people I work with have had negative experiences with therapy in the past. Most of these stories have one thing in common: The person felt judged by the therapist. The most important part of therapy is that you feel safe to share what you think is important without fear of judgment. All behavior (even bad) makes sense when we dig a little deeper. Sometimes we behave in crazy ways when, for instance, we are desperate for our spouse's attention or maybe we just can't take our spouse's criticism anymore. I don't blame one person or the other. Instead, I work to understand what's happening underneath the conflict that's causing the destructive patterns to occur over and over. And, the more information you can share with me to help this process along, the better!