It is perfectly normal to experience frustration with partners. If you don't, you might be a robot.
While experiencing anger, sadness, hopelessness, irritability, confusion, anxiety, stagnancy or withdrawal in relationships is normal and at times expected, it's how you approach these valid emotions that determines if you will achieve your relating goals. Luckily, highly effective tools in the ever-expanding relationship science exist to assist us with understanding and enjoying relationships more fully and with purpose-- an intention that can reduce stress, provide clarity and improve overall mental and physical health, wellbeing and satisfaction. Instead, set the foundation for a strong, smart relationship by using research-proven ways of communication, conflict management, power negotiation and discussion of important issues so that you can develop a healthy system of relating and connecting now.
Common Issues Addressed:
Unproductive communication cycles
Boredom/ feeling like roommates
Healing emotional wounds
Issues of trust or jealousy
Depression or anxiety affecting relating
Discernment counseling / Ambivalence therapy: determining whether your problems can be solved and whether you want to try
Breaking up/Divorce: Conscious uncoupling
Recovering from emotional or physical infidelity
Open relating, polyamory and relationship anarchy choice
Life transitions (school/career, relocating, buying a home, having children, death and grief, retirement)
Sex therapy: relational pleasure
Sex-positivity and kink inclusivity
Negotiating areas of conflict (stress, finances, housework, sex, electronic distractions, porn, social or family relationships)
Pre-marital counseling/ Contemplating commitment
Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or questioning identities in relationships
Family, cultural or religious identities in relationships
Deciding on children
Planning a "no regrets" lifestyle to help your relationship thrive
Creating rituals of connection
Supporting each others' life dreams
What to expect:
I typically start the therapy process by assessing the relationship with your intentions and goals in mind. During assessment, I meet with the clients and get an idea of shared and individual needs, 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 history. I have a no secrets policy and will expect all partners to disclose information relevant to the relationship with each other.
Next, we collaboratively devise a treatment plan where we identify each person's perspective in areas of needed improvement as well as strengths that exist. I will provide valuable information about research findings on highly satisfied versus unsatisfied relating, and apply these relevancies to your situation. Ethically and 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. Often this includes identification of power dynamics and trauma-informed insight.
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, and the change needed to achieve your goals begins within yourself. In session, I also facilitate exercises to help teach you in real time how to apply new behaviors and approaches to your partnership(s) to help you get what you need. We will explore history, values and emotions for each individual to increase understanding of differences and disconnect, 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.