I work with people in relationships between adults, which includes couples and polyamorous relationships. I believe we choose our relationships purposefully, though we are not always conscious of how, and each of us strives for wholeness in the crucible of relationship.
My work in relationship counseling is to support each person participating in the relationship to expand their capacity for self-responsibility, friendship, and intimacy. We experience something profound when we are allowed to truly be ourselves in a relationship, and allow our partners the same freedom. Our partnerships become more solid, able to build on each others’ strengths and adapt for each others’ limitations; our goals come from authenticity; and we have the skills to adapt to changes together.
I have taken Gottman Level 1 training and employ their structured exercises and assessment approach to facilitate the work.
I believe healing in relationship is one of the deepest and most transformative forms of psychological healing we experience. Often, our unprocessed hurts and injuries from history come forward to wreak havoc in our most intimate relationships. This is a source of pain but it also creates the possibility for lasting healing.
In my work, I affirm the relationships of LGBTQ and straight people. I also honor kink-informed relationship structures with negotiated power exchanges. What is most important to me is that everyone present is willing to work on themselves and the relationships. If I feel that a participant is not willing to work, I will tell you and ask the participant either engage or withdraw from treatment, at which time I would happily continue to do work with the invested participants.
I do not work with relationships in which I suspect or know there is active domestic violence, which means dynamics of power, control, and coercion that are not consensual and diminish the lives of those involved.