Relationship and Family Counseling
I believe that it is never too early,
or too late, for a couple to begin counseling.
We all come to relationships with our own stories about ourselves, about relationships, and about communication. Melding two people’s stories is rarely completely smooth or simple. I am non-traditional relationship and kink friendly and affirming.
Stan Tatkin's Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT) is the basis of my work with partners. PACT was developed out of cutting-edge research in three areas: attachment theory, neuroscience, and the biology of human arousal. It uses the science of how our brains work in relationships to help partners form closer, more creative, loving relationships.
Attachment theory, also the foundation of my work with individuals, explains the biological need to bond with others. It explains how our earliest relationships create blueprints that inform our sense of safety and security in adult relationships. Insecurities that we carry with us from those first relationships can wreak havoc for partners, usually completely unconsciously. PACT helps us understand our partner’s attachment trauma, and our own, and can help create more empathy for our partners (and ourselves!)
Neuroscience provides an understanding of how people act and react within relationships. Simply, some areas of our brains are wired to reduce threat, evade danger, and seek security, and others are wired to establish mutuality and loving connection to others.
The biology of human arousal explains the moment-to-moment ability to manage our energy, alertness, and ability to engage with others.
I use these foundational PACT principles to guide you in overcoming challenges you face as a couple. In our work you will discover how to:
• keep each other safe and secure
• put the security-seeking parts of your brain at ease
• manage each other’s highs and lows
• please and soothe and inspire each other to stay connected
• fight well
• rekindle your love at any time
• minimize each other’s stress and optimize each other’s health
PACT therapy might look a bit different from other forms of relationship therapy you have experienced in the past. In PACT therapy, the partners are oriented towards each other; PACT therapy teaches partners to attune to each other. We focus on the process of what is happening and how to do it better, rather than the content of what isn’t going well.
I also work with partners to:
Negotiate or renegotiate relationship structures
Explore what your relationship will be like after one member comes out as LGBTQIA
Prepare for the experience of medical gender transition of one partner
Families come in all kinds of beautiful variations. My work with families primarily centers around LGBTQIA issues. This might include:
Helping a child or parent come out to family members
Navigate the effects of a family member coming out as LGBTQIA
Preparing families for gender transition of a family member