- Reconnecting through emotional distance and conflict avoidance
- Recognizing defensiveness to take responsibility
- Rekindling, exploring and expressing desires
- Creating shared dreams, traditions and goals
- Honoring family, community, cultural values and practices
- Negotiating support needs, boundaries, and power dynamics
- Traditional and non-traditional families and relationships
- Healing together from intergenerational trauma and oppression
- Clarifying commitments and agreements
Life struggles can take our relationships off track, sometimes to the point of feeling stuck or fearful of conflict. Ruptures will happen in all relationships. Some conflict is necessary to have real intimacy. But most of us were not shown by our parents how to do the repair and resolution needed for a relationship to grow and thrive. Intergenerational cycles can make intimacy become like extreme sports — requiring new skills, emotional first aid, and a solid support network. There are ways to feel more alive and connected in your relationship, to reunite as a team and to experience more love, intimacy, and pleasure. There are ways to restore the chemistry that attracted you in the beginning. It is possible to reconcile the tension between domesticity and passion.
I collaborate with couples to rebuild trust, limit negative patterns, understand desires, and explore new ways of interacting. In my work with couples and relationships, I combine my intersectional understanding of trauma and attachment with Emotionally Focused Therapy, which has shown high rates of recovery from relationship distress. I also draw from the Gottmans’ research on the antidotes to common problems (e.g., defensiveness, withdrawal, criticism, and contempt), and on what sustains relationships in the long term (e.g., shared values, appreciation, taking responsibility, mutual influence). My aim is to support emotional safety and bonding.
How I Work
To get us started, I begin with separate individual sessions. It is crucial to first establish trust and understanding with each person. This helps us get to the root of what is happening. We can discuss issues that feel the most urgent as we do the individual sessions and get started. I find that with this initial preparation, our joint sessions gain traction more rapidly and make more lasting change.
What if my partner is not interested in couples counselling?
You are welcome to work with me individually to discuss how to develop a more secure and loving relationship. I have been able to improve relationships by working with one partner to understand their situation and communicate more effectively.