YOUR HEART IS YOUR STRENGTH



How I Work With Couples
I help couples bring more awareness to relationship and marriage. With increased awareness you can more easily make decisions that contribute to relaxation, enjoyment, and trust in your relationship. The following are developmental skills I return to over and over again with couples. While there are many variables that can disrupt harmony in a relationship, returning to these skills will build your confidence and give you direction.

Think of your relationship as a three legged stool. The seat is your
Intention for the relationship. It's important for everyone in counseling, both couples and individuals alike, to give repeated thought to her or his intentions for self and relationship. Having clear intention can serve you and the relationship well in rough times. Intention is like a compass; it reminds you of the direction you want to travel. This 'seat' of intention is supported by the following three legs.

Differentiation. Differentiation is the ability to stay with yourself ('hold onto yourself') within the shifting tensions of your relationship. Differentiation means cultivating the ability to soothe your own painful feelings when you want your partner to do that for you. Differentiation is a skill you can learn to ease your own suffering when the friction of relationship feels painful. It is also the place from where you can express connection at moments when that’s difficult.

Connection. Connection is an intentional demonstration of friendly and/or loving contact with your partner. Connection takes many forms and may be unique from couple to couple. Connection is how we demonstrate care, intimacy, and desire for closeness.

Repair. Repair is the ability to "reach across the divide" of injured, hurt, and fearful feelings to connect with your partner; sometimes when you might not feel like it. In this sense, repair is both (1) the ability to express connection during painful interactions (through differentiation) and (2) connecting with your parter through apology and/or taking ownership for your part in painful interactions. It is never too late to initiate repair.

For more information on marriage couples counseling please call me with any questions at 503-252-3739.