INTIMACY TOUCHES ON OUR DEEPEST VULNERABILITIES
Couples usually seek therapy when problems have reached a critical point, and other attempts to reconcile have not succeeded. You may be seeking therapy because you feel a loss of connection, are caught in repeated arguments with no solution in sight, or are struggling to negotiate divergent or evolving needs. It is not unusual to experience confusion, anger, fear, sadness, or hopelessness when the mutual affection and support you once easily shared now seem out of reach.
Intimacy is a gift, offering the experience of understanding, connectedness, and belonging. Intimacy also comes with vulnerability, and can touch on deeply-rooted wounds not previously addressed. Often, the difficulties we face in current relationships mirror old conflicts, and consciously or not, we have chosen our partners partly to help us heal from the past. This is possible when both partners commit to the healing process.
MASTER CONFLICT AND STRENGTHEN YOUR CONNECTION
Conflict can offer vital opportunities to heal and grow. When approached with openness and curiosity, conflict can be a gateway to better communication, increased understanding, and a deepening intimacy in this, one of the most important relationships of your life.
As we work together to strengthen or rebuild the connection in your relationship, expect the following:
- We will work together to create a safe space where each person is heard and understood
- We will explore your relationship’s strengths and challenges for a balanced perspective
- We will honor the responsibility each of you has in contributing to the circumstances of your relationship
- We will identify and work toward individual and relationship goals for change
- We will approach conflict as an opportunity for growth
- We will practice the skills necessary for conflict resolution, which include:
- Communicating with honesty and respect
- Identifying and effectively communicating your values, intentions, and needs
- Learning how to listen so that you may come to know your partner’s values, intentions, and needs
- Exploring the overlap in your values and intentions that will bring about solutions and compromise
- Putting solutions into practice for a more harmonious partnership
- As your therapist, I will commit to helping you work toward what you want individually and as a couple, whether or not that means staying together
SAME SEX RELATIONSHIPS
Same sex partnerships and dating relationships can be immensely fulfilling, often providing a certain closeness that comes with sharing a biological sex and gender attributes. Same sex relationships can also be especially meaningful given the hurdles couples must overcome to thrive in a hetero-privileged society.
Sometimes referred to as “minority stress,” same sex couples face pressures not usually experienced by their heterosexual peers, including certain types of discrimination, lack of social support, the challenge of relating through different identity stages or levels of outness, and the added responsibility of negotiating what may be taken for granted in straight pairings, like gender roles, parenting roles, relationships to extended family, financial and legal commitments, and the option of marriage. These elements are further affected by constructs like age, race, national and cultural origin, socioeconomic status, and disability.
Because these factors play both a direct and indirect role in your relationship, all issues that you wish to address in psychotherapy will be viewed through a sociocultural lens. This allows us to put into perspective how context has helped shape you individually and as a couple, and can offer a balanced look at the concerns that brought you to therapy.