- family of origin patterns
- loss and grief from losses such as death, divorce
- other issues holding you back
- life transitions – those milestones
- and helps you develop strategies to move through them.
- becoming the person you aspire to be in your relationship
- becoming an effective listener
- to be seen and heard by your partner
- to see and hear your partner
- to disrupt the injurious and hurtful patterns which have developed over time (the same arguments, threats, ultimatums, wishing for “before…,” etc.)
- learn and practice new ways of thinking, feeling and behaving to have greater closeness and intimacy
- increase your openness to discovery and risk while increasing your knowledge of yourself and your partner
Family Therapy: Family Therapy assists members, individually and collectively, to develop:
- ways of living together more harmoniously with respect, empathy
- acquiring effective tools for looking at issues from different perspectives
- capacity to work toward win/win/ situations for all members
- clearer communication, the meaning of “yes,” “no” and “maybe”
- clarifying and communicating expectations
- listening to each other, really listening!
- establish and maintain limits and boundaries
Discernment Counseling for Couples on the Brink:
Are you and your partner “stuck”, unsure how and if you want to end your relationship?
Discernment counseling is a way for couples to look at their options before making a final decision about separation and divorce. It is most appropriate for couples where one partner wants to preserve and repair the relationship and the other is leaning towards ending it.
Research shows that this kind of “mixed agenda” is common among couples approaching divorce, and there is a dearth of special services for them. It’s also a common and (difficult) presentation in couples counseling.
Discernment counseling differs from regular marriage counseling in three ways:
- The goal is not to solve problems in the relationship, but to figure out whether the problems can be solved
- The process involves mainly individual conversations with each partner, since they each have different needs, agendas and perspectives
- It is always short term ( maximum 5 sessions)
What can couples expect to gain from Discernment Counseling?
- Clarity and confidence about next steps for their relationship
- A deeper understanding of what has happened to their relationship and each person’s contributions to the problems
What does Discernment counseling involve?
The counseling focuses on three paths: ending the relationship via separation or divorce; carving out a six-month period of time for an all-out effort in couples counseling (and sometimes other services) to preserve the marriage/relationship; or staying the course (status quo) and deciding later.
The sessions involve mostly individual conversations with me, along with sharing about what each partner is learning in these conversations. I respect the reasons for ending the relationship while opening up the possibility of restoring the relationship to health.
I help both partners see their individual contributions to the problems and the possible solutions. Understanding one’s own contributions to the problems can be important to the success of future relationships even if this one ends.
Discernment counseling is NOT suitable when:
- One partner has made a final decision to end the relationship and only wants counseling to encourage the other partner to accept that decision
- One partner is coercing the other to participate via threats of any kind
- There is danger of domestic violence
- There is an Order of Protection from a Court
Restructuring Family Therapy:
When parents make the decision (usually not an easy one) to divorce, their world is changed and will continue to change until the dust has settled and life moves along. The family is not ending (yet many children and parents fear that it is), but it is changing shape, going through “restructuring” and when this occurs, everyone experiences a painful and traumatic process.
Parents and child feel powerful emotions from deep sadness to fear and anger. It is unfortunate that so much change must be managed during the initial period of great vulnerability; this is one of the difficult realities of separation and divorce.
Co-Parenting Counseling: Co-Parenting Counseling addresses the challenges of raising children in dual households for the parents to:
- develop “a limited business partnership”
- develop strategies to work through the disruptions which occur in this restructuring
- create a parenting plan that meets the developmental and emotional needs of the children
- move beyond the “blame game” with the hurt and anger which harms ALL members of the changing family
- learn how to keep their children out of the middle
- learn to NOT be the uncooperative co-parent, often referred to as a “jerk”!
Co-Parenting is a very specialized form of therapy, focusing on the co-parenting relationship of former partners (or partners in the process of divorce) and the parent-child relationship. Marital relationships contain patterns of behavior, belief systems and interactive styles which are characterisitically carried over to the post-divorce period, causing much misunderstanding, miscommunication, suspicion and mistrust of the other co-parent. Moving from these old relationship dynamics to a business relationship with the other co-parent requires a new perspective and willingness to listen and to change to what is going work for families undergoing structural change.
Just for the Frog of It – because divorce is a metamorphosis – Program for children and their parents
Just for the Frog of It therapy is an individualized therapy program designed to:
- support both children and their parents during a time of heightened stress, disruption, intense emotions, and reorganization of the entire family
- help parents understand the emotional process of divorce through the eyes of their children
- help children through the magic of art therapy to make sense of their world turned upside down and those pesky feelings
- address issues of living in two households, going back and forth, transitions, feelings too big to understand, getting caught in the middle of parental issues
The program consists of approximately 10 sessions for the children, 5-10 sessions for the parents and combinations of the two.
Remember, it takes a minimum of a year after a “moveout” for the dust to settle, new routines to be established and emotions to settle. This time-frame, of course, is when co-parents can co-parent together effectively and children have loving relationships with both parents.
Remarriage Counseling: Remarriage therapy is for couples who have been previously married and want to lay a firm foundation for their new relationship:
- helps partners develop healthy and realistic expectations of their relationship when they “are not new” (per poet/songwriter Leonard Cohen)
- learn the challenges at each stage of committed relationships
- learn how to effectively listen, really listen
- with “Blended Families” (remarriage involving children from previous relationships), assists in sorting out loyalties, expectations, family meetings,
- each family member can express their needs and wants
- eases the stress so no one is left out or behind. Unattended, this can lead to great distress and disruption, including ending the new relationship.
Are you considering a Special Gathering for friends or colleagues? Full day retreats can be arranged for up to 12 people, for the Magic of SoulCollage® Cardmaking, with refreshing foods offered through-out the day. You can stroll in the Garden to center and ground, listen to the fountain and the myriad of birds calling. Please contact me to learn more. Half-day workshops are also available for your group, with refreshments offered throughout, all materials provided. More Info