Couples come to therapy with me for a variety of reasons. Often, they come into my office after years of strife and entrenched conflict. There may have been infidelity or continuous comflict about parenting or families of origin. Others come for fine tuning,to improve their communication and enhance their satisfaction in their relationship.
I integrate my psychodynamic understanding with the Attachment- oriented theory and structure of Emotionally Focused Therapy. I bring in Gottman Sound House Theory and Imago Theory as I work to tailor treatment to each unique couple. All of these theories emphasize the need for partners to hear and mirror the other's feelings, validate the other and develop the capacity for empathic care and concern for each other. Helping couples understand that much of what has been hurtful in the past has come from a place of unmet needs and vulnerabiliteis facillitates the growth and development of mutual empathy. Without empathy, relationships are unable to thrive and be mutually satisfying.
Couples treatment must address the patterns established in the couple as well as the destructive CYCLE of escalating negative emotions based upon unmet emotional needs. These negative emotions lead to fixed perceptions of the other which make it hard for new patterns to emerge without the help of a skilled couples therapist. Often, people resort to hurtful actions as a result of the fixed perceptions and emotional patterns which they feel locked into with no way out. I help couples identify this cycle, understand each other's early wounds which were carried into the relationship, and establish empathy for one another. We build on the strengths of each partner and in the relationship to enhance the couples' collective strength and well-being.
When couples decide that they cannot stay together, I am committed to helping them separate in a dignified, respectful manner. It serves neither party well to destroy the other and it is crucial that this be done with integrity if there are children involved. I guide couples through the divorce process in a way that puts their children first and maintains the children's sense of security with each parent. This is the most delicate and important work because it will impact each child's dvelopment significantly. I have done Collaborative Divorce Coaching in CT and NY and have a referral network of attorneys and financial planners who are committed to the non-adversarial approach to divorce. I only refer to people of the highest integrity as I takemy role in a family's life at the most critical time extremely seriously.