“Committed relationship is the steep path to enlightenment.”
–Chogyam Trungpa Rinpoche
“Your relationship is your medicine.”
I have come to regard committed relationship as one of the most powerful vehicles for personal growth and transformation a human being can engage in. There is greater potential for healing within your primary relationship than any amount of individual therapy. When we commit to being in relationship with another person, and the longer we remain in close proximity to one another, the more our “buttons” are uncovered and triggered, the more the subtle and not-so-subtle wounds of our childhoods are brought into the light for potential resolution.
Whether your relationship is in crisis, just beginning, or is longstanding and has lost its passion, I help couples to create a relationship that serves as the ground of their life: a source of nourishment, protection, and inspiration. In order to create this kind of relationship, partners must be able to see each other clearly, without being clouded by the distorted lens of their and their partner’s childhood. I support couples in understanding how their childhood has impacted their relationship with their partner as well as how their partner’s childhood shows up in the relationship.
Once partners begin to understand their own history as well as their partner’s, they can naturally become each other’s allies and support. With such insight and experience, defensiveness and self-preservation are replaced with compassion and generosity. The two-person psychological-emotional system becomes a priority and a source of energy and vitality rather than a drain on psychological and emotional resources.
As partners gain a better understanding of what is actually happening with each other, I then help them learn the skills, tools, actions, and behaviors to support one another in regulating strong emotional distress during conflict. All couples have conflict. I help them learn how to manage it in a way that supports and strengthens the relationship rather than drains and destroys it. Couples shift from seeing the enemy in their partner to becoming an advocate, a support, and a source of safety and nurturance.
My work with couples is largely influenced by a cutting-edge approach known as PACT: Psychobiological Approach To Couple Therapy. PACT is based on research in three key areas: neuroscience, attachment theory, and the biology of emotional regulation.
To learn more about my influences, please visit the following:
What is PACT
Here’s Stan Tatkin: the man who is revolutionizing couples work. I’ve had the privilege of learning from and training directly with him over the past several years. He is one of my primary relationship mentors.