Curl of happiness – a story

10-3-17 She felt a curl of happiness just the other day as she was lying in a patch of sunlight in the big empty room and it had been so long, so very long, she almost didn’t recognize this strange sensation of happiness. The curl unrolled very slightly and she felt it in her heart…

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5 tips to connect more with your partner

9-20-17 Sally and Brian* are telling me their goals for couples counseling. They’ve been married for eight years, have two young children, and want “better communication.” Sally explains: “Whenever we talk about anything these days, it turns into an argument. Can you help us?” Rose and Leah* have generally been happy in their three year…

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Summer end – a reflection

9-5-17 The air is still and heavy. The flaming red sun, so unusual for this area, gives way to a matte grey sky tinged very barely with pink. The almost full moon, visible earlier, is obscured by the smoke from the wildfires raging nearby. It’s unsettling and a bit surreal. I have lived here for…

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Who was your relationship model?

8-18-17 Imagine you and your partner are at your first appointment for couples counseling with me. I am asking you a series of questions, questions to get to know each of you better as well as to learn a bit about the history of your relationship. Then I ask this question: “What was your parents’…

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Getting through a breakup

8-7-17 A new client is sitting in my office crying. She cries for the full hour we are together, wadded up tissues in her fist. Her story comes out in short bursts. It’s a story you might be familiar with – in fact, you might have gone through it yourself. It’s a story of love…

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When’s the last time you felt your heart beating?

7-24-17 Sometimes, when all is still and quiet, I can feel my heart thrumming in my chest and its beat pulsing in my fingertips. Tucked away safe inside my ribcage, it radiates my life essence to each cell with each beat. About the size of your fist, your heart is a strong muscle that contracts…

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Walls in couples counseling

7-13-17 The wall is up. I sense it, and I’m sure that Brian* does as well. He is sitting on the couch, looking down at his clenched hands. He raises his eyes and gives a slight grimace. I look at his wife Jane* – she is talking about how she is just done done done,…

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Fireworks in relationships

7-3-17 I love this image. It looks so lovely and serene, doesn’t it? A couple, arm in arm, sitting peacefully on a rock viewing a splendid display of fireworks across the water. Imagine you are there with your partner. Suddenly it’s not quite so serene – in fact the loud unexpected booms and dazzling colors…

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Existential angst

6-13-17 A new client walks into my office and sits on the couch. Immediately her eyes tear up and she reaches for a Kleenex. “I’m sorry,” she sobs, “but my mom just died a few months ago and I am feeling so ungrounded. I don’t know who I am anymore without her in my life.…

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Triggers in couples

6-1-17 If someone pointed a gun at you with their finger on the trigger, I can guarantee that you would flip out. You would go into the classic fight or flight response where your body is primed for dealing with this very grave danger – either by fleeing or fighting back. A rapid release of…

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