Anger is the number one corrosive force in a marriage or committed relationship. There is an overwhelming chance that if your relationship is saturated with unresolved anger, it will begin to fail. An anger-soaked relationship is characterized by poor communication, lack of intimacy, inability to compromise, and reliance on blame. My work with couples starts with the themes and stories, often opposite in perception, which underlie the bitterness. This frequently ties to childhood wounds that are hidden but familiar triggers. A key tool in our work is the use of Active Listening, a structured exercise that enables the couple to hear each other in an open-hearted way. This healing process leads the couple to a place where greater compassion and generosity take root.
A key tool in my professional repertoire is mindfulness training. Emotions often feel solid and unrelenting. Through our work together, you will learn to observe your emotions rather than react to them. You will discover the insubstantial and wave-like nature of emotions, each arising and fading away. Armed by the knowledge that all urges and moods are, by definition, impermanent, you will attain self-control and optimism.
Adolescents and Emerging Adults
Adolescence and early adulthood are rich periods of transformation. You are saying good-bye to the dependence of youth and greeting a new life of responsibility, values clarification, identity and purpose. You are reflecting on where you have come from and choosing a direction that suits your evolving sense of self. It sounds exciting and promising, but it isn’t always easy.
Adolescence and early adulthood can be a turbulent and confusing time as you cleave yourself from the family unit and craft a re-invented version of your independent self. Social researchers state that teens who maintain a good relationship with parents fare better and are more likely to avoid risk-taking behaviors than their rebellious counterparts. In my work with adolescents and emerging adults, I create a place where it is safe to vent, sort through confusion and create solutions while still supporting the changing but important connection to parents.
Infertility (which includes pregnancy loss) affects 1 in 5 couples of child-bearing age. Infertility is a significant life crisis which can catapult the individual or couple into an emotional spiral of depression, anxiety, inadequacy and anger. Infertility affects women and men differently because of social roles which are gender-based. The male/female divide can amplify the infertility crisis by provoking strife over decisions and emotional responses to treatment set-backs. My work with individuals and couples centers on improving communication, normalizing feelings, enhancing coping skills and facilitating compromise. With the proper support, this difficult journey will end in a shared and suitable resolution.
Diabetes and other chronic illness
Diabetes is a serious health concern that afflicts approximately 23 million Americans. Twenty-five percent of diabetics will develop depression and women are at greatest risk. If you are diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes, you may have been battling depression prior to the medical diagnosis and your untreated depression may be a contributing factor to the onset of your disease. Depression affects lifestyle choices. Depressed men and women eat more and exercise less, thereby setting into motion the conditions which lead to diabetes. Diabetics who are depressed have poorer glycemic control and more health complications. When depression coincides with diabetes or puts you at risk for diabetes, it is imperative that you seek counseling. By targeting and neutralizing the harmful effects of depression and anxiety on your disease, our work together will help you re-gain control over your health and your life.
Any chronic health condition can trigger depression, but the risk increases with the severity of the illness and how much disruption it causes in your life. A vicious cycle can develop where the disease produces emotional fallout and conversely, the emotional fallout worsens disease symptoms and progression. Using the tools of cognitive restructuring, mindfulness, and behavioral strategies we will treat the depression related to your chronic illness so that you can experience improvement in your medical condition, achieve a better quality of life and find it easier to follow through with your treatment plan.