• New Relationships: Making a Life Together

    New relationships are often exciting, fueled by attraction and hormones, full of hope and optimism. As a couple lives together or begins to contemplate marriage, reality sets in about differences in the two individuals. Whether they will want children is a big issue - and serious - because there is no middle ground.

    Money, where to live, two careers, roles in a family, and neatness are issues which couples must resolve as they move beyond attraction to making a life together.

    Weddings have become BIG affairs, involving family, destinations, and money. Being clear about what you want this special day to be is important in navigating the way to your dreams.

    I can help you get there - and help you resolve the issues that clarify if you want to be together.

    If yes, you have created the space for happiness and fulfilling your dreams.

  • Couples Therapy

    A relationship is an interaction and connection with another person.  I must know myself to be in a relationship with another.  Being in a couple relationship is the most challenging and can be the most meaningful relationship in our lives.  But for many reasons it is often very painful.

    Individual people want different things in relationships. But we aren't always aware of what we want or haven't shared it, until something isn't working.

    In couples therapy I ask you why you have come.  We explore what is happening in your life that is causing you discomfort and conflict in your relationship.  When the two people come together, I facilitate your sharing feelings and experiences with the other.  Often the therapy works best if each person sees me individually alone, alternating with sessions together.  In the sessions alone you can express what you feel about the situation you are having difficulty with which you do not yet feel safe enough to share with your partner. Listening to yourself and working with me, you can clarify what you really want to say to your partner.

    Words have power – they can be devastating or powerfully connecting.  So it is important to get the words right for what you want to say.

    What if only one person in the couple will come to therapy?  One person working with me can definitely effect change in the relationship because as one person changes their interaction, the relationship will change.  It is more challenging this way, but not necessarily less successful.  As you share with me, are heard and respected, you take something new back into the relationship with your partner.  During this process it becomes more clear to you the options that you have – and then with reflection, you can make decisions about your relationship and your life.

    Therapy is successful  - not by the outcome of remaining together – but by the respect, clarity and openness of the communication we can achieve about your desires and goals.  Often that openness leads to greater connection and valuing of what you have together.  But sometimes it becomes clear that you and your partner want different things and there is no resolution of those differences.

    The respect and openness of your communication is especially important if you have children.  The process of ending a relationship is very difficult for children as well as the adults involved.  When two people can agree to co-parent in a respectful way, everyone benefits and the children become the first priority for the parents to work together toward their benefit.

  • Divorce Referrals

    Attorneys and mediators, including those who work in Collaborative Family Law, are committed to helping couples dissolve marriages in respectful ways. Having a therapist in this process provides emotional support to address the needs of the couple - and children involved. There are also financial experts who specialize in this divorce process.

  • An Unfinished Marriage

    Having taken “a sabbatical from marriage,” which Joan Anderson wrote about in her story, A Year by the Sea, Joan and her husband reunite after a year apart. Both were interested in and wary about their reconnection as he joins her in their Cape Cod Cottage.

    Neither is sure who they are as they resume living together after living alone for the year. But they gradually recall what brought them together and create something new from the individuals they are at this stage of life. Everything from shared space, finances, decision-making have to be renegotiated in this new place, from a place of awareness of what each wants in their life and in the relationship.

    The story is particularly striking in illustrating the changes that occur within us, developmentally, as we progress from young to middle to older age. And it illustrates how one couple talk about what they want in the renegotiating process – rather than the “taking it for granted” way they had come to live.