"How do you get along with someone whose perceptions
are so completely different from your own?"
It's hard to discipline kids, discuss finances, or
resolve a hurt when you don't see eye to eye.
Having different perspectives is an
inevitable part of being in a committed relationship.
I can help you and your partner learn from your
differences, so they can become
a source of strength and mutual support.
In a climate of acceptance, each of you can safely risk sharing and hearing the humanity in each other's experience of the relationship. I begin by coaching each of you to communicate your needs, wishes and fears in a way that the other partner can hear. Often, this involves slowing down the conversation, helping you express and listen from the heart, and translating messages that are painful to hear or feel "triggering."
I model plenty of empathy for each of you—the one who is trying to speak a difficult truth, so that you can be more present in the relationship. And empathy for the one who has to really stretch to hear that difficult truth with curiosity.
From our earliest loves and losses, many of us needed to learn how to hide our feelings. We've relied on strategies to avoid the discomfort of closeness and conflict. Maybe those strategies worked okay for us. As adults though, we can also see how these strategies might distance us from ourselves and others--and keep us from getting the support and love we want so badly.
Your willingness to risk being vulnerable can infuse your relationship with renewed tenderness, hope, passion and possibility. Vulnerability is a clear sign of strength, contrary to messages we've surely absorbed from family, school and our culture. We may have learned that needing something from someone is just another recipe for disappointment and hurt. Or we may have learned that "negative" feelings are a sign of personal weakness. I strive to offer each person a safe experience of vulnerable sharing, where your truth can be received and welcomed by your partner.
How Would I Approach Your Relationship?
You and your partner have unique histories, personalities, values and aspirations. I can tell you more specifically how I would approach your particular issues after I have met with both of you.
I may include the following elements:
- Observation, assessment and feedback on your communication patterns
- Homework (if desired)
- In-session practice of mindfulness
- Communication coaching
- Translation (speaking for each partner)
If you are interested, I warmly invite each of you to contact me before scheduling a first session to hear my voice, ask questions, and get a sense of how comfortable you feel with me.
Email: contact [email protected]