Relationships: the fabric of our lives but can be a struggle! I can help you re-connect through better communication, empathy and trust.
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist in Oakland, CA
Attachment is at the heart of all relationships. Basic attachment styles come from our early experiences with our primary caregivers. For many varied reasons, some people have secure attachment while others have insecure attachment. This inevitably affects relationship dynamics, which can sometimes be useful to explore in couples therapy.
Cultural and systemic oppression can sometimes be very obvious to people in cross cultural, inter-religious and inter-racial relationships. However, there can sometimes be less obvious effects on couples from different class or educational backgrounds. Many LGBTQI couples may experience stress on their relationship from prejudicial forces in society or family. Gender differences (especially since the consciousness raising of the #MeToo movement) may add stress in heterosexual relationships.
Obviously, relationship and marriage issues are the source of my current interest in couples therapy. It truly brings me great pleasure when I am able to help a couple get back on track with their relationship. Of course, it takes a lot of courage and commitment for a couple to embark on therapy, but the rewards can be great.
I have studied, taught and practiced couples therapy for over 30 years. I have studied, taken classes and workshops in Emotionally Focused Therapy, Imago therapy, Family Systems, Psychoanalytic Couples Therapy, Gottman Therapy and many others over the years. I also have designed and facilitated numerous brief Couples Workshops for Building Communication and Intimacy Skills.
Having seen so many couples come to therapy after years of struggles, such as angry conflict or lack of connection or mis-matched values, beliefs or desires, has made me an advocate of premarital counseling. Many couples get together for the wrong reasons and discover that belatedly. Things such as desire to have children, religious differences, dreams for the future need to be shared. Premarital counseling is scary, but a very useful way to head problems off at the pass.
Over the decades of counseling I have had the privilege and good fortune to work with people of diverse ethnicities, religions, sexual identities, classes, sizes, educational levels and so on. Many of the couples I have worked with have been cross cultural and from every different country, culture, religion, ethnicity that you can imagine. It's been a really wonderful experience for me and I, of course, hope I have served them well.