My Foundation for working with relationships, across the spectrum, is rooted in Attachment Theory and an understanding of the science of adult attachment. When working alongside clients to examine their relationships, whether family or romantic, dating or married, attachment theory can be used to understand the strategies individuals have adopted to create and preserve connection. Through our experiences with key attachment figures throughout the lifespan, we might develop strategies that have the best of intentions, yet seem to produce undesirable results. Coming to an understanding of your particular strategy can shed new light on persistent difficulties that arise while dating and looking for a partner, or patterns that have kept you stuck in a cycle of negative interactions with a partner you have been with for any length of time. Additionally, because the science of attachment is looking at the biological need for connection that is hardwired into all of us, it is an effective tool across all sexual orientations, ethnicities, cultures and religions.
I have been trained in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for couples, which also works from the main framework of attachment theory and our need for safe bonding. In addition, EFT combines specific interventions from experiential therapy and systemic therapy. I find EFT techniques to be highly effective with individuals, couples and families. More on EFT for couples.
In conjunction with EFT, I utilize interventions and philosophical underpinnings from Narrative Therapy. One specific tool I am extremely fond of is “deconstructing discourse.” Essentially, I utilize this tool to help clients examine belief systems, societal norms, and socially constructed ideas that tend to keep us stuck in distress. With individuals, couples and families, I utilize this tool to help people explore unspoken “rules” they have been following, which allows them to make choices moving forward (Examples of these “rules” include: what a man’s role is, what a woman’s role is, definitions of success, what a “normal” family looks like, etc.).
I don’t view relationship therapy as something that is reserved solely for people in long-term committed relationships. Coming to an understanding of attachment styles can help individuals discover why they remain unsuccessful in dating, no matter how many attempts. Couples can use relationship therapy at the beginning of a partnership, or anytime throughout, to simply enhance an already fulfilling connection. And, families can come together to experience conversations that might not otherwise be possible without support.