Do you long for connection with your partner? Are you feeling isolated in your marriage? Do you harbor secrets in your relationship? Have you lost trust in your partner? Does it seem like your commitment is a prison sentence? Is there a quiet hostility in your home? Do you wonder if the love you once had will ever return? Do you worry that your children are picking up on the tension in your home?
I can help you! I am a Licensed Professional Counselor with a Masters Degree in Counseling. For 30+ years I have worked with couples who struggle in their relationship and help them discover their own negative patterns and learn to establish positive patterns.
Most Couples Start with Good Intentions
Most every couple I have worked with starts out with good intentions, but with time and familiarity they start to settle into ways of relating that are rooted in their personal upbringing. These attachment patterns run deep and the work of recognizing how we learned to attach to others as a result of how we attached or failed to attach to our own loved ones during childhood.
It is a passion of mine to work with couples and see them start to recognize and change old toxic patterns.
Most probably your relationship is on a "back burner" and you are so busy with your everyday life that you continue with the old toxic dance steps of the past.
You find yourselves stepping on toes and never seem to "get it right". It's time to learn new effective dance steps that will revolutionize your relationship.
I provide couples therapy in an intimate country home office. Many couples desire the privacy of seeing a therapist where they won't be seen in the waiting room by others they may know. My home office is in a rural farm setting close to River Road in Pipersville, Pa.
How Do I Work with Couples
I am a firm believer in Attachment Theory and have seen the benefit of a type of therapy called Emotionally Focused Therapy. Let me explain this to you in more detail. We all as individuals crave security and attachment from a very young age. Our loved one is our shelter in life. When that person is emotionally unavailable or unresponsive we face being alone. We are assailed by emotions such as anger, fear, sadness and hurt. Fear is our built in alarm system - it turns on when our survival is threatened. Losing connection with our loved one jeopardizes our sense of security. An alarm goes off in the brain's amygdala or "Fear Central". This almond shaped area in the mid brain triggers an automatic response. We don't think - we feel, we act.
If we are individuals with secure attachment bonds, when there is a disagreement there is may be a momentary sense of insecurity, but for those with weaker attachment bonds, the fear can be overwhelming. We are swamped by what neuroscientist Jaak Panksepp of Washington State University calls "primal panic".
Once primal panic has kicked in we do one of two things: we either become demanding and clingy in an effort to be reassured by our partner or we withdraw and detach in an effort to sooth and protect ourselves. We are in effect crying out saying "Notice me, Be with me, I need you." Or " I won't let you hurt me. I will chill out and stay in control".
These are unconscious strategies and as distressed partners resort to them more and more they set up vicious spirals of insecurity that push the couple further and further apart. Each partner becomes increasingly defensive and each assumes the worst about each other.
If we are not tuned into our partners we become distracted and caught up in our own agendas. We do not know how to speak the language of attachment. We do not give clear messages about what we need or how much we care.