January 4, 2019

Big Feelings

What happens to us when our feelings feel too big to handle? When we are not sure of what the expression of what’s inside should look like? I would like to share a story that shows how unexpressed feelings can push behavior. I’d like to introduce you to Levi. Levi is 8 and a half. He is truly the apple of my eye. He’s bright and funny and let’s just say perfect! (I know, I know but I’m his grandma!)  I have just spent the past month with him out West. It’s our last day. We are meant to have a quiet morning together before we leave. Levi is bouncing off the walls. He is making a ruckus. His mom […]
May 28, 2018

The Hard Work of Couple Life ..

Sometimes couple life can get downright hard and ugly. We can spiral down to a place it seems we will never get out of. We find ourselves angry, hurt, and disconnected and it’s lonely. Partners in a distressed couple sometimes describe how they walk on eggshells. When doing so, I am not bringing my full self to the relationship, out of fear. So I hold back in an attempt to manage or maybe even control your behavior. But that never feels good or right, and it never provides satisfactory results in the long term. When we work harder at trying to mitigate a partner’s behavior rather than our own, we know we are in trouble. Some of us use shaming […]
February 20, 2018

Opposites attract .. right?

There’s a lot of truth in the old idiom that opposites attract.  Back in the day, there were huge evolutionary advantages to having a partner with skills that you didn’t have. This way we covered all the bases in our project of surviving.  But if opposites really do attract, why do so many couples, spend so much time, trying to make the other think/feel/act more like themselves? I often meet couples (and can reflect on my own experience too!!) who like to  complain that their partner “just doesn’t do it the way I want it done” or “why can’t they make a decision the way that I do?”  When couples argue they often say “I just don’t see it the […]
October 24, 2017

Speaking from the Heart

What are you really saying when you’re saying what you’re saying….. Ah, communication. Is there anything more necessary, and yet more convoluted as honest communication? We have so many ways of expressing our unhappiness, our needs, our longing – yet for the most part we fall into unconscious, unauthentic, and fearful ways to say what we really want to say. This kind of communicating usually results in us not getting our needs met,  creating resentment, and building greater and greater obstacles to loving, respectful, and supportive relationships. Couples often present in couple therapy arguing about a specific situation: money, child-rearing, sex, yet almost always, the underlying issues are about attachment. “I don’t trust you about money” can be translated into […]