Partners/Family Therapy


Partners (defined as 2 or more people in a romantic relationship with each other)

Counseling promotes understanding of ourselves and our partners. When you are beginning a
relationship, part of therapy may be reflecting on how each individual views the meaning of life
and how they fit in to that particular paradigm. It can lead to clarifying each person’s perception
of the meaning of relationship and how that influences the choices they make as well as how
they make these choices. Counseling at this early stage can assist all participants in a relationship
to understand the roles and responsibilities of each member of the relationship and to develop
agreements and expectations from that understanding. Relationships require work and because in
the early days things may flow smoothly, it is sometimes an ideal time to dig a little deeper to
develop intrapersonal intelligence as well as gain insight into the expectations of the other
partner or partner’s way of being in the world. In therapy with me, the goal will be to understand
what to do to take the next step for the well-being of each individual and the relationship,
whether that means staying the course or finding a new path.

In a long-term relationship, while there will be some overlap, we may also look at patterns of
interaction over time, how our choices have supported or constrained healthy patterns of
interaction; our goal is both to take responsibility for our part in the development of those
patterns as well as identify what is in our control for healthy change and healing. Typically,
when partners who have been in a longer-term relationship come to counseling, a problem of
some sort has been identified. While there are situations that are outliers, often partners see most
clearly the part or fault of the other partner but have difficulty seeing the part they played in the
present dilemma. In therapy with me, I will listen to understand the best I can with the goal of
helping each partner see and own their part and to consider if change for the benefit of the
relationship is possible.

Family Therapy

Like partners therapy, each person in a family has some sense of the meaning of life. In therapy
we will explore that for each individual, see how to bring the family together into a functioning
whole where each individual’s unique sense of meaning supports the family system in a healthy
manner. Whether we are 2 years old, 22 years old or 62 years old, we only have control over our
own thoughts, feelings, and actions. However, the way we interact within the system can support
or constrain the overall healthy functioning and well-being of other members as well as the
system as a whole. In essence, we have to look at the part we play within the system, to learn to
make choices that support both our individual well-being as well as the well-being of our family.
Again, we can only change ourselves, our attitudes and actions, and are served well when we
understand that there is value in recognizing the limits of our control and develop strategies for
accepting people, places, and situations as they are (even if we do not approve).