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Blue Mountains
Blue Mountains

Couples Therapy

The Moment I heard my first love story,
I started looking for you,
not knowing,
how blind that was.  
Lovers don't finally meet somewhere.
They're in each other all along.
Rumi

Wherever we go, wherever we remain,
the results of our actions follow us."

...Nothing we do, no matter how virtuous,
    Can be accomplished alone.
Therefore we must be saved by love."





" The thrill is gone,
the thrill is gone away,
Oh the thrill is gone, baby,
the thrill is gone away,
You know you've done me wrong," 
 B.B. KING


LOVE - Which of the three sentiments is it???  - LOVE IS A BITCH.  Potentially a profound spiritual connection it still has to be all three is the awkward answer.  The yin and yang of life and all relationship. But it is a Choice.

HAVEN'T WE ALL FEELT LIKE THIS AT ONE TIME.  LOVE CAN HURT.  BUT IT IS A CHOICE.

EVER WONDER HOW OR WHY THE LUMINOSITY AND LIGHTNESS IN THE BEGINNING OF THE RELATIONSHIP FADES?

SOMETIMES WORSE,  IT DIES IN ANGER.

"GENUINE FORGIVENESS DOES NOT DENY ANGER,
BUT FACES IT HEAD ON"  ALLICE MILLER


ISN'T IT STRANGE THAT OFTEN THE VERY THING YOU LOVED AT THE START HAS BECOME A POSSIBLE BOLCK OR IRRITATION HOLDING BACK INTIMACY. NO WONDER THE FEELING,  IT IS AN OBSERVATION THAT TENDS TO REPEAT ITSELF NO LESS.  

"TO GIVE YOUR COW A LARGE MEADOW IS THE WAY TO CONTROL HIM." 

THE DIFFICULTY OF BREAKING THE REPETITION TELLS US THAT BOTH PARTNERS HAVE A NEED AND RESPONSIBILITY TO COMMUNICATE DIRECTLY AND CLEARLY.  IRONICALLY THE VERY RUB AND STING WE FEEL IS THE POINT WHERE WE NEED TO GROW AND TYPICALLY MOST DEFENDED OR DISOWNED.

"OFTEN THE WISDOM OF THE BODY CLARIFIES THE CONFUSION AND DESPAIR  OF THE SPIRIT." 

ITS AMAZING THAT OUR CULTURE REQUIRES MORE TRAINING, EFFORT AND ATTENTION TO ATTAIN A DRIVER'S LICENSE THAN A LICENSE TO MARRY.  CARS AND MARRIAGES CAN BE WEAPONS AND SEPARATION CERTAINLY FEESL LIKE A CARWRECK.  AND YET THERE IS ACTUALLY A LOT OF GODD RESEARCH FINDINGS OUT THERE IN NEUROSCIENCE AS WELL AS DEVELOPMENTAL AND ATTACHMENT PSYCHOLOGY.

"WHAT WE CAN'T FACE LOOKS FOR US ANYWAY." 

THEY'VE DONE THE WORK, THE RESEARCH IS IN BASED ON CONTROLLED STUDIES.  LIKE GOTTMAN, FOR EXAPMPLE, WHO HAS BEEN ABLE TO DELINIEATE SIX BEHAVIORS THAT ARE KEY - ESSENTIAL COMPOMENTS OF A HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP.  CLEARLY NOT AS EASY AS FOLLOWING A MANUAL, YET THERE IS SOME SOLID EVIDENCE AVAILABLE THAT IS INSTRUCTIONAL AND HELPFUL.   MUCH OF IT IS PSYSIOLOGICAL AS WELL AS PSYCHOLOGICAL.

 WHAT WOULD IT MEAN FOR YOU TO COMMIT TO A STRUCTURED COMMUNICATION FORMAT IF IT GUARANTEES A CHANCE TO GENUINELY CONNECT FROM A SAFE PLACE.  TO FEEL FELT.  TO BE HEARD.  WOULD YOU DO IT?  WILL YOU HAVE THE COURAGE TO EMBRACE THE AWKWARD STRUCTURE WHILE IT EVENTUALLY BECOMES MORE NATURAL AND COMFORTABLE.  MINDFULNESS TECHNIQUES ARE ALSO TREMENDOUSLY HELPFUL BUT IS IT STILL WORTH THE TRANSPORTATION CHARGES? 

"THERE IS A FIELD 
BEYOND RIGHT THINKING 
AND BEYOND WRONG THINKING
I WILL MEET YOU THERE"
RUM
I


THE ANSWER SEEMS TO BE A RESOUNDING YES. THERE ARE MANY BENEFITS FOR THOSE THAT CAN ACKNOWLEDGE THEIR OWN REPITITION COMPULSION TO FIND THE VERY PEOPLE WHO CAN'T MEET THEIR MOST IMPORTANT NEED.  DEEP SPIRTIUAL CONTACT AND CARE CAN BE FORMED THROUGH THE MUTUAL COMITTMENT TO HELP OUR PARTNER STAY AWARE AND SAFE - AND HEAL A CHILDHOOD WOUND.   MOST SAY IT CAN BE PRETTY PROFOUND TO OFFER HEALING DIRECTLY TO ONE WE LOVE AND NOT RELY ON THE TRANSFERENTIAL DISTANCE OF A THERAPEUTIC RELATIONSHIP.


THERE IS BAD AND GOOD NEWS.  BAD NEWS IS THAT WE ARE DOOMED TO KEEP REPEATING THIS SAME CYCLE WITH OTHER PARTNERS.   EVEN THE REPORTS FROM NEUROSICNEC AND BIOLOGY REVEAL THAT WE ARE CHEMIICALLY DIRVEN. THE  MIND-BODY CONNECTION CONFIRMED ONCE AGAIN, ALWAYS WAS, ALWAYS WILL BE.  THE GOOD NEWS IS THAT WE ARE GIVEN AN OPPORTUNITY TO UNHOOK BOTH MENTALLY AND PHYSICALY.  THE GOOD NEWS IS THE RECENT DISCOVERY OF NEURAL PALSTICSTY - OUR BRAINS AND BIOCHEMISTRY CAN CHANGE - WE CAN CHANGE IT.

"ALL TRUE THINGS 
MUST CHANGE AND ONLY
THAT WHICH CHANGES 
REMAINS TRUE."
C.G JUNG


THIS IS ALSO A TOUCHY AREA BECAUSE IT CHALLENGES US TO ACCEPT OUR SHADOW WITHIN THE RELATIONSHIP.  THIS IS USALLYTHE REALIZATION THAT THE PLACE WHERE OUR PARTNER WANTS  SOMETHING FROM US IS WHERE WE ARE MOST WOUNDED.   WE CAN'T GIVE  IT, OR THINK WE CAN'T AT LEAST.   NOT UNTIL WE HAVE DONE SOME MORE CONSCIOUSNESS RAISING CAN WE GIVE IT MORE FREELY.  BEING  CLEAR WITH OUR INTENTION AND EMOTION BUILDS SAFETY.  HOLDING JUDGEMENT IS HARD BUT HEALING.  

"WHAT NOW SEEMS TO YOU OPAQUE, YOU WILL MAKE
TRANSPARENT WITH YOUR BLAZING HEART..."
R.M. RILKE


 MRI'S AND OTHER TESTS CONFIRM EMOTIONS HAVE NEURAL AND CHEMICAL CORRELATES OF EXPERIENCE IN ADDITION TO COGNITIVE.  RESEARCH IS PRETTY CLEAR THAT EARLY ATTACHMENT FIGURES AND PATTERNS HAVE HAD SIGNIFICANT NEUROLOGICAL, PHYSIOLOGICAL AND PSYCHOLOGICAL IMPACT ON OUR OWN NATURE AND REVEAL THEMSELVES IN OUR CURRENT RELATIONAL WORLD.  THE SYNAPTIC GROOVES HAVE BEEN LAID.

DRUGS HAVE BEEN INVOLVED FROM THE BEGINNING.  MAN LITERALLY INDUCES A "CHEMICAL INTOXICATION" DURING THE MATING PERIOD.  AH -"THAT LOVIN  FEELING".  "I FINALLY FEEL WHOLE."  " I'VE BEEN LOOKING FOR YOU ALL MY  LIFE."  "YOU COMMPLETE ME"  SOULMATES.  THIS IS STRONG STUFF AND CAN BE BETTER MANAGEED BY US - ESPECIALLY WHEN WE GET THE HELP OF OUR PARTNER WHO, BELIEVE IT OR NOT,  SHARE A VERY SIMILAR WOUND BUT OPPOSITE DEFENSE.

COUPLES THERAPY CAN HELP US START TO UNRAVEL THE PUZZLE OF WHY WE FIND PEOPLE THAT WE CHOOSE;  TO ACCEPT OUR PART IN THE DRAMA OF THE PROJECTTION; CHOOSE BETWEEN BEING RIGHT OR EFFECTIVE.  IT IS TRANSFORMATIVE TO ACCEPT THAT THE NEUROTIC REPETITION OF PARTNER SELECTION BASED ON NEGATIVE SELF-OBJECT FORMATION IS NOT PATHOLOGICAL, BUT RATHER THE CURATIVE AND UNCOMPROMISING PLAN TO SUCCESSFULLY COMPLETE THE INTERRUPTED DRAMA OF SELF-RESTORATION.  

SEEDS OF TRUTH LIE IN THE NOTION THAT THE UNCONSCIOUS WANTS A FACSIMILE OF THE PERSON WHO ORIGINALLY WOUNDED US IN ORDER TO CHANGE THEM INTO THE PERSON THEY SHOULD HAVE BEEN.  THE OLD BRAIN THINKS IT HAS FOUND THE UNSAFE PARENT IN THE PARTNER AND BY MAKING THE PARTNER SAFE THINKS IT HAS TRANSFORMED THE PARENT, HIMSELF AND THE RELATIONSHIP.  ITS AN ATTEMPT TO HEAL THE PAST.  ITS CRAZY TO SEE HOW WE DO THIS AND REALIZE HOW MUCH IMCOMPATABILITY IS THE BASIS OF ATTRACTION.  THIS IS WHY, IN ORDER TO IMPAIR OUR JUDGMENT, OUR BRAIN DRUGS US WITH PEA.  

OUR ATTRACTION LEADS US TO THE PERSON WHO IS AT FIRST MOST IN-CAPABLE OF MEETING OUR NEEDS, BUT AS THEY RISK BECOMMING WHO THEY REALLY ARE (DEFENSES SOFTEN) THEY BECOME  IDEALLY SUITED TO HEAL US.  THE ACT OF BECOMMING SAFE FOR OUR PARTNER IS THE SAME ACTION THAT MAKES US WHOLE FOR OURSELVES. 
WHEN WE DIDN'T GET WHAT WE NEEDED AT THE STAGE WE NEEDED IT WE CONCLUDED (OUR NEED) WAS THE PROBLEM.  THE SOLUTION, AT THE TIME, WAS TO DISOWN OUR NEED.  SINCE NEEDS ARE PART OF WHO WE ARE WE LEARNED TO DISOWN (HATE) OURSELVES.  WE EXPERIENCE IT AS A WOUND OF INTRUSION OR EXCLUSION.

IN ORDER TO SURVIVE THE CHILDHOOD WOUND WE UNCONSCIOUSLY DEVELOP THESE INGENIOUS METHODS OF ADAPTATION.  THESE ADAPTATIONS (OR STRATEGIES) WORKDED SO WELL IN CHILDHOOD THEY BECAME HARD-WIRED AND PERSIST INTO ADULTHOOD EVEN THOUGH THEY NO LONGER  WORK IN TODAY'S ENVIRONMENT AND MAKE INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP DIFFICULT.  THE TRUE KICKER IS THAT WE OFTEN MARRY SOMEONE WITH THE OPPOSITE ADAPTATION TO THE SAME DEVELOPMENTAL WOUND.  THE COUPLE IS EQUALLY ENGAGED BUT HAVE OPPOSITE WAYS OF DEFENDING THEMSELVES AGAINST HARM (LOSS).  SMART TO CONSIDER THAT TWO BASIC HUMAN FEARS ARE: BEING SWALLOWED (LOOSING SELF) AND BEING ABANDONED (LOSING OTHER).  

"Love is the extremely difficult realization that something other than oneself is real." Iris Murdoch

COMMITTED ROMANTIC RELATIONSHIP CAN BE A SPIRITUAL PATH ESPECIALLY WHEN IT DEMANDS THAT WE ACCEPT THE EQUALITY OF TWO SEPARATE POINTS OF VIEW.  COMMUNION BETWEEN EQUAL PARTNERS THROUGH THEIR HUMANITY RATHER THAN DOMINANCE OR SUBMISSION.  THIS PATH TEACHES US WHAT A DIFFERENCE IT MAKES WHEN WE LET GO OF HAVING TO BE RIGHT OR WRONG.  WE LEARN TO ACCEPT THAT ENTERING THE POWER STRUGGLE MEANS THE WORK HAS BEGUN.  THATS A GOOD THING IF YOU KEEP THE DIALOUGE OPEN AND MOVING.

CONFLICT IS A MOTIVATING FORCE TOWARD HEALING AND GROWTH.  THIS MODALITY CAN CONTAIN IT IN A SAFE STRUCTURE AND PROCESS.  AND NOT ALL IS LOST - ROMANCE CAN RETURN, WORKED FOR IN A DIFFERENT WAY, BUT BACK.  

"UNLESS WE DEAL WITH THE SHADOW OF LOVE, OUR EXPERIENCE OF WILL BE INCOMPLETE.  A SENTIMENTAL PHILOSOPHY OF LOVE, EMBRACING ONLY THE ROMANTIC AND POSITIVE, FAILS AT THE FIRST SIGN OF SHADOW - THOUGHTS OF SEPARATION, THE LOSS OF FAITH AND HOPE IN THE RELATIONSHIP, OR UNEXPECTED CHANGES IN THE PARTNER'S VALUES.  SUCH A PARTIAL VIEW ALSO PRESENTS IMPOSSIBLE IDEALS AND EXPECTATIONS.  IF LOVE CAN'T MATCH THESE IDEALS, IT IS DESTROYED FOR BEING INADEQUATE.  I LIKE TO KEEP IN MIND THAT IN THE HERITAGE OF OUR LITERATURE AND ART, LOVE IS PORTRAYED AS A CHILD, OFTEN WITH EYES BLINDFOLDED, OR AS AN UNRULY ADOLESCENT.  BY NATURE LOVE FEELS INADEQUATE, BUT THIS INADEQUACY ROUNDS OUT THE WIDE RANGE OF LOVE'S EMOTIONS.  LOVE FINDS ITS SOUL IN ITS FEELINGS OF INCOMPLETENESS, IMPOSSIBILITY, AND IMPERFECTION." THOMAS MOORE

STAYING AHEAD OF THIS REACTIVITY IS VITAL.  WORKING WITH  A MIND-BODY THERAPIST IS NECESSARY.  GUIDED BY AN IMAGO THERAPIST IS ESSENTIAL.  COUPLES THERAPY WILL BE HELPFUL TO THOSE READY TO COMMIT TO A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF WORK  DURING 6 TO 8 SESSIONS.  THE IMAGO MODALITY PROVIDES SOME CENTRAL EXERCISES AND AN INSTRUMENTAL COMMUNICATION STRUCTURE, "INTENTIONAL DIALOUGE",  WHICH HELPS THE COUPLE TO DISCOVER UNMET CHILDHOOD NEEDS AND HOW OUR OLD BRAIN CONTROLS MUCH OF THE COURSE OF OUR INTIMITATE RELATIONSHIPS.  ONE GOAL OF IMAGO WORK IS TO HELP US UNDERSTAND WHY SOMEONE WE LOVE CAN TRIGGER SUCH NEGATIVE AUTOMATIC REACTIONS IN US AND HOW WE STAY STUCK IN THE PAST WHEN WE ONLY BLAME THE "BAD OBJECT" AS THE FAULT.  

THE CLIENT IS INVITED TO JOIN IN USING THE NEW LANGUAGE AND COMMIT TO  A SERIES OF EXERCISES TO: RE-VISION; RE-STRUCTURE FRUSTRATIONS; RE-ENERGIZE; RE-ROMANTICIZE.   THOSE WHO PUT IN THE WORK WILL BE REWARDED WITH GREATER NATURAL CLOOSENESS IN THEIR MOST IMPORTANT RELATIONSHIP.  THE POWER WE FEEL WHEN ACTING FROM OUR CENTER IS THE SAME SENSE OF VITALITY WE SEEK IN OUR RELATIONSHIPS AND AS PART OF THERAPY.  RIVIVING AND SUSTAINING PASSION IS ACTUALLY POSSIBLE.   UNFORNTUNATELY, THE RESEARCH INDICATES THAT MOST RELATIONSHIPS ARE BEYOND REPAIR BY THE TIME THEY SHOW UP FOR THERAPY.  I STRONGLY SUGGEST THAT A COUPLE FIND ASSISTANCE EARLY ON IN THE "POWER STRUGGLE".  

"AS OUR LOVE FOR ANOTHER PERSON BRINGS OUR HEART INTO CONTACT WITH OUR KARMA (HISTORY), STIRRING UP FEELINGS OF UNCERTAINTY, CONFUSION, FEAR, OR VULNERABILITY IT REVEALS A CERTAIN RAWNESS AT THE CORE OF OUR EXPERIENCE.  NORMALLY WE TRY TO MANAGE AND MANIPULATE OUR LIVES TO AVOID THIS FEELING, WHICH SEEMS TO THREATEN OUR SECURITY OR IDENTITY.  YET THIS RAWNESS IS CENTRAL TO OUR HUMANITY - WE SIMPLY BECOME MORE AWARE OF IT WHEN WE LOVE.  LETTING OURSEVES FEEL IT CAN SOFTEN US AND LOOSEN UP OLD, RIGID PATTERNS.  THEREFORE IT IS AN IMPORTANT KEY TO OUR GROWTH."   JOHN WELLWOOD

"THE DURATION OF OUR LIVES IS LIKE A FLASH OF LIGHTNING OR A FIREFLY'S BRIEF TWINKLE,
EVERYTHING PASSES LIKE THE FLOWING WATERS OF A STEEP WATERFALL"


 


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