What Do I Do?

“The first duty of love is to listen” – Paul Tillich

The first task when working with couples is to help them reframe their experience of conflict and convey that conflict does not mean incompatibility.  Rather conflict arises, most often, because of an inability to hear, understand and validate the narrative of the other. 

It is my job to create a safe space where my clients can identify and explore the differences between them that are contained and expressed through their struggles.  Through this experience couples discover they have a biography that unconsciously fuels their conflict. 

In the work I do with couples I regard the tensions in their relationship as opportunities to unmask how their unmet needs and the wounds inflicted upon them earlier in life are now interfering with their connection.  When couples understand this they discover their relationship struggles are normal coming to grow their compassion, connection and intimacy.

I use Imago Relationship Therapy (IRT), a paradigm designed to help clients create this compassion, connection and intimacy through reframing relationship conflict as noted above.  The energy that was previously consumed by relationship conflicts now becomes available to promote understanding, celebrate differences and develop real partnership. 

Through an intentional dialogue process that cultivates a new way to listen and talk, my couples learn to explore their struggles and differences and extract the critical events, information and wisdom that can illuminate their personal history and enhance their understanding and appreciation of themselves and one another.  For this reason I call this work relationship building

“What counts in making a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you are but how you deal with incompatibility.”