If your partner brings forth more strife than strength in your relationship, and you feel caught between where you came from and where you’re going, you do not have to navigate this alone.
It doesn’t have to be this way. At New Leaf Therapy, we can work together to rewrite the way your relationship impacts your life and your inner self.
This could be contention between family members, a personality clash or trying to avoid trauma triggers. It’s whatever makes you want to avoid or cut short time spent with others.
Has someone in your inner circle gotten divorced or experienced a loss and you don’t know how to cope? It could be the addition of a new family member, or frustrating life choices made by another.
Although we think of trauma as a very serious diagnosis, the truth is, many of us carry scars from the way we were raised that don’t fit the classic definition but affect us nonetheless.
For when a loved one has an addiction that’s impacting everyone and you want to support them while protecting yourself.
If something new always seems to devolve into the same conversation that gets you nowhere with people you love but dynamics you don’t.
Not all relationships can stay intact, even when bound by family ties. Loss hurts no matter what it looks like but you can still find closure.
When you imagine relational therapy, are you picturing you and your partner navigating hard conversations with high tension while the two of you compete for the floor?
That sounds overwhelming.
In our therapy sessions the focus will remain on you. It is not your job - or your responsibility - to solve the struggles of your partner. It is your job to give yourself the space and grace to heal yourself so our intentional approach will begin there.
I want to hear you, and to understand what’s happened in your life. I want to know the turmoil and triumph that brought you to right here, right now. We will begin wherever you’re ready, whenever you’re ready, but having a history of your family experiences will be helpful in building the most appropriate and effective therapy program for you.
Once we have a solid picture of your immediate needs as well as those you hope to make progress on in the long term, we will combine a variety of therapy techniques to begin moving you toward them.
Even small milestones will be supported and rewarded within your therapeutic journey. We will set goals and as you reach them, we will work your new skills into your sessions so they’re honed when you’re called to put them to use.
Whether you’d like to focus on one challenge or a series of them, we can ensure your therapeutic support matches those needs even if they change during our time together.
But pursuing your healing doesn’t have to be.
Many people start therapy during a life transition or to heal an issue, and then are motivated to dive deeper into their life learning or self-realization. The tools and resources discovered in this self-exploration are life-transforming and will serve you your whole life through. You decide when you are at a point that you are satisfied with the progress that you have made.
Solution Focused therapy is a short term therapy model that isolates a single issue (or cluster of related issues) and works in a linear fashion to achieve goals related to it. This precision model of therapy will ask you a single question, and seek a single answer. It can be used as many times over as is necessary to solve a network of challenges to your quality of life or personal wellbeing, but is designed to work independently for each success.
While I typically apply The Gottman Method to romantic relationship recovery, the research behind it was conducted in a longitudinal format. The basis in a lifelong familial research study has given the Gottman Method fantastic versatility to apply to understanding family dynamics, trauma and behaviors so we can press pause on their impact and focus instead on healing. We can apply Gottman’s research and principles to your family relationships to create a comprehensive processing experience from the inside out.
You may think that therapy is too expensive, but therapy now will cost less than continuing down a path where your relationships undermine your personal growth and self confidence, both emotionally and monetarily. By investing the time and money in overcoming the challenges of your family relationships now, you can build a solid foundation from which to construct your future and create your heart’s desire in the way your family looks from here.
The challenges inherent to navigating a collective of contrasting personalities, habits, expectations, and dreams as they’ve impacted your own growth won't go away on their own. Your relationships will continue to exist as it has without intervention but you have the power to change that for yourself now. The problems of the past and resentment for what they’ve created may fester and become worse with time. With a neutral therapist involved, you can learn new tools about healing the past and moving forward in a better, more conscious manner.
The family narrative written into the story of your upbringing stays with you for the rest of your life. Focusing your energy on healing the places your family of origin contributed to pain, anxiety, or self-doubt can be the catalyst for tremendous healing not just in your family unit, but within yourself as well.
Take a look at the story your family tells from an outsider’s perspective and then push it aside and consider the story your inner child would tell about those same relationships and events. Together, we can work to make sure these match up.
How does where you came from affect where you’re going? In a lot of ways, actually. You can’t take old wounds into your new relationships and expect those spaces not to feel pain when they’re brushed up against. Working through the experiences you’ve had to discover what helped you grow and what’s held you back is important in developing a family that will flourish.
If you’d like to overcome the fear of unsolved generational trauma and develop healthy skills to pass on to the family you’ll build for your future, connect with me today!
If these questions feel familiar, you may have a relationship that is toxic or share space with a toxic person in general.
Do they bring a certain person to mind?
Whether you’re connected by blood, marriage, or obligation, it does not matter. You owe your comfort and safety to no one else.
We can answer these questions through a combination of therapeutic methods and give you the tools to rewrite the way they fit into your life.
If toxic relationships or family members have you doubting yourself or undermining your self-value, it’s time to make a change.
No matter the challenges you’re facing, we can confront them together with a few key tools. In sessions, we will tailor these to meet your needs and precise concerns, but you can start these now to create breathing room in the family relationships that can’t wait.
You cannot correct, coerce, or control the behavior of anyone but you so put your energy where you have power. Whether you can best do this by removing yourself, or by focusing on your own emotional care and well-being before you enter the situation, taking responsibility for your mindset and how you can care for yourself before approaching the situation will benefit you every time.
You’re the only you you have, so hold tight to your energy when approaching things that may hurt you.
When dealing with power dynamics that may have reversed or changed over time (like as an adult navigating relationships with your parents, grandparents or older siblings), it’s okay to erect your own boundaries with your current needs in mind. In fact, it’s more than okay. Before you enter a situation, decide the bare minimum you can accept and then don’t deviate when you are in situations where they expect or directly ask you to. Express your boundary and then maintain it.
“Say what you mean and mean what you say.” Dr. Seuss was certainly on to something with this. While being respectful or navigating your personal code of conduct is a commendable thing to be mindful of, don’t let it get in the way of your clarity when you’re communicating. Whether you’re setting out a new boundary or confronting a challenge that’s caused you harm, Rather than using language focused on accusation, use language that focuses on effect and impact.
Avoid inflammatory language that makes others feel attacked but don’t let them off without clearly stating what it is you need them to know.
In the middle of an argument? Not the time to let your great aunt Sally know that you’re struggling to trust her because she repeatedly undermined your intelligence from age 6 to 15. Out at a family dinner but still stewing over your parents' argument in the parking lot that they put you smack in the middle of? Probably not the time to confront it.
Use timing to your advantage to create a calm environment where you can speak freely and with a level tone and confidence in your words. This timing will add power to your statement.
Relationship drama can be, well, addicting. We’re all guilty of indulging in pot-stirring on occasion and it can feel liberating or even like you’re getting one up in a situation where you often feel uncomfortable or out of your element.
Resist the urge to engage in games, whether someone else provokes them or you do. Use your boundaries and clear language to steer the conversation back on track until you can approach the subject with clarity.
Once you’ve laid out your thoughts and communicated your side of things, the onus is on you to hear them out. If you’re not sure you can or want to hear them, make sure that's either communicated beforehand or you let them know you need a pause to approach the situation when you’re feeling calmer.
When you are ready to hear them, make sure you show up to listen to what they have to say right then and that you’re not hearing old arguments or preparing defenses over their response.