General Topics / Dating / Premarital / Affair Recovery / Parenting Adult Kids with Mental Illness / Discernment Counseling
Couples sessions are for any individuals that are in an exclusive serious relationship. It focuses on building emotional, physical, and mental connections and intimacy. This is done by identifying challenging behaviors and patterns in a relationship than learning to communicate effectively. Couples will also have the opportunity to explore their family of origin to help them understand the impacts of the family of origin on their current situation. Some of the key topics of focus in couples counseling are listed below:
Sexual Boundaries in Relationships
Everyone has their own unique sexual past. When engaging in sexual relationships this can trigger trauma from the past that creates tension in the relationship or causes individuals to be frigid to their partners. In this type of therapy, I help individuals explore their own sexual history to identify any negative views, trauma, or value conflicts that may be impacting their ability to connect sexually with their partner. I hope that individuals will learn to let go of their shame, guilt, and trauma and learn to build healthy connections with their partners.
Communication in relationships is fundamental but at times it is hard to know how to communicate. Whether it is due to past challenges, the way you were raised, or simply because your partner is different if you do not communicate effectively you are likely to encounter challenges in your relationship. Learning to express needs, wants, and hurts in a healthy and constructive way allows couples to avoid "blow ups" and feel heard. Through different exercises, you can build intimacy and an emotional bond that helps you to feel seen and heard.
Knowing how to handle conflict can make or break a relationship at times. If you find yourself yelling, pushing, or breaking things you may need support in this area. Many times during conflict we feel unheard or unseen and this can lead to agitation and hostile conflict patterns. During therapy, we will work to identify your triggers, unhealthy patterns, and then work to replace those behaviors with more healthy and effective methods.
Dating in today's world can be difficult, and navigating new relationships can be even harder. Relationship counseling with dating couples focuses on building effective communication, working through differences, connecting emotionally and mentally with your partner, building trust, and getting to know your partner in a deeper and more intimate way. This provides a safe space for individuals to talk through challenges and work on strengthening their relationship.
Topics of Focus
Building a friendship
Studies have shown that premarital counseling and educational programs can create stronger marriages in the future. But why is this? Premarital counseling gives you the opportunity to learn the skills and strategies that you two can use to prevent possible problems in the future and work through current challenges in your relationship. It helps you to learn effective communication skills and to build a deeper connection with your partner. This type of counseling helps you celebrate your relationship and identify its strengths while also exploring weaknesses. This knowledge gives you the ability to improve and strengthen your relationship.
What is Covered?
Defining your marriage expectations and role beliefs
Analyzing how past events affect your future (Family of origin work)
Learn skills to manage conflict resolution
Money expectations and role beliefs
Expectations and beliefs around sex
Develop and practice communication skills
Discussions on children
How to move past an affair?
Moving past an affair can be challenging and feel hopeless but there is hope. You can make it through this challenging time and even come out stronger if you are willing to put in the work and be completely honest with each other.
What does Affair Recovery Look like?
During affair recovery counseling we will create a full disclosure that helps the affair partner share with the betrayed partner the facts of the affair. The betrayed partner will have the opportunity to ask any questions to better understand and find healing. This process removes secrets and will be the foundation for rebuilding trust in the relationship. During the session, you will learn to converse and not attack each other, begin the process of forgiveness, and create a plan to keep safe. As triggers arise for the betrayed partner you will have the opportunity to process those in a safe and supportive environment. The affair partner will also learn skills to support their partner when they experience insecurities or fears.
Support for the Betrayed Partner
1. Full therapeutic Disclosure - You have to share 100% or that unshared 2% will put the couple back to square one.
2. Why letter (affair partner) - sharing why the affair happened
3. Impact letter- betrayed partner shares how the affair impacted them
5. Recovery plans and boundary setting
Affair Recover Site
Parenting Adult Kids with Mental Illness
Parenting is hard enough, but parenting adult children with Mental Illness can leave you feeling hopeless and full of guilt and shame. During therapy we will focus on supporting you in learning about your adult child's mental illness, exploring ways to communicate with them more effectively, and also supporting you in coping with your own feelings and thoughts towards yourself and your child.
This is a safe and supportive place to dig deep into the impacts it is having on you and also giving you tools to try to find support for yourself and your child. You are not alone in this and you are doing the best you can with the current situation.
I offer resources in Santa Clara county and help you navigate getting support, medication, and any other resources you may need to help your adult child cope with their mental illness.
Lastly, this therapy offers the opportunity to turn into family therapy if your adult child decides they would also like support.
- NAMI Resources
- NAMI Family-to-family support group
- NAMI Peer-to-Peer support group
- Here to Help
- How to help Article - Psychology today
- How to help Someone with mental Illness- NAMI
- Facebook Support group
- MHA support group
- Book: When someone you love has a mental illness
- Book: Surviving Schizophrenia
- Book: I'm not sick, I don't need help! (How to help someone accept treatment)
Discernment counseling is a short-term counseling process that focuses on the goal of achieving greater clarity about whether to try to restore the marriage or to continue toward divorce. In this type of therapy, most of the work is done separately to provide a space for both parties to explore challenges, what led to this place, and if there is any resolution.
What will be explored:
Divorce narratives (how you got to this point),
Repair narratives (how you have tried to solve your problems and what outside help you have sought)
Question about the best of times in your relationship history.
Each partner's agenda (leaving or saving the marriage, along with other agendas)
Create a deeper understanding of each partner's contributions to the marital dynamics and areas of potential change.
Counseling is expected to be between 1-5 sessions. At this point, clients would evaluate if they want to begin a 6-month couples counseling agreement or if they would like to move towards divorce or separation.