What would people look like
if we could see them as they are,
soaked in honey, stung and swollen,
reckless, pinned against time?
When things are difficult in your relationship, you may find yourself trying one of these three projects:
- Working to get your partner to love you in exactly the way you want
- Abandoning yourself in an attempt to become exactly who you think your partner wants
- Giving up on getting the love we want by looking elsewhere, or numbing yourself from the pain of disconnection
However, rather than abandoning your partner, yourself or your relationship, you can get back on track by asking yourself one of these relationship building questions:
- What can I learn from this? How could I grow in this experience?
- Is there something about myself that I’m not seeing clearly here?
- How could I take more responsibility for my part in this dynamic?
- What am I avoiding that I could approach?
- What if I let my heart lead rather than my pride in this moment?
- What could I choose to do differently right now?
Once you’ve moved yourself in a learning mindset, try the dialogue process or the repair and apology process.
You Are the One You’ve Been Waiting For by Richard Schwartz (Buy through Center for Self Leadership for the best price)
Getting the Love you Want by Harville Hendrix
We Do: Saying Yes to a Relationship of Depth, True Connection, and Enduring Love by Stan Tatkin
The Relationship Skills Workbook: A Do-It-Yourself Guide to a Thriving Relationship by Julia Colwell
The Three Marriages: Reimagining Work, Self and Relationship By David Whyte
The Couple Checkup: Find Your Relationship Strengths by David Olson
Based on this training April can help you learn to identify and change the negative cycles in your relationship, as well as heal the underlying emotional wounds that cause them. Mindfulness will help you notice the non-verbal cues you send directly from the unconscious, and to gently access the deep levels of delicate material that underlie repetitive patterns. You’ll learn how to step out of conflict and into more vulnerable and collaborative interactions. Working experientially and somatically means that, rather than having the same conversations you've already had, you’ll notice your patterns directly and gain deeper insight, as well as, tools for change.
Authentic Relating Comprehensive (ARC) with Michael Porcelli at the Integral Center Boulder, CO (Oct 2017 - Feb 2018).
Based on this training April can help you gain effective communication skills based on your own realness and vulnerability. This will allow you to feel more fully nourished by the aliveness and richness in your relationships. You can develop listening superpowers so that others feel deeply heard, understood, and supported by you. Learn how to navigate conflict due to unmet expectations, misunderstandings, or broken agreements. With your new skills you will be able to both receive and give honest feedback in a way that inspires closeness.
Pragmatic Experiential Therapy for Couples (PET-C / PEX Method) with Angie Tsiatsos Phillips at Noeticus Counseling Center Denver, CO (Sept 2013). Based on this training April can help you learn how to handle disagreements in ways that cultivate respect and receptivity in your partner, rather than negative emotions and behaviors such as contempt, defensiveness, or stonewalling. Researchers have found that how a person reacts when upset or in conflict, is one of the biggest differences between people who have satisfying intimate relationships and those who do not.
Jump Start: Tools for Relationship Success with Ryan Kennedy at Noeticus Counseling Center Denver, CO (Dec 2012).
Based on this training April can help you clarify goals and expectations, your relationship’s strengths and growth areas, communication styles, stress profiles, conflict resolution strategies, financial management, affection styles, roles, values, family history and more. This method draws on the Prepare-Enrich® relationship curriculum developed by Life Innovations, Inc., and informed by Pragmatic/ Experiential Therapy for Couples (PET-C), Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), and Nonviolent Communication (NVC).
Does this sound familiar?
“We keep getting stuck in the same disagreements. Our arguments go around and around and don’t seem to get resolved."
"I’m tired of overhearing myself say the same things while my partner doesn’t even seem to be listening."
"Even though I try to stay calm during conflicts, some part of me is scared of losing myself or my partner. Being reactive and yelling or collapsing and shutting down happens more often than I’d like to admit."
"I know we love each other, but occasionally I wonder if love is enough to get us through the hard times. Sometimes, I wonder if I picked the wrong person or if I’m the problem and I’m destined to be alone."
I love myself so much
So I can love you so much
So you can love you so much
So you can keep loving me
It doesn't have to be that way.
As a result of our work in therapy you will begin to feel more connection, empathy, understanding and love for yourself and your partner. You may be looking for support to start, improve or end your relationship, in each case April will bring warmth and non-judgmentalness to the dynamics that keep you stuck and dissatisfied.
All of us learn relationship strategies as children, on the one hand they serve to protect us, and on the other they can lead to pain, isolation and disconnection. These old patterns get repeated throughout our lives, until we grow enough to become free of them. The good news is that your relationships are a fast track to growth, as they will consistently evoke your limiting habits so that you can see them clearly and work through them.
It’s ok to be yourself and stay connected to others at the same time