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The problem is never the problem. When two people come together, no matter how much they love each other, conflict will occur. Conflict is unavoidable. The problems occur when we cope with conflicts by shutting down or becoming enraged at one extreme, or feeling that we “should” be a party to our own abuse at the other. I strive to help couples learn to identify where they are on this continuum and bring their coping skills into balance.
Those fights that happen over and over are happening for a reason. In the therapy session we will uncover what those reasons are. Often the repeat offenders are triggering deep feelings of guilt, shame or anger that we have long ago cut off from our consciousness. Viewed from this angle, of course a fight would result when you inadvertently wander into your partner’s emotional minefield. The antidote is to infuse the discussion with curiosity and compassion about why this discussion is so difficult for you and your partner.
My experience treating veterans at the VA for 13 years showed me how trauma can affect relationships, and I am grateful to all the vets who put in many hours to train me. Those feelings that we cut off from consciousness are rooted in trauma. Our childhood traumas and micro-traumas are far more likely (even in combat vets) to be causing the majority of our distressful symptoms. My strong background in trauma treatment is uniquely helpful in the treatment of couples and individuals.
Contact me anytime for a consultation: 917-312-6912