I specialize in working with couples who are experiencing relationship challenges related to the recent or remote experience of interpersonal trauma by one or both partners. I define interpersonal trauma as: pain and/or harm (emotional, psychological, relational, physical, sexual, spiritual, financial, manipulation etc.) inflicted on a person by a person, and/or the witness of such inflicted pain and/or harm, and/or suffering some form of a result of the pain and/or harm inflicted on another. The pain and/or harm may be intentional, accidental, or even oblivious. Pain is pain, harm is harm. In addition to individual trauma, there may also be trauma within the couple such as infidelity, infertility, traumatic death or illness of a child or other family member. Trauma sometimes exists due to circumstances in toxic past divorces impacting the current marriage. There is a lot of shame resilience work, psychoeducation, communication building, trust building and learning to understand the impact one person’s trauma experience has on both the individual and the couple as a whole. This is hard to navigate and professional help may be necessary to develop ways of responding when one or both members of the couple are in a difficult emotional state or when thoughts have run amuck and conversations are going nowhere good, but downhill fast.
I encourage you to seek counseling support before problems overtake your relationship. When the marriage starts to bubble with little issues rather than when the marriage is boiling over with problems; this is the time when marriage counseling is a powerful approach to relationship enrichment, growth and even transformation. Marriage counseling is most effective when used proactively and preventatively. Relationship tune ups are also very important to relationship health. If your car starts to veer to the side or wobble and shake when you drive, you get the tires aligned or rotated or an engine tune up. Healthy relationships require tune ups as well.
While counseling is most effective when proactive, there are many times when rock bottom hits in an instant, such as when infidelity is discovered or old trauma resurfaces unexpectedly. I work with couples on a long-term basis to recover from infidelity and trauma to build a marriage that is stronger than before. This often requires both members of the couple to be highly invested and committed to a year or more of regular counseling. Recovery from trauma or infidelity is not a quick process. It IS however possible. If this is where you find yourself, I would love to help you.