Where there’s a will there’s a way: Any relationship between two people, whether professional, romantic, or familial, can work – but most take a bit of effort if not a lot of effort to build and maintain. So the question you need to ask yourself up front is: “Am I ready and willing to put in the work?” If so, read on! If not, let’s work individually to find out why, and what other options there are.
Validation: The main source of conflict and stress in a relationship stems, ultimately, from an inability to understand the other person. Without a true understanding of how they think, feel, make decisions, and see the world, it’s so easy to call the other person an idiot or heartless or any other insulting name that seems valid to you, but incredibly unfair to them (and vice versa). When both people are able to validate the other by simply saying, “I understand”, you have taken the first step towards reconciliation, healing, and strengthening your relationship.
Unfortunately, most of us will struggle to take that step without guidance and insight into ourselves as well as our loved ones, and this is where personality typing becomes an invaluable resource. It is an effective and expedient method for understanding your relationship style, love language, and your needs as well as challenges within various relationships.
Romance: There are conflicting opinions as to whether or not opposites attract, or if similar types are the most compatible when it comes to romance and friendship. I fall in the middle: there has to be enough similarity in values and understanding to allow for effective communication, but there has to be enough variation in behavior and perspective for people to learn from each other within their relationships, too, and balance out each others’ weak spots. For example, if you and your partner both know what makes the other feel anxious versus what makes them feel validated and safe, the chances of you maintaining a successful and long-term relationship increase exponentially.
In the spirit of balance, whether I’m working with one partner or both I strive to make the process as objective and fair as possible, honoring each person equally. One of the most common complaints I hear from couples who have engaged in couples’ counseling is that they didn’t feel heard, or that they felt like the therapist took one person’s side. This is toxic and serves only to breed more resentment, so in my work I check in regularly with both parties to ensure that everyone feels heard, respected, and comfortable with the dynamic we build together.
The combination of Highlands, personality typing, and my experience with group therapy, family support groups, Dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and Marriage and family therapy has endowed me with a skill set perfectly aligned with relationship coaching. There are a variety of avenues to success that I can utilize as I tailor my approach to you and your unique life experiences, preferences, and challenges. The following are some of the struggles I have helped others work through, and that I am able to provide counseling for, whether it is individual or couples’ work.
- Eating disorders
- Bipolar disorder
- Severe mental health struggles such as schizophrenia, personality disorders, and complex PTSD.
- Intellectual disabilities
- Physical disabilities
- Occupational, financial, and other situational stressors
- Lack of coping skills or other concrete strategies for dealing with anger and other strong emotions