WHO I WORK WITH: PEOPLE STRUGGLING W/ RELATIONSHIPS

People who come to see me are:

  • Concerned that they repeatedly land in difficult and unsatisfying relationships (with something of a pattern).

Perhaps you…

o  Keep wanting more from your partner: more physical and emotional affection, more reassurance, more assistance with childcare and household tasks.  But, you feel stuck between what seems like one of two choices: to “nag” or to suppress your needs/desires.

o  Feel that you tend to be the “chaser” in relationship—that you tend to feel like the more invested member of the couple and are expending a great deal of emotional energy trying to pin your partner down.

o  Keep going for people who don’t treat you well or who are wishy-washy about the relationship.

o  Feel that you “lose” yourself in relationship.

o  Become anxious and preoccupied in relationship and struggle to trust your partners.

o  Are constantly being critiqued by your partner for being avoidant or distant.

  • Recovering from a break-up.

Perhaps you are…

o  Rehashing moments from the relationship again and again, in an attempt to understand what went wrong.

o  Trying to disentangle who’s responsible for what and are developing more curiosity about your own role and contribution so as not to repeat it.

o  Working to piece yourself back together and discover who you are outside of the partnership.

o  Struggling to hold the complexity and range of your emotions—from anger to sadness to grief to relief.

o  Hoping to identify what you’d like in relationship moving forward.

  •  Entangled in a relationship with a married or partnered person.   

Perhaps you are…

o  Feeling uncertain about whether or not to hang in there.

o  Realizing that it’d likely be best to make the split—but are struggling to follow through.

o  Feeling skeptical that you can achieve a relationship with someone who prioritizes you more.

  • Recovering from having been cheated on.

Perhaps you are…

o  Struggling to manage overwhelming emotions, like anger/rage, grief, confusion, shock.

o  Struggling to manage intrusive thoughts.

o  Struggling to make sense of how/why this happened.

o  Uncertain about whether or not to work through the betrayal with your partner.

o  Attempting to restore the ability to regain trust in your current partner or, if you’ve decided to split, with a new partner.

o  Striving to recover a positive sense of self.

  • Recovering not from having been cheated on, but from having been cheated with.

Perhaps you are…

o  Struggling with feelings of confusion and insecurity about having accepted unsatisfying  conditions for so long.

o  Trying to make sense of the relationship and wondering if it replicates others.

  • Was it safe because of not actually (maybe subconsciously) wanting a fully committed relationship?
  • Did it replicate former attachments that weren’t secure?
  • Did it replicate a former relationship characterized by longing?
  • Was it a search for a relationship that seemed more promising than those had in the past?
  • Was it enticing and thrilling because based on passion and not the day-to-day?
  • Impacting your ability to trust moving forward—after having witnessed so much lying?
  • Realizing a pattern of suppressing needs–and failing to communicate them. 

Perhaps you are…

o  Finding yourself frequently at impasses with your partner, or unsuccessfully resolving the

the same arguments over and over again.

o  Often unaware of your needs, wants, and frustrations, perhaps because it’s felt too

dangerous to voice them if you were.

o  Fearing that, if you expressed needs, your relationships wouldn’t withstand them.

  •  Having a hard time being single (in such a coupled world).

Perhaps you are…

o  Feeling left behind as friends partner off.

o  Uncertain about how/if to engage dating.

o  Contending with feelings of loneliness and doubt.

  • Uncertain about whether or not they want the relationship they’re in.

Perhaps you are…

o  Unsure about what to strive for or how high of expectations to have.

o  Uncertain about how much to work on accepting your partner as they are, and how much to push for (and expect) change.

o  Fearful to split up, for fear that you’ll simply find yourself alone.

  • Discontent with your relationships with people other than partners, such as family members, friends, or colleagues.

Perhaps you are…

o  Finding that similar patterns seem to be playing out in many of your relationships, and seek to better understand why.

o  Contending with conflict and disruption in your relationships.

o  Feeling uncertain about how to communicate and how to move forward in your relationships.

  • Wanting to work on your relationship with yourself, and to think about how it affects your relationships with others.

Perhaps you are…

o  Noticing that you can be highly self-critical and self-punishing in a way that really holds you back rather than moves you forward.

o  Seeing that you have rigid stories about yourself and who you are that keep you from being who you’d like to be.

 

 

 

 

 

 

CASSIDY SMITH, LMFT99731 IS AN OAKLAND THERAPIST.

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