Posts tagged psychotherapy rancho cucamonga
More than I'm sorry: Helping your partner heal after infidelity
healing after infidelity

Infidelity can rock your relationship to the core. It brings out so many things and what’s amazing is that some of those things have the ability to make it stronger. After infidelity, many couples who decide to stay together find themselves talking more, sharing their needs more, and making their feelings and emotions known like never before. 

As I’ve talked about before, when there has been infidelity and it’s been decided by the couple that they want to start the healing process, each partner needs to play a role in this. It isn't just the partner who has strayed's responsibility to repair the relationship but he or she does play a major role. 

One of my favorite clinicians in the field of psychology and couples therapy is Esther Perel, and she talks about a very important concept in overcoming infidelity, and it is that if you have been unfaithful to your partner but would like to do the work to keep the relationship together, you must hold vigil for your relationship. What does this mean? 

Holding vigil means that it is now your responsibility to not only acknowledge the hurt and pain that's been caused by your actions, but also acknowledge triggers for your partner before they happen. Through the healing process and especially if you've been working with a therapist to help get through this difficult time in your relationship, you'll come to understand places and things that trigger your partner to recall your affair. 

Triggers are powerful and have the ability to bring an injured partner to their knees, causing them to revert back to square one, and cause all the pain of discovering the affair to come rushing back to them. Triggers can be so many things that just remind an injured partner of the event and of the pain they've felt since. 

Holding vigil means that you take the time to bring those triggers up in anticipation of them happening, when it is appropriate. For example, if you know that your partner will be triggered by a certain event like being in a specific place because you had an encounter with the other person there, rather than just preparing yourself for the repercussions of their emotions you need to take action. 

If you know that your partner is triggered by you going out of town for work because an affair occurred when you were traveling, as a work trip approaches it is then your responsibility to bring up the trip and acknowledge that you understand how this trip will make your partner feel. Be the one to broach the subject, be the one to reflect the hurt feelings, and be the one to say that you are there to hear about those feelings, and be the one to implement important changes during this trip to create a sense of security for your partner. Will you check in more frequently by phone, Skype, or text? Will you be sharing a room with a work colleague? Will you avoid the bar and drinks after dinner? What will you do instead? 

Taking the time and energy to acknowledge your partner’s triggers and emotions, and creating a plan for security will help immensely in the healing process. This isn’t about beating yourself up, or being an emotional punching bag, but it is about taking an extra step to show your partner that you understand their feelings, and that you are there with them working through these difficulties with them.

I’ve had clients who have been injured by an affair tell me how elated they are when their partners do this. They describe it as a feeling of being understood, of being appreciated, and they say it is a relief because they were not the ones who had to bring it up.

They often feel relieved at not having to always ruin a perfectly nice evening with their partner by dredging up their emotions about an upcoming event that may trigger them. They feel understood when their partners acknowledge that a song or a movie makes them feel a flood of negative emotions even before they get that look on their faces. That acknowledgement is powerful and leads to connection and healing.

If you are having trouble holding vigil in your relationship after an affair, consulting a therapist can be an excellent path towards healing. I’d love to hear from you and point you in the right direction, and you may reach me at (909) 226-6124 for a free consultation. 

Making the most of Couples Therapy On your Own
couples therapy

It happens more often than you’d think: things in your relationship aren’t going the way you’d like, arguments are happening more often, but they just aren’t going anywhere, you know your relationship needs help and so you decide couples counseling is what you need. The only problem- your partner doesn’t agree, and doesn’t want to go with you.

I hear this often in my practice. For whatever reason, one person just doesn’t see the benefit of counseling, and the other is adamant that it’s the key to solving the issues in the relationship. One partner makes the call to set up an appointment, and comes to therapy alone in hopes that they can make the shifts they need to create better communication, or to resolve an issue that’s been plaguing their coupledom.

While it might seem like this scenario is a foreshadow of negativity, I’ve seen amazing growth and change happen with only one partner present in therapy. Here are some tips for making the most of it when you’re going alone:

Understand that the only thing you can control is you. This is the premise that makes couples therapy as a single possible. Even when two are in the room, the only thing that you can control is you, your actions, reactions, and the way you operate in your relationship. You can’t change other’s behaviors, thoughts, and emotions, and so once you fully understand and accept that, you can get on the right track to making necessary shifts on your own.  

Take notes. When you journal or jot down ideas about what you’ve learned in your therapy sessions, it helps you to remember what you’re going to do going forward. If your goal is to argue less with your partner, or have more effective arguments as a result of what you’re learning in therapy, write down ways you plan to do this, and practice implementing them.

 

Talk to your partner about what you’re learning in therapy. Your therapy sessions are confidential, and it’s a time for you to process what’s happening for you in your relationship, but that doesn’t mean it has to all be kept hush-hush. Share general ideas that you are learning about yourself, and things you are coming to realize about the relationship with your partner to help them understand what it is you’re actually doing in therapy.

Many times people are fearful of the therapeutic process because they just don’t know what to expect. They have some misconceptions about what therapy might entail, and so if you share with your partner in general what the process is like for you, it might help them shift their opinion about attending.

Don’t be pushy. People have to do things when they’re ready. I think we’ve all had that aha-moment as adults where something your parents told you over and over finally clicked, and you stopped and thought, “Ohhhh, now I get it!” But at the time, when they were trying to get it in your head, you just weren’t ready to receive it, and so you just pushed it aside.

This is the same experience people can have with therapy, and so adding small tidbits about ways it’s helping you can get them to think about ways it might also benefit them, but the moment you go over-board and start demanding that your partner participate is the moment their defense will go right back up.

Lead by example. You’ll likely learn so many great things about how to approach communication, arguments, and interactions with your partner by participating in therapy. Showing your partner what you’ve learned by changing the way you do things might be a little odd to them at first, especially if it’s something completely out of the ordinary, but the more you lead by example, the more change you’ll see in your relationship, or in the way you react to your partner.

Continue to leave the door open. As you continue to make changes in your reactions and interactions with your partner, be sure to let your partner know they are welcome to attend therapy along with you. Begging, pleading, and giving ultimatums (unless you are serious about upholding your end**) won’t likely be as effective as gentle reminders, nudges, and invitations. Approach is key on this one.

**There is a time and place where ultimatums are appropriate, look for more info in an upcoming blog post.

As you continue through therapy it’s important to keep your goals in mind, and to continue talking to your therapist about them. If you haven’t yet started therapy because your partner isn’t willing to go along with you, I’d encourage you to explore it as an option because changes can be made in your relationship even if you are going solo.

Although this time of year tends to be extra busy for most, it’s also an excellent time to begin therapy because the holidays bring up so many challenges and feelings of angst and sadness. If you are anticipating a rough time going through the holidays, I want to encourage you to reach out. I’d be happy to help you get the support you need to get through the holiday season; I can be reached at (909) 226-6124 for a free phone consultation.

I’ve also put together a free 12 Days of Christmas Mindset Boost. You can sign up here for free. If you did the 14-Day Mindset Boost I put out right before Thanksgiving, kudos! I’d love to hear from you about how it helped, or any challenges you may have experienced while going through the exercises. The 12 Days of Christmas Mindset Boost will provide you with 12 emails that include an in-depth exercise for the day that will help you approach the holidays with gratitude and cheer in your heart, in spite of some of the common challenges that make the holidays a bit difficult. 

Tips for finding the right therapist in Rancho Cucamonga
therapist in Rancho Cucamonga

I recently got a facebook message from a friend I worked with back in the day. She told me she was looking to make some important changes in her life, and thought it was time to talk with a therapist.

Without asking her all of the details, I just asked a few questions that would help me understand what she was looking for. She said she was having issues with her boyfriend, and wasn’t sure if this was the relationship she should be in.

She said she was looking for someone in the area, preferably Rancho Cucamonga. Now, because of our ethical standards, psychologists, MFTs, and LCSWs do not take on clients they already have a relationship with.

This is considered a dual relationship, and in order to give the best therapeutic services to our clients, it’s important that another relationship does not exist prior to the therapeutic relationship as it has a tendency to make things messy. Basically it’s a no-no in our profession.

I gave my friend a few tips about looking for a therapist in Rancho Cucamonga, which I think are pretty helpful so I thought I’d share them with you as well:

A Licensed Psychologist, Marriage & Family Therapist (LMFT), Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), and Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in private practice setting can all provide talk-therapy.

Their licenses are each governed by different boards, which dictate where they can practice, their scope of practice, and what their licensing requirements are.

In my opinion, the most important factor in finding the right therapist is their specialty.

If I’m having issues with my vision, and I think I might need glasses, I’m likely not going to go to a Cardiologist. I’m going to look for an optometrist.

This is the same with counseling. If you’re looking for help with your romantic relationship, you wouldn’t necessarily want to go to a therapist who specializes in working with children and who does mostly play-therapy.

Regardless of the letters that come after their name, therapists usually have a specialization. For me, it’s women struggling with divorce and infidelity.

In addition to the required coursework and licensing requirements I’ve fulfilled, I completed and internship where I mainly worked with women who were starting over in their lives.

This gave me the passion to continue to work with women in my private practice, and continue to educate myself about how to best work with these issues.

I attend conferences and workshops with this subject matter, read books and articles, and consume a great deal of information about ways to help my clients who are going through divorce and infidelity.

Word of mouth referrals are great. If you feel comfortable talking to friends and family about a great therapist they might have seen for a similar issue that can be super helpful.

I totally get it if you don’t want to put that out there though, and so the internet can be a great tool in finding the right therapist in Rancho Cucamonga. There are online therapy listings where you can find someone that specializes in what you’re looking for help with.

Taking the time to educate yourself about what the therapist does and how they work can be really helpful in reducing the anxiety that often comes with making your first appointment. Check out their website, and call for a consultation so that you can get a feel for them over the phone.

If you were to line up three great therapists, but you just don’t click with two of them, then they’re just not the right match for you, and that’s completely ok! You’re going to be delving into a lot of personal and private information, and feeling comfortable with the person helping you is really important, because it can greatly affect the outcome of your therapeutic process.

Lastly, decide whether you are going to use insurance or pay out of pocket for therapy. If you are looking to use insurance to offset the cost, then it’s important to find out through your insurance company what they cover, and which therapists are in your network.

You can ask your insurance company for a list of therapists in Rancho Cucamonga, and then look through those to be sure they specialize in what you’re looking for help with.

This can sometimes limit the number of therapists you are able to see. Many of my clients have insurance but opt not to use it because they were unable to find someone who specializes in divorce and infidelity that was covered by their insurance company, or they just didn’t click with the therapists they talked to who were covered by their insurance plan.

I hope this helps you find the right therapist in Rancho Cucamonga. If you are still feeling stuck, feel free to call me at (909) 226-6124 for a free 15 minute phone consultation. I’d be happy to hear about what is happening and help direct you to the right person. If you are looking for help with divorce or infidelity, you can read more about how I can help by visiting my website at www.ranchocounseling.com.