Are you ready for a better relationship?

Relationship coaching for singles looking for skills, pre-marital and relationship discord.  We are inclusive: age, faith, circumstance, or orientation. 

Relationship coaching

For couples experiencing conflict, struggles with intimacy or communication, etc 

Couples Coaching

For couples seeking pre-marital counseling to get their marriage started in the right direction

Pre-marital

For individuals interested in developing healthy dating and relationship skills or breaking pattern of toxic relationships

Faith-based coaching available for couples wanting to implement Christian-based principals.

Relationship and dating coaching

Christian Coaching

I came to work with BIPOC and embodied and transgenerational trauma by accident. In working with Veterans and the embodiment of combat trauma, I began to see there were differences in the typical and predictable patterns and responses in the body. I was aware of the subtext that didn’t have a way of entering the room. Just as Veteran’s bodies respond differently that civilians, black bodies respond differently as well. 

We don’t just have bodies, we are bodies.  Our bodies are not inserted into a particular culture.  Our culture is embedded in our DNA.  We embody our culture. We embody our generational trauma. As such, culture is not just a consideration or a lens, it is the way we participate in being human.

I was the only female in my class to complete fire school and the first female Marine to serve on my duty station. I never liked the specifier female Marine. Once, after a training exercise, our Warrant officer praised me, referring to me as “the female Marine.”  I was amazed by the deep pride I experienced for doing the same thing each of the men around me did. I had not done something better, just equally well. I became acutely aware of normativity as I determined where to embrace standards and be “like a woman” and where to deviate and be “like a man.” After all, I was not celebrated for being strong for a woman, I was commended for being strong like a man.  

I was not only interested in what was normative, I was intrigued by diversity. Bootcamp strips individuality from recruits of all backgrounds and creates a new collective system unlike the dominantly individualistic American culture. Still, I was impressed by how this uniform environment did not stop the different backgrounds from informing the diverse manner in which individuals experienced, expressed, and processed powerful emotions like rage, terror, and grief. Most interesting was observing the culturally-informed permissions people received, or didn’t receive, to express these emotions and the ways these emotions were demonstrated. This interest led to completing a Master’s degree in Intercultural Studies, but my diversity awareness stems more so from my intentional intimate relationships with people who are different from me. Wisdom and insight gained through my intentional relationships with people different from me offered me critical insights into my work with BIPOC. This is critical as someone raised, trained, and educated with in a white hetero-normative system.  

Without insight into culturally-bound assumptions and privilege, BIPOC individuals can be encouraged to spend time identifying distortions based on normative realty—the provider’s reality—which often does not bring about truth or a safely livable outcome. It is an ongoing discipline to offer culturally-informed care, increase cultural humility, and further wrestle with my own privilege, identities and judgements. 


1.)  Much of the time thoughts include cognitive distortions and unfortunate realities that are true for some people even if not true for others.

2.)  Often, emotions are a blend of misguided and justifiable reactions to realities, truths, and perceptions.

3.)  Feeling safe in a body is a privilege.

4.)  We experience a tension between unpermitted, healthy aggression—required for developing and maintaining appropriate boundaries—and the reality that displaying healthy aggression could be socially— even physically—dangerous

5.)  Bodies hold memories of past trauma— our own or inherited— and anticipation of potential experiences that need to be validated, untangled, and legitimized.

This uncovers unfortunate truths:

Working with the body highlights the differences in realities and the cultural gaslighting that exists within traditional, western society. Who gets to be the arbiter of reality? Who gets to determine safety? 

What drew you to your partner?  What was it about them that caught your attention?  Couples often get in this stuck place and wonder how they got there and wonder how to get out. 

It is time to stop that same fight that never ends

It is rarely actually about the topic of the fight. 

IT'S ABOUT WHAT's UNDERNEATH

Clarify goals and identify blocks and the obstacles preventing you from making progress. Find a greater sense of fulfilment. Shift your mindset to be able to live bigger.

Couples Coaching

reconnection

Identify the pattern early to create connection rather than disconnection. Develop healthy communication about money, family planning etc. early to help set up a thriving marriage.

Pre-marital Coaching

preparation

Integrate the Christian faith in your relationship coaching.  Incorporate your values into the support you receive to strengthen a relationship rooted in your shared faith.

Christian Coaching

faith affirming

Develop relationship and dating skills to cultivate the healthy relationships you are looking for.  Learn to identify the toxic patterns that you may have found yourself falling into in previous relationships. 

Relationship and Dating Coaching

awareness

One partner feels alone and like they don't matter and the other feels they are always being criticized and can't get anything right. The more one asks for the other to show up, the more the partner disappears physically and emotionally. You both bicker and fight and the idea of sitting and just hanging out seems elusive, if not impossible. 



Often we crave connection but are blocked by the pain and the history that gets in the way. Small fights about little things become battles that highlight our struggle to have our basic relational needs met.

If you are struggling in your relationship, we can help you get under the bickering to the wounded and guarded parts to allow you to reconnect to the person you fell in love with. Our relationship coaches pull from relationship models proven to be effective through research to cultivate a healthy and life-giving relationship. 

Let me guess

Something like this?  

more

Often we crave connection but are blocked by the pain and the history that gets in the way. Small fights about little things become battles that highlight our struggle to have our basic relational needs met.

If you are struggling in your relationship, we can help you get under the bickering to the wounded and guarded parts to allow you to reconnect to the person you fell in love with. Our relationship coaches pull from relationship models proven to be effective through research to cultivate a healthy and life-giving relationship. 

Back

Use the cycle to create intimacy and connection

The connection

Identify the pattern in typical conflict and disconnect

The Cycle

Discover the unmet attachment and intimacy needs

the Need

The Process

More

More

More

After identifying the cycle, the deeper beliefs, and the connection needs discovered in the battles, we are able to stop the cycle that creates disconnection and instead use the cycle to create connection. We find intimacy.

close

One partner may feel invisible, alone, and like they don't matter. The other feels criticized, wrong, and like they never get it right.  Conflicts become the same fights that lead to more criticism and further withdraw.

Close

Then we discover the attachment and intimacy needs that get lost behind our protective walls. The relationship becomes safe and promotes vulnerability which allows authentic connection. Intimacy and emotional needs are met. 

Close

After identifying the cycle, the deeper beliefs, and the connection needs discovered in the battles, we are able to stop the cycle that creates disconnection and instead use the cycle to create connection. We find intimacy.

close

the connection

He walks into the room. He is on his phone and doesn't acknowledge her.

Does it even matter if I’m here? Her insecurities answer, I don't matter to him. She doesn’t feel cherished by him. Her insecurities begin to swirl around her bringing the familiar hurt. She hates feeling hurt and small. She’d rather be strong instead and protect her vulnerable heart, so the walls come up. She gets mean when she’s feeling protective – it keeps her safe.

She snaps at him.

"What did I do this time?" He feels constantly criticized. He believes that she doesn’t respect him. He sees her walls come up and the familiar fangs come out. I can't do anything right, anyway. He feels worthless. He is protective of his vulnerability, too. When he is feeling small he focuses on self-preservation. He detaches, shuts down, and pulls away.

He snaps back at her.

They are off in a familiar cycle-- Growing more angry, and more withdrawn, with each round.

It looks like this:

Ask a question

Why do we feel so distant when we want to feel close?

Can we repair after infidelity?

What about trauma?

Can we improve our sex life?

Why does everything become such a huge fight?

Here are some of the questions we are asked:

 you may wonder about:

Any Questions?

Couples crave intimacy and connection from their partner but feel like there is junk in the way that keeps them separated from that connection. The past hurt leaves us expecting another hurtful encounter. Both members of the couple keep walls up and are self-protective. We cannot be vulnerable with walls up. We are not available to offer or receive authentic connection without vulnerability. We have to let down the guard to connect, and that is terrifying.

close

Relationships do repair after infidelity. Recovering from an affair requires reestablishing trust and cultivating the deep, intimate connection that was missing prior to the affair. Your relationship can recover and thrive.

Close

It is always trauma. From horrific experiences that undermine our safety in the world and relationships to subtle messages that impede our ability to trust. Our trauma plays out—and heals— in relationship.

close

A couple’s sex life is a reflection of their relationship. Emotional connection correlates with a desire for, frequency of, and satisfaction with sex. As intimacy increases, your sex life will improve.

close

Over time, we develop beliefs about our partner, ourselves, and the relationship that are reinforced through our perceptions of our partner and how we interpret their behavior. We are primed and quick to respond to slights, to hold on to the pain caused by past slights, and live with the anticipation of the next slight. Arguments erupt out of the most benign situations because even they becomes proof of the belief we hold.

close

Trauma may result from a wide variety of stressors such as accidents, invasive medical procedures, sexual or physical assault, emotional abuse, neglect, war, natural disasters, loss, birth trauma, or the corrosive stressors of ongoing fear and conflict. SE facilitates the completion of self-protective motor responses and the release of thwarted survival energy bound in the body, thus addressing the root cause of trauma symptoms. This is approached by gently guiding clients to develop increasing tolerance for difficult bodily sensations and suppressed emotion.


SE offers a framework to assess where a person is “stuck” in the fight, flight or freeze responses and provides clinical tools to resolve these fixated physiological states. It provides effective skills appropriate to a variety of healing professions including mental health, medicine, physical and occupational therapies, bodywork, addiction treatment, first response, education, and others— Excerpt taken from SETI.

Somatic Experiencing (SE) is a body-oriented approach to the healing of trauma and other stress disorders resulting from multidisciplinary study of stress physiology, psychology, ethology, biology, neuroscience, indigenous healing practices, and medical biophysics, together with over 45 years of successful clinical application. The SE approach releases traumatic shock, which is key to transforming PTSD and the wounds of emotional and early developmental attachment trauma. Trauma may begin as acute stress from a perceived life-threat or as the end product of cumulative stress. Both types of stress can seriously impair a person’s ability to function with resilience and ease. Excerpt taken from SETI

An Embodied approach to healing

Excerpt taken from Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute. 

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (SP) is a complete treatment modality to heal trauma and attachment issues. SP welcomes the body as an integral source of information for processing past experiences relating to upsetting or traumatic events and developmental wounds. SP incorporates the physical and sensory experience, as well as thoughts and emotions, as part of the person’s complete experience of both the trauma itself and the process of healing. Excerpt taken from Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute.  


An Embodied approach to healing

SP seeks to restore a person’s ability to process information without being triggered by past experience. SP uses a three-phase treatment approach to gently guide the client through the therapeutic process – Safety and Stabilization, Processing, and Integration. The therapist must pay close attention to the client to ensure that they are not overwhelmed by the process while simultaneously engaging their own abilities and capacities for healing.

It is thought that SP strengthens instinctual capacities for survival and assists clients to re-instate or develop resources which were unavailable or missing at the time the trauma or wounding occurred. Once resources are developed and in place, the traumatic event can be processed with the aid of resources. SP is a well-developed approach with decades of success in the treatment of trauma and developmental wounds. — Excerpt taken from Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute. 

Excerpt taken from ACBS Association for Contextual Behavioral Science. 

Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a comprehensive multi-diagnostic, modularized behavioral intervention designed to treat individuals with severe mental disorders and out-of-control cognitive, emotional and behavioral patterns. It has been commonly viewed as a treatment for individuals meeting criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) with chronic and high-risk suicidality, substance dependence or other disorders. However, over the years, data has emerged demonstrating that DBT is also effective for a wide range of other disorders and problems, most of which are associated with difficulties regulating emotions and associated cognitive and behavioral patterns. 

radical acceptance and change

As the name implies, dialectical philosophy is a critical underpinning of DBT. Dialectics is a method of logic that identifies the contradictions (antithesis) in a person's position (thesis) and overcomes them by finding the synthesis. Additionally, in DBT a client cannot be understood in isolation from his or her environment and the transactions that occur. Rather, the therapist emphasizes the transaction between the person and their environment both in the development and maintenance of any disorders. It is also assumed that there are multiple causes as opposed to a single factor affecting the client. And, DBT uses a framework that balances the treatment strategies of acceptance and change - the central dialectical tension in DBT. Therapists work to enhance the capability (skills) of their client as well as to develop the motivation to change. Maintaining that balance between acceptance and change with clients is crucial for both keeping a client in treatment and ensuring they are making progress towards their goals of creating a life worth living. — Taken from DBT-Linehan Board of Certification. (click to learn more)