We work together, identifying problems and their effects on your life and your relationships. We speak openly about the history of these problems in your life and the influence that these problems have had on your personal, social, professional and relational ways of interacting. After a comprehensive look at how the problems have come to impact you and the person you know yourself to be, I begin to ask questions about your relationship to the problems:
What supports them?
Are you okay with the way they are in your life?
When have you found the problems to be not as impactful on your circumstances?
How were you able to negotiate the problems if there were times that they weren’t so influential?
Which relationships honor and support a way forward?
Through conversation about exceptional moments when your relationship to the problems looked a little bit different, we start to look at exceptional ways of being and relating that you prefer. These exceptional moments may be worth sharing with others who are hopeful that you can connect these exceptions to other moments you are proud of. Those others who you choose share with form an appreciative audience who may even accompany us as we learn more about how you are taking on your problems.
When I do this work with couples, we take time to consider couples’ listening skills, empathy for one another and held values about relationships, even when those values have not been fully realized in their marriage or relationship.
When I do this work with families, I am paying attention to who can talk to who and about what. How do taken for granted ways of interacting create unhelpful situations that a family may want to take a stand against?
Mike Giancola, LMFT