The dating scene today out there is daunting and wild for sure. Are you single and ready to discover how you can have deeper communication, more joy and longer lasting love in your adult relationships?
If you are tired of the date scene or just ready to be in a committed long term relationship but didn’t get lucky yet, you might need some help. You might find people, date people but then after a few dates or months into the relationship, things start to not work out, you become disinterested or overly concerned…Or the opposite might happen, so you just don’t seem to click with anybody at all. You don’t find anybody interesting or the few people you might be into are not into you. So, what do you then?
If your answer is “yes” to one or more of the following questions, you might be a good candidate for therapy.
•Are you tired of being single but nothing seems to work?
•Do you think you are not in a committed relationship, even though you would like to, because you “didn’t meet the right one yet”?
•Do you think you are ready for a serious relationship but if the opportunity appears you find yourself running away from it?
•Do you feel mistreated or neglected by your partner but you stay with him/her because you “love” him/her?
•Are you afraid of being alone so you rush from one relationship into another?
•Does your partner(s) constantly complain about you being distant or cold with him/her?
•Did you go through a painful divorce and you want to avoid a second one?
•Do you go from break up to break up with no direction in your romantic life?
While research shows that relationships are the main source of happiness, they can also bring a lot of pain to people’s lives. Why does that happen? Opening ourselves to people means becoming vulnerable and open to the possibility of rejection. Furthermore, even though we think we are choosing consciously who we like and who we don’t, there are more complicated underlying factors determining your choices, behaviors, fears and expectations when it comes to dating: the attachment style.
What is that? It is the way we connect, how we bond with other people and it is developed throughout our lives and influenced by our experiences and relationships. It is our unconscious relational map and contains our needs, expectations, triggers, wounds, interpretations and values. Attachment theory is a map to the landscape of love.
Why is it important in dating? Research shows that about 50 percent of the population present a secure attachment style, which means natural capacity for a balance between being intimate and being independent, which also means more self-esteem, capacity to bounce easier from rejections and less fear of being engulfed or abandoned. About the other half of the population, however, have an insecure attachment, which means they tend to have more fears of putting themselves out there, being intimate or being alone. They also present more problems when in relationships and at the same time, show more stress and have fewer skills when trying to resolve them. (Amir, 2010, attached)
The good news is that therapy can help. Professional help can provide you the understanding you need to figure out your own role and triggers in relationships. Then, by changing some patterns and learning certain skills, you can move towards secure attachment and be able to establish healthy connections. Most of us didn’t learn that in our families of origin but it is never too late. You can learn it in therapy. The main step is to stop blaming your exes or bad luck and realize that you might be part of the problem. When you change your attachment style, you also change the people you are attracted to and therefore, create new and healthier possibilities for love.
I draw from the most advanced research on adult attachment and have extensive training on the most effective counseling strategies to help you become emotionally healthier (redirecting your inner capacity towards secure attachment) and therefore, becoming more unconsciously attuned to find the healthy relationship you need, and get the love you deserve.
Some of the theories I use in my work are:
Imago Theory- Harville Hendrix, Ph.D. (Getting the Love You Want), in his book written for singles called Keeping the Love You Find, says that Love has an agenda, and that is to propel us into a path of growth and healing, in order to finish childhood! But the problem is that often we cannot sustain relationships long enough to accomplish that agenda. Most of us are ill-equipped to create a successful relationship. In therapy we can explore those patterns and create some healing so you don’t become so activated/ triggered in future relationships.
DARe, Diane Poole Heller, PhD. (Somatic Experiencing-based attachment repair program), groundbreaking approach that integrates interpersonal neurobiology and adult attachment theory. It focuses on early Attachment styles and how they manifest in adult personal relationships of all kinds – friends, family and romantic partners or spouses. By the practical application of Somatic Experiencing® principles, techniques and corrective experiences we alleviate stuck attachment patterns. As you explore and correct your own attachment history, you can move towards secure attachment and become more equipped for healthier and happier relationships.
EMDR-Attachment Focused – Laurel Parnell, Ph.D (Healing Relational Trauma), offers a way to embrace two often separate worlds of knowing: the science of early attachment relationships and the practice of healing within an EMDR framework. Eye-movement desensitization and reprocessing which is more widely known as EMDR, is a powerful tool for catalyzing integration for individuals who have experienced non-secure attachment and developmental trauma. This approach heals the attachment wounds and the damage sustained from neglect or poor parenting in early childhood. For developmental trauma to happen, not catastrophic events have to happen. It happens because life happens. No family can attend to all members needs, so think of it as a lack of vitamins. Many people think that because they weren’t physically being hit or abandoned at an orphanage door, they shouldn’t have any problems. The reality is that most people experience some sort of trauma because life is like that. That is why experts in the field are trying to coin the term “ordinary trauma.” Read more on ordinary trauma.
Healing childhood wounds is key for enjoying fulfilling relationships as an adult.
The Developmental Needs Meeting Strategy- Shirley Jean Schmidt, MA, LPC, (an Ego State Therapy for Healing Adults with Childhood Trauma & Attachment Wounds), The DNMS is a comprehensive, strengths-based, client-centered, ego-state therapy for healing adults with trauma and attachment wounds. It’s informed by developmental psychology, self-reparenting therapy, attachment theory, EMDR therapy, and an understanding of mirror neurons. The DNMS evolved out of an EMDR practice. Clients with unmet attachment needs often experience inner chaos when forming, maintaining, or ending close relationships. Rejection can feel like life-threatening abandonment. Intimacy can feel intrusive and engulfing. Repairing core attachment wounds can be quite challenging but possible.
These approaches address the neurobiology of love. They change unconscious patterns and what most people describe as “the way they are.” If that gets in the way of having healthy and satisfying connections, we can correct it. By human nature we crave to feel connected, we are social beings. Extreme independence or loneliness is only a maladaptive survival strategy. That is why most of the time reading books and learning skills only work for a short period of time. Because that is not enough to reprogram the brain, to change the wiring. With more in depth therapy we can achieve that long lasting inner change to succeed in relationships, and more importantly to be happy, that is what matters the most at the end. The newest Neuroscience of Attachment and brain development is drastically influencing our understanding of how to bring about healing and influence our relationships toward more fulfillment.
Every day people are looking for clues to the mystery of loving relationships. In therapy I provide you the keys to that mystery by teaching you how to compassionately free yourself from the patterns of early Attachment wounds that influence adult relationships. This process is crucial for anybody who wants deeper, happier, more fulfilling relationships.
I help plenty of single people know themselves better and help them discover more about healthy relationships. They, therefore, feel more able to choose appropriate friendships or partnerships and they have an increased frame of reference for healthy pleasurable possibilities.
Make an appointment and you will:
•Understand why past relationships didn’t work.
•How to create satisfying and fulfilling relationships in the future.
•Break destructive patterns.
•Heal old hurts and frustrations.
If you want to know more about your attachment style, take one or more of the following quizzes:
Romantic Love Glues Us Together, yet Real Love is Born In Relationship – While our conscious mind wants us to feel happy all the time, our unconscious mind has another agenda– and that is, to grow up, finish childhood, and become conscious that we have been reacting to painful experiences with the same unconscious patterns that we inherited from our childhood.- Harville Hendrix, PhD.
Central to the science of attachment is the discovery that our need to be in a close relationship is embedded in our genes; so, contrary to what many relationship experts today may tell us about the importance of remaining emotionally “self-sufficient”, attachment research shows us that our need to be close to our partner is essential. That, in fact, we can’t live without it. – (Levine & Heller, Attached, 2010)
You can overcome the grip of past trauma to have more fun, connection and healthy intimacy in your relationships now.
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