Cultivating a unique perspective on life.
Diversity can take many forms- from being a member of a cultural minority to being someone who just sees life differently than our current social and political norms. It is important to offer clients a space where their ideas and identities can be explored, affirmed, and celebrated.
Members of minority groups often experience unique perspectives on social and political constructs, community interactions, love and relationships, spirituality, definitions of family, and life experiences.
We sometimes find ourselves living in spaces with strict expectations for what we should believe, how we should present our identities and ideas, how we should interact with our community, and who it is okay to love.
It takes a tremendous amount of courage for diverse people to live authentically and without apology for who they are. Counseling can help you maximize “you”.
Gender & Sexuality.
Rethinking masculinity and femininity.
Our understanding of “how to be men and women” deeply impacts the way we connect emotionally and sexually with others. It is not uncommon for relational conflicts to arise when one partner desires deeper emotional connections, while the other fears the vulnerability it takes to connect more deeply. These conflicts can easily escalate to arguments, exiting relationships, infidelity, and divorce.
It is especially true in areas that place high value on strict adherence to traditionally binary roles of masculinity and femininity that many struggle to deepen their intellectual, relational, emotional, and sexual connections to others.
Concepts of gender roles and sexuality encompass those identifying as LGBTQ as well as those who identify as straight.
Counseling can help with deconstructing rigid gender role expectations, deepening emotional and sexual connections, redefining one’s expectations for gender expression, relationships, and identity, exploring new ways of expressing emotions and frustrations.
A journey to authenticity.
Concepts of gender are quickly expanding in our present day culture. This is a much welcomed shift for those who have never been fully comfortable with the gender assigned to them at birth.
New language is emerging almost daily to describe the nuances of gender identity and expression. This language is key in building an open, inclusive, and responsive community for those who are gender expansive.
During this shift of cultural consciousness and awareness, many in the trans community find themselves adjusting, adapting, and evaluating “self” like no other community has been required to do.
Not only must we reconsider gender identity we must also reconsider medical transitioning, name changes, wardrobes, sexual orientation, love relationships, family and community, group dynamics, work dynamics, expectations of gender presentation, voice, and body. Transitioning requires more honesty and authenticity than most non-trans people will come to know.
Here, together, we will explore all these things and help you arrive at the intersection of self, gender, and authenticity.
Embracing what works best for your relationship.
Sometimes the problems we face are not necessarily in the relationships themselves, but rather are a product of our understanding of language and social constructs.
Rigidity, as we all know, is problematic. Reframing how we see our relationships and the terminology we use to describe them can alter our experiences and interactions as human beings. So, giving ourselves permission to speak and think differently about our relationships can free us to make connections with people who validate our most authentic self.
The consequence of unrealistic relationship expectations and rigid constructs may leave us evaluating our own relational connections against a model that is artificial and generalized for the masses. The problem with this approach to relational connections is there is no grey area left to explore, and few other ways of understanding our connections.
Consider the people you spend the most time with. The labels we assign and the expectations of these relationships can have an impact on our lives affecting our well-being and how we see ourselves. Without fixed and manufactured expectations, we can have more freedom in our relationships and adjust expectations accordingly. For example, holding onto a set of expectations for someone who is incapable of meeting them narrows the many other ways we might connect with them.
Beyond “relationships”, I encourage my clients to focus on and think about how they connect with people, and by what standard they are evaluating these connections. Relationships often come with labels that may suggest we should have attained a certain level of accomplishment or stability in our lives. When we evaluate our relationships against these expectations, many of us are left feeling as if we are failing in our relationships.
Let’s talk openly and honestly about your concerns with long distance relationships, long-term partnerships that exist outside of “marriage”, continuing a relationship after an affair, reconnecting with a partner after separation, loving more than one partner at a time, open relationships and redefining infidelity.
Rebuilding loving relationships.
There are many betrayals that can end relationships, yet infidelity is often seen as the most egregious.
Entire families, careers, communities, businesses and even countries are torn apart when infidelity is suspected, much less confirmed. “Cheaters” are often labeled as immoral and worthy of relationship/family exile, while the partner is left doubting their entire relationship and “playing the fool”.
Infidelity continues to be the Holy Grail of relationship threats.
However, there is growing evidence to indicate that when partners come together to talk openly about their relationships, sex lives, and infidelity, that loving relationships may be restored.
Together we can explore how infidelity has impacted you and your relationships.