FAMILY RELATIONSHIPS

Touch Into Calm

LA and Orange County Body Centered Psychotherapy
Therapy for Stress, Trauma, Depression, Relationship Issues
Adults, Children, and Family

Family Relationships

Relationships, like individuals, are partly stable and partly ever-changing.  Sometimes we do not always grow together, flex together, adapt to changes or life events together.  This causes stress. So not only do we have enjoyment and success going on in our own lives, health, career; but we also we have stress going on in our relationships as we adapt to our spouse’s life events and in response to the relationship as a unit. I think of a relationship, whether it is a situation of marriage, living together, committed dating (straight or gay) as an entity in itself.  We commit to the relationship in a sense, knowing that if we commit only to the other person, we will be disappointed and we will disappoint.  No matter how hard we try, we cannot control much of what we experience in life; we cannot always behave perfectly.  But we can commit to the relationship as an act of devotion that acknowledges that we are dealing with perfectly imperfect human beings. 

When stresses such as job, moving, finances, health press on the relationship, we express that stress somehow and that affects our partner, who is having their own issues.  Then we bring issues from childhood about how one comes to a relationship, and they always vary from how our partner has experienced his own family of origin.  So stress comes from within the relationship, and stress presses on us from outside the relationship.  Perhaps then we start to grow apart, interests, levels of affection change, an infidelity occurs, and we may start to feel overwhelmed in the relationship.  We may feel as though there is too much distance, not enough space, not enough fun, not enough safety, not enough trust.  We might start having a wandering eye or believe our partner is not being faithful.  When this happens, a question arises that must be addressed: Is this relationship just hard right now; or is this relationship impossible?  Sometimes, at the peak of our stress we get triggered by another event or blow, and we don’t stop to ponder and work through this question; we just run.  In some cases this is the best decision, in other cases we may later have regrets; such as, we could have worked this out, or, what about our kids?

Along with either decision, whether we stay or go, this is a time during which we are at the height of personal stress and are in need of support.  Here again is where, working individually, and occasionally in couples, people are helped by body centered therapy.  The individual is helped to sense in to oneself, feel grounded in the moment, where stress can be tolerated, and start to experience little places of refuge and safety as we notice what is happening in our bodies.  As a place of calm begins to emerge, it balances out the intense stress and allows us to behave more rationally and feel there is a path to take.  If we are being shoved down a path we did not wish for, we can also begin to find a place of refuge and safety within ourselves, as we find self-compassion and are able to move through a difficult time.  If separation, divorce or reunification is to come, we are very much supported, and more easily transition through the help of an empathic therapist who can help us deeply embody safety, calm, self-compassion and balance.  We discover a new way of being in the world, where old stressful and dysfunctional patterns are allowed to be renegotiated and reorganized within the nervous system.  In this way we start to notice subtle and huge differences in how we respond to the world.
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