A COUPLE HOPING TO SAVE THEIR MARRIAGE
“Brad,” 34, and “Margaret,” 32, were having frequent arguments. I engaged with each party, discussing the dynamic of their relationship, and together, we established priorities and goals, the first of which was to reduce their conflict. We learned about each of their families and personal histories and determined what the real issues were: differences in their cultural backgrounds were causing Brad to prioritize his family of origin over his spouse. Brad thought his conduct was perfectly normal, while Margaret felt unsupported and abandoned. Holidays were particularly difficult, as they could not agree on whose family they would spend the day with. During the course of treatment, these issues were resolved through exercises that helped Brad and Margaret listen to each other empathically, see each other’s perspective more clearly, and maintain and sustain a more calm, logical approach to communication when handling differences of opinion.
A YOUNG WOMAN OUT OF COLLEGE AND LOOKING FOR HER PLACE IN THE WORLD
“Stephanie,” a 24-year-old college graduate living at home with her parents, presented as depressed and anxious. She was working at a job she disliked and had a limited social life. The issue that surfaced was her difficulty establishing independence from her parents, who treated her as the baby since she was the youngest of four. I began family therapy sessions including Stephanie, her parents, and occasionally her siblings. We addressed Stephanie’s depression and anxiety and resolved the family conflict by helping her parents understand that they were hindering their daughter’s ability to move forward with an independent life. Stephanie experienced a sense of relief, and her parents ultimately learned to become supportive of her independence.
AN EXECUTIVE STRUGGLING WITH DIVORCE
“Robert,” aged 38, a successful businessman with two children, was stunned when his wife told him she was having an affair and filed for divorce. He arrived distraught and depressed and was experiencing sleep deprivation and paralysis in his decision-making.. His wife refused to come in for marriage counseling. It came out in Robert’s therapy sessions that he was remaining in an unhappy marriage, because his parents had divorced and he did not want his children to experience the same pain he had as a child. I also helped him navigate the emotional side of his financial and custody concerns. Eventually, Robert made peace with the divorce, completed it without conflict, and moved on with a new life.
“BEST DECISION I MADE”
I was recommended to Joyce Colburn while I was going through a divorce. It was the best decision I made related to this major life-changing event. It was easy to establish a rapport with Joyce, which is crucial when working with a therapist. She was very easy to talk to, a great listener, and she helped me positively through a difficult patch in my life.