A Conversation with The Breakup Therapist

Y’all, I am so excited about the blog this week. As a proponent of healthy relationships, I am also a proponent of healthy breakups—because breakups are part of the relationship continuum. Sometimes after digging in to the personal and relationship work, we might realize that we have come to the end of a partnership (note: this comes back to the idea that the work in relationships may not have the outcome we were hoping for). This realization can be painful or liberating or unimaginable (or any combination of those emotions) and to me, it’s really important that we navigate this part of the relationship in a way that allows for dignity for ourselves and our partner.

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Taking Care of You

In an effort to make my blog posts more accessible, you can now listen to me read them! Go here for the audio recording of this post.

We talk a lot about relationships on the Heirloom Counseling blog, but this week I want to talk about you.

I want to focus on you, in all of your complexity and wisdom. You, the body and mind and spirit that holds everything you have been through. You, who has transformed your pain into power and your experiences into empathy.

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Is Your Partner Avoidant or Abusive? Let's talk about the differences.

I receive many comments on my blog posts about people with the avoidant attachment adaptation. Some people feel relieved to know that there are ways to work with this attachment style and foster more secure connections in their relationships. Other people respond strongly to the posts, letting me know that they don’t feel it’s at all possible to work with this style and people with the avoidant adaptation should absolutely be avoided.

So that’s what we’re talking about today.

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How to Apologize When You Haven't Done Anything Wrong

Have you ever been in a relationship where your partner let you know they wouldn’t be able to move on until you apologize to them? And you’re wondering why you should have to apologize when you don’t even know what you’re arguing about (and you clearly didn’t do anything wrong and they should get over it)?

Yep. It’s definitely a thing.

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Are you a good partner?

We are usually not taught how to be in relationship with other people, at least not explicitly. Our learning comes from our experiences—and until we are actually in a romantic partnership, we don’t know how to do it. We learn as we go.

Many of us have a tendency to focus on what our partner isn’t doing rather than what we could be doing better or differently to improve our relationship(s). When we focus on what isn’t happening, we aren’t bringing our best selves to the partnership.

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Heart-Led Communication and Radical Emergence with Jordan Grob, LCSW, LCAS

Y'all know how much I value REAL connection, communication, and understanding in relationships--so when I learned that my friend and colleague Jordan Grob, LCSW, LCAS was launching her coaching practice that centers heart-led communication, you better believe I reached out as soon as I could and asked that she share some of her knowledge and wisdom with all of us!

In the blog this week, Jordan shares some of her favorite communication tools (that you can start using TODAY), the barriers to connection she witnesses (specifically for millenials), and why it's SO DAMN HARD to just put your phone down.

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The Magic of a Fresh Start (Sort Of)

Did you know you can change any day of the year? Most big changes don’t occur in January is my guess. The energy of a new year feels so good and hopeful and I personally really appreciate it—but it’s not THE thing that’s going to help me make the changes I’ve been wanting to make. Many people feel inspired and excited to shift things in their lives, but this takes time and more than just a new calendar year to really ground in to these changes.

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What are you healing in your family?

When I created Heirloom Counseling, my intention was to bring focus to the fact that our relational patterns are passed down from generation to generation. This means we have the opportunity to heal our entire family line when we show up to do the work in the present moment. This realization is incredibly powerful if we believe we have the tools to engage in relationships with integrity and awareness. If not, this task can feel overwhelming and pressured.

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The Enneagram as a Relationship Tool with Monica Leblanc, LPC, LCAS

I am so excited to share the work of my dear friend and colleague, Monica Leblanc. She is a skilled therapist and practitioner who incorporates the use of the Enneagram in her work with clients (and her relationships with friends!). Do you know about the Enneagram as a tool for individual and relationship growth? If not, read on—it’s pretty amazing. I have personally used the Enneagram in my relationship with partner with incredible results. We learned so much about each other (and made sense of what we already knew) when we began to incorporate the wisdom of the Enneagram and use it as a tool to support our interactions and communication.

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Healing the Anxious-Avoidant Relationship Dynamic: Part 2

One of the first blog posts I wrote about attachment in relationships has turned out to be my most-read post to date, and for good reason: the anxious-avoidant relationship dynamic can be REALLY HARD. I totally get it. If you have experienced it before, you know exactly what I’m talking about. All it takes is a snag in an interaction to trigger the negative cycle and before you know it, one person is pulling away and “going out for a while” and the other person is crying and angry and wondering how they ended up in a partnership with someone who doesn’t talk about feelings—ever.

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Relationships Are Everything

The title of this blog comes from adrienne maree brown, the author of Emergent Strategy. Her words are like a hug from someone who tells it to you so directly that there is no way to misinterpret their words. You trust their opinion and value their experience and know you are in the presence of someone powerful. That’s how I feel about adrienne.

As I stepped back this weekend and took inventory of my life and relationships (to my favorite beings, projects, spaces, and communities), I realized that in sharing my belief that we are here to take care of each other, I want to be incredibly specific about what that means.

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