Secure Attachment in Practice: Interview with Dr. Ikeranda Smith

Secure Attachment in Practice: Interview with Dr. Ikeranda Smith

Hello!

I'm excited to bring you an interview this week from a very special person about a very important topic. The practice of secure attachment takes time, attention, and energy--it doesn't "just happen." A high level of awareness and some education can translate to more connection and attunement in relationships, which means more satisfying interactions and a greater sense of support.

What are your barriers to connection?

What are your barriers to connection?

Hi!

You know how important connection is to relationships and a fulfilling life—you wouldn’t be here otherwise. Connection is one of those things we talk about in a vague way, as if everyone just has it and you can find it conveniently. But I don’t think that’s true. Connection is something special and I believe it requires awareness on our parts to be sure we are supporting it the way it needs to be supported to thrive. Connection is a process—but first we have to be open to it.

We don’t need anything more than we need each other. 

We Are Here to Take Care of Each Other

We Are Here to Take Care of Each Other

Hi,

I’ve been struggling over the past week. I see myself as someone who is tapped in to what is happening in the world. As a highly sensitive person, I am acutely aware of the pain that is percolating under the surface on a day to day basis. This moment in history is not new; I know in my heart and feel in my body that we have been here before, that people of color and queer folks and other marginalized groups have been feeling this pain for as long as they have been alive. We must honor and acknowledge that if we are going to step forward with integrity. All of that being said, the explicit sharing of stories and the explicit denial of pain we have witnessed over the week has me feeling upset, as a human and as a clinician.

Healing Shouldn't Be a Privilege

Healing Shouldn't Be a Privilege

Most of the people I love have had difficult life experiences at some point. Difficult relationships that range from a wrong match to significant attachment misalignment to emotional or physical abuse; the unexpected loss of a very close family member, friend or partner, or the expected loss that hurt just as much; miscarriage or stillbirth; a major health crisis; or chronic stress, trauma, and discrimination interpersonally and institutionally that have lead to depression, anxiety, and deep fear. The list goes on. All of us have experienced something difficult before. What matters most is how we perceived those events. Did we feel that we had some power, some control? Did we feel we were able to make healthy choices for ourselves and do what we needed to take care of ourselves? Or did we feel lost, ignored, disempowered, shamed or taken advantage of? How we feel about our difficult experiences matters. In fact, it’s what matters most about a difficult event. My trauma is not your trauma and vice versa. We all experience the world differently.

Nonmonogamy and Attachment

Nonmonogamy and Attachment

Hi!

I’m so happy to be back with you after a beautiful trip to California! This blog topic was requested and I’m really excited to share some information with you about this topic. I want to be clear that this blog post is an exploration of this topic rather than a defining or concrete explanation. I am personally in a monogamous relationship and use my experience working with couples, individuals, and attachment theory as well as my research and learning to develop a deeper understanding of the intersection between nonmonogamous relationships and attachment. I have also connected with a friend who is nonmonogamous and has been generous in sharing some of her personal experiences with us so we can all learn more about attachment and nonmonogamy. Of course, she does not speak for all poly people or poly relationships; her experience is her own. I am so grateful for her willingness to share with us. And of course, this is a HUGE topic—one that I could talk about for a very long time, so we are just skimming the surface here.

On Commitment

On Commitment

Happy September! Can you believe we are two-thirds of the way through 2018? The year is flying by and this is the time where I start checking in with myself about how I want to finish out the year. What do I still want to accomplish that I haven’t yet? Where do I need to place my focus so I can soak up as much love, joy, fun, and meaningfulness as possible this year?

As I continue to dig in to the development of the 28 Day Commitment to Healthier Relationships, the word “commitment” is on my mind a lot. I love the word commitment because I think it's beautiful. It captures the concept of devotion, the ways we continue to show up for ourselves and each other, even when it's uncomfortable and difficult and we might rather be somewhere else. It's about continuing to choose our lives, our partners, our relationships, our families, our values. It's about navigating the challenges of real relationships. It's also about community.

Why You Shouldn't Avoid Avoidants (this is a bit controversial)

Why You Shouldn't Avoid Avoidants (this is a bit controversial)

A dear friend texted me last week and linked to an article from the Washington Post about attachment. I love seeing the concept of attachment theory in mainstream media because I believe we should all be talking about these ideas in our relationships, friend circles, and communities. I was excited to sit down and read the article. I try to approach articles like this from a beginner’s perspective and notice how I might receive the information if I was in a crisis point in my relationship and needed support. Here are the first two paragraphs of the article:

The Anxious-Avoidant Dynamic in Sexual Relationships with Jamie Brazell (Part 2)

The Anxious-Avoidant Dynamic in Sexual Relationships with Jamie Brazell (Part 2)

Hi!

We are back this week with the final piece of the Sex & Attachment Interview Series with Jamie Brazell! We are continuing our conversation about the anxious-avoidant relationship pattern, and Jamie is providing some tools and resources she offers to her clients when they are coping with this dynamic.

Jamie Brazell, M. Ed., LMFT, CST is an incredible clinician and is a wealth of knowledge about sex and sexuality, intimacy, and relationships. If you missed the first two interviews about Sex & Attachment, you can go here for the first interview, and here for Part 1 of the Anxious-Avoidant Dynamic interview. You can also learn more about Jamie and her work by visiting her website and connecting with her on social media.

How did you like this interview series? Are there other topics where an interview would be helpful? Do you want to hear from anyone in particular? You can hit reply to this email and tell me everything. I can't wait to hear your thoughts and suggestions so my writing can be as supportive as possible for you.

Thank you for joining us for this series. I'm so happy to be here with you.

Love,

Elizabeth

The Anxious-Avoidant Dynamic in Sexual Relationships with Jamie Brazell (Part 1)

The Anxious-Avoidant Dynamic in Sexual Relationships with Jamie Brazell (Part 1)

Hello!

This week, we are diving right in to the anxious-avoidant relationship pattern--one of the most common challenges partners face--and how it shows up in sexual and intimate relationships. Even the mild form of this dynamic can be incredibly frustrating and upsetting in relationships, and I believe it's important for us to look out for how it shows up in our own relationships (and how we engage in it personally).

I'm continuing this really wonderful conversation with Jamie Brazell, M. Ed., LMFT, CST. If you missed our first interview about Sex & Attachment, you can go here to catch up. You can learn more about Jamie and her work by checking out her website and connecting with her on social media.

Again, this blog is on the longer side so we can include as much information as possible. I am breaking this interview into two parts since we can talk about this concept for days! Please feel free to pause and come back to it when you are able, or read it in pieces. The next part of the interview will be in your inbox next Tuesday morning!

Please let me know your thoughts and questions! You can hit reply to this email and tell me everything. I can't wait to hear your thoughts!

I appreciate you being here. Thank you for digging into this with me.

Love,

Elizabeth

Sex and Attachment Interview Series with Jamie Brazell: Part 1

Sex and Attachment Interview Series with Jamie Brazell: Part 1

Hello!

I am back to weekly blogging (yes!), and I have been waiting on pins and needles to share this interview series with you!

I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to talk with Jamie Brazell, M. Ed., LMFT, CST in this first interview about Sex & Attachment. During this first piece, we are talking about the work Jamie does, the different variables that can impact intimacy, and the importance of flexibility in relationships. You can learn more about Jamie and her work by checking out her website and connecting with her on social media. Jamie is a wealth of information and we are so lucky to be able to explore these important topics with her.

I want to give you a heads up--this blog is longer than normal because I didn't want to cut out anything important or relevant. Feel free to pause and come back to it when you are able, or read it in pieces.

Next week, we will be diving in to the anxious-avoidant pattern as it shows up in sexual relationships, which is sure to be a juicy topic!

Will you let me know what you think of this first interview? You can email me at hello@heirloomcounseling.com or use the contact page and tell me everything. I can't wait to hear your thoughts!

Thank you for being here! I'm so happy to be back with you again!

Love,

Elizabeth