A Raleigh Therapist's Blog

Thoughts on counseling, healing, and creating the life you want

Couples Therapy is Awkward and Other Non-News.

One of the greatest things that’s happened to me like, ever, was that time I wrote a blog post about a Duran Duran song and someone in charge of their official twitter account read it and retweeted it. I’m sure the person behind this personal win of mine was some sad-faced publicist for the band languishing in a grim cubicle out in California. But, I prefer to believe that Simon Le Bon was chillin’ by a pool in the Mediterranean somewhere when he happened upon my humble corner of the internet and thought to himself, “This woman is brilliant! I must share her wisdom with the world.” In case you’re wondering, yes, I have this daydream a lot and no, I’m not proud of it.

I think the word you’re probably looking for as you try to picture me staring off into space mooning around over a tweet is awkward. I can own it. I’m a big girl. As a matter of fact, I’m quite accustomed to more than a casual participation in not only my own awkward moments, but also others’ as well. In my work as a couples therapist I have the happy responsibility of being a party to some of the most embarrassing and uncomfortable conversations folks ever have.

Therapy chats are never awkward because my clients are weirdos. Rather, these interactions feel strange because I am asking you to have the same conversations you always have in a new way. It’s fairly common for me to ask clients to reenact a conversation that seems to go around and around without resolution. Then, we begin to reshape that argument into a fertile ground for new understandings.  Just as a spoiler, I tend to spend a lot of time encouraging new communication skills and interrupting some of your perfectly good points during this process. Folks can find participating in these reworked conversations scary for several very good reasons:

1) It feels weird

2) You can’t imagine that any new information can be mined from the same old conversation–even if it’s being had in a new way

3) If you suddenly participate in that conversation differently you worry that your partner will always demand this weird new way (that you’re not sure you can commit to yet)

4) You’re not sure you want to be vulnerable enough to have the conversation in a different way

5) You may have old communication habits from your life experiences or family or origin that contradict the new skills we’re developing

However, the good news is that everyone has the capacity to skillfully rework the manner in which they participate in their relationships. I have faith in you. So don’t worry that you’ll feel awkward when you come to couples therapy. I can guarantee you that you will. But, if you have the patience to tolerate the weird for a while who knows what great things can happen? Why don’t you come on in so we can talk about it.

Your Partner in Healing,

Holly

Are you looking for individual, couples or group therapy in Raleigh? Call me today to schedule a consultation to learn how counseling can help you. Please contact me at (919) 714-7455 or email me at holly@lotustherapycenter.com. Visit me on the web at www.lotustherapycenter.com or:

Twitter: HollyCoxLMFT

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On Doing Yoga While Listening to Miley Cyrus

I feel like I should begin this blog with the obligatory “Whoo Boy, it’s been a looooong time since I posted.” Because, y’all, it’s been a loooong time since I posted. But, I have a few good excuses. Promise.

This has been a tumultuous summer. I spent most of it heavy with child, laid up on the couch bemoaning my swollen ankles and angry digestive system. A few times a week, I ran into my office to see clients who were exceptionally good sports about near-constant reschedules and the fact that I mostly showed up in questionably clean pajama pants and ragged flip flops. “Remember how I was wearing stilettos and a tasteful sweater set when you met me?” I would say. “Well, picture that now.”

Fast forward a few months and here we are in the crisp (sometimes) fall air settling in with our new daughter.  Dan and I thought she was going to be a boy. But, in a testament to the fact that life and technology can still surprise you, Magnus turned out to be Lily Belle. Since we didn’t have a girl name chosen, we took a good look at her and went with the first thing that seemed to fit. Lily Belle was the name of my grandmother’s favorite sister–a free spirit who, by all accounts, made everyone laugh, cursed too much and followed her gut. In other words, a perfect hero for our Lily Belle.

Given all this change, I’m in a contemplative place. Life is good, if noisy and chaotic. And, I’m trying to sort out how exactly I will manage to keep three children alive while attending to my writing, practice and health. But, these are good muddles–ones I am blessed to have. I was smugly contemplating that particular existential puzzle in downward facing dog when this happened:

Miley

Yes, dear readers, I was Mileyed.

I’m not exactly sure how, but “We Can’t Stop” has made it onto my otherwise carefully curated yoga playlist. I suspect I put it there by accident while attempting to shuffle some things around, and suddenly it burst forth from my Ipod as I was sweating on my mat. I have it lurking in my song list at all because Lily likes it. (Don’t judge. You know you jam out to it in the car when nobody is looking too.) Each of our sons has chosen but one magical song that lulls him into sleep. Fortunately, Ms. Thang also likes “Strawberry Wine” by Deanna Carter. Just those two. Ask me to sing either one of them in session sometime. I know all the words. Anyway…

The reason I’m telling you this story is to point out that sometimes, both literally and metaphorically, you can end up with a soundtrack you hadn’t expected. Life will offer you circumstances and people that you could not have dreamed of when you were setting goals for yourself. I suspect that one of the main paths to happiness is sorting out how to integrate those unplanned details into your journey. And, it is only by living from a place of curiosity and flexibility rather than fear that we can keep on heading in the right direction.

So, if you were making up the soundtrack to your life right now, what songs would go on it? Now that I’m back in the office, why don’t you come on in so that we can talk about it. Maybe I’ll sing a little Miley for you.

Your Partner in Healing,

Holly

Are you looking for individual, couples or group therapy in Raleigh? Call me today to schedule a consultation to learn how counseling can help you. Please contact me at (919) 714-7455 or email me at holly@lotustherapycenter.com. Visit me on the web at www.lotustherapycenter.com or:

Twitter: HollyCoxLMFT

Pinterest:DrHollyCox

Facebook: Lotus Therapy Center

Google +: Holly Cox

 

 

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