When I started my studies as a psychotherapist many moons ago, I did not feel drawn to work with couples for three reasons:
- Couples therapy has a bad reputation for not working.
- Who wants to work with conflict?
- My own relationship was far from perfect, so who am I to guide others?
However, the Universe/God/Source appeared to have sent me the message ‘Luella – you must’. Despite not advertising couples therapy, the couples came.
I started off working with individuals, mainly women. In hindsight, it makes sense. What woman (or man) doesn’t have a relationship issue? Once I started working with women and helping them achieve self-worth and self-esteem, they wanted to see what I could do regarding their relationships. So, helping women lead themselves through difficult relationships happened organically and naturally felt right.
Inner/self-work is always the FIRST step in improving relationships. The SECOND step is self-led communication; the THIRD is staying grateful while navigating your relationship.
Not all relationships work. When we come to this realization, that is also fine. My clients do this with clarity and confidence.
Finally, the fact that my own relationship of 25 ½ years has had its own challenges makes me even more aware and skilled in navigating others through the same. If my relationship was perfect, I would not be able to relate to my clients’ fears, anxiety, loneliness, resentment, and sadness. The truth is, I have felt all of this and more.
My knowledge comes from my personal and professional experience: helping women reconnect or disconnect (I did both), working through relationship dips and turns, and my own deep work (dark night of the soul) and coming out so much happier in the long run.
And now, at 55, after all my accreditations, certifications, and more…I am learning a whole different skill… radical responsibility for my current reality. And despite taking responsibility for everything in front of me, I couldn’t be happier. I feel an incredible amount of gratitude.
I know that my personal story and the stories of my clients’ relationships all have meaning. Things did not happen to me by accident. I know that God has an order and meaning behind all he orchestrates.