Stress

Why Badass Women Come to Therapy

In our private practice, we see some of the brightest and most ambitious women in Washington. They are well read, highly accomplished, and typically have checked off most items on their bucket lists. Outside of a deep wanderlust, what is missing in the lives of these women who know how to fully live? If you’re their friend, colleague, acquaintance, it looks like they have it all. These women would agree that most of the time, their lives feel amazing.

One might wonder why are badass women coming to therapy? Relationships.

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Whether they are single, dating, partnered, or divorced, these women don’t feel like themselves in intimate relationships.   They feel anything but badass.

Exhausted, Frustrated, and at times Heartbroken by a Never Ending Dating Process

Many single women have no problem dating, but they have not found the one despite many dates or relationships. A number of these women date the same partner twice, for 3 weeks, or things end by month 4.

Each time they meet a new someone, they continue to walk on what feels like the tight rope of dating. Should I be excited on the first date even though it probably won’t lead to anything? Maybe I should take a break from dating because it all feels like too much? They have no idea why they continue to get the same results.

They can’t understand why so many women around them are happily dating or partnered. They feel that something is innately wrong with them.

Women Dating Unavailable People

This often starts with dating the most charming, passionate, or promise-you-everything man or woman. The initial dating process is mind-blowing on many levels.

Then a shift happens. The women see that their man or woman is unavailable in one or more ways. The partners live in different countries and won’t move or meet in the middle. They may be workaholics and prioritize work over the relationship.   They may be in the pull me close, push me away dance with touch, play, interest, and intimacy on many levels.

Where there previously was all passion, spark, and play, there can be equal amounts of disappearing, confusion, passive aggressiveness, or anger. These women find that most of their partners are not just emotionally unavailable but are not wanting to make any promises or commitments.

They don’t understand why the continually find themselves with the same unavailable partners and burned at the end of the short lived relationships. When they dig deeper, parts of them don’t feel that they know how to be close to a healthy partner.

Women Who Struggle to Believe that Their Partners Love Them

For many partnered women in our practice, they cannot believe that their partner could love them as much as they do. Their partners continually show up, believe in them, and love them even in some of the most challenging situations.

These clients struggle with receiving love from their partners.

No matter what they read or how hard they try, they don’t know how to let love in. They don’t know how to feel the love that their partners are consistently giving them.   They are blocked for many reasons from trusting themselves and the person that wants to be close to them.   Fear, longing, anger, and grief along with chatter laced everyday worthlessness can be some things that take these women down emotionally.

 

Partnered Women: Who Want More

These women are in relationships that aren’t working anymore. Often the relationship was what they needed for months, years or even decades.

In recent months or years, these women have experienced a deeper sense of self awareness about their needs and desires or may have even had a spiritual awakening. Their partners have struggled to pace with them or grow in their own ways.

These women are wanting more for themselves, their relationships, and lives. It is often complex because families, friends and even children are intertwined. Some of the women are torn between taking care of someone who isn’t fully able to emotionally care for themselves. The dance of overfunctioning and underfunctioning resentment is released with forgiveness and compassion with the work.

Other women are able to finally take a stand for themselves. They have learned that taking up space in a relationship is a brave and healthy decision.

Moving from the Fight to Being ALL IN

None of the decisions or paths is easy, but these women have walked through the one or more dark nights of the soul in their relationships and dating experiences. In our work together, they learn the meaning and purpose of suffering. They connect with themselves as not to recreate that path or dance as means of waking themselves into consciousness. They have taken their learning and stepped into deeper connection with life, themselves and the people they care most. This process of transformation is radical and subtle at the same time. Badass women might fight this quest at the beginning, but are all in by the end.

If you are wanting to be ALL IN in your relationships, connect with Kim@yoursoultherapy.com or Amy@yoursoultherapy.com

9.25.14 National Psychotherapy Day

Today, 9.25.14 is National Psychotherapy Day.  Many efforts are underway to spread the word the therapy helps.  I’m a proud communicator of this message along with many amazing colleagues.  

The Team at http://www.nationalpsychotherapyday.com/
Jodie Gale of Australia : http://jodiegale.com/creative-spaces-inside-25-counselling-psychotherapy-rooms/
Margarita Tartakovsky of psychcentral.com http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2012/09/25/national-psychotherapy-day-therapists-reveal-what-therapy-can-do-for-you/
Goodtherapy.org http://www.goodtherapy.org/blog/national-psychotherapy-day-september-0918124


The poem, Everything is Waiting for You, speaks to the possibility that feels just out of reach for so many people. Psychotherapy, counseling, art therapy, and sandplay 
can help you ease into the conversation of your loneliness, suffering, pain, fears, failures, shame, messiness, or stuckness. I accompany clients in their journey of the their humanness. I am here to be the sherpa on this path give me a call to step further into courage, hopefulness, and everything that this world has to offer 202.540.0796.

Everything is Waiting for You

Your great mistake is to act the drama
as if you were alone. As if life
were a progressive and cunning crime
with no witness to the tiny hidden
transgressions. To feel abandoned is to deny
the intimacy of your surroundings. Surely,
even you, at times, have felt the grand array;
the swelling presence, and the chorus, crowding
out your solo voice You must note
the way the soap dish enables you,
or the window latch grants you freedom.
Alertness is the hidden discipline of familiarity.
The stairs are your mentor of things
to come, the doors have always been there
to frighten you and invite you,
and the tiny speaker in the phone
is your dream-ladder to divinity.

Put down the weight of your aloneness and ease into
the conversation. The kettle is singing
even as it pours you a drink, the cooking pots
have left their arrogant aloofness and
seen the good in you at last. All the birds
and creatures of the world are unutterably
themselves. Everything is waiting for you.

— David Whyte
from Everything is Waiting for You
©2003 Many Rivers Press

Reconnecting to YOU through the Creative Process

We moms are so busy that sometimes we lose the connection to our creative selves. Read on for some thoughts/resources on how to find your “flow” and help bring your heart and mind together from Guest Blogger, Amy Tatsumi.

What makes you feel alive?  What allows you to be connected to your true self? For some, it is singing or dancing when no one is watching. It could also be reading, swimming in the ocean, stargazing, running, enjoying spa time, or eating fresh strawberries.  Others may relish old traditions kept alive: Baking bread, knitting, family dinners, or making art.  All of these activities involve the action of creating directly or indirectly for ourselves.

Sometimes we, as mothers, are so busy with all of our responsibilities that we can get disconnected from our true selves.  We may begin to view life from an intellectual or pragmatic place where we over-think or rationalize the same scripts over and over in our heads.

We tend to put everyone’s needs before ours because that is what mothers, wives, single parents, or outstanding employees are supposed to do (no matter how tired or burnt out we are).

The mom wars of our time seem to reinforce this script that no matter what path of motherhood you choose, someone may find fault with you.

From internal and external pressures and criticisms, we can see our brilliant light dimming.  We don’t make time for ourselves or for the pastimes or activities that help us to feel alive.  We then experience less joy, satisfaction, contentment, and equanimity in our daily lives and relationships.

What can we do to bring our hearts and minds closer together?  The creative process supports both those who have the words and those who don’t. Art therapy provides a healing space for children, teens, and adults alike to connect with images, the creative process, and words to better understand how and why they are feeling disconnected.

Art Therapy helps people who struggle with anxiety, depression, grief & loss, trauma, chronic illness, relationship issues, major life changes, and decision-making. It is practiced in schools, hospitals, wellness centers, the military, and in mental health centers. It is important to note that you don’t need to be artistic to benefit from art therapy.

Art therapists are master’s level credentialed clinicians with training in counseling and art.  They offer various mediums (e.g., paint, digital photography, sewing, sculpture, etc.) to help their clients create solutions for the hows and whys of their lives.

Recently, I met with a mother who was feeling unfulfilled and overworked.  She began reconnecting to her hopes and wishes through talking and exploring metaphors in watercolors.  The fluidity of the watercolor medium helped this mother to make decisions for herself and family that flowed with balance and joy most of the time.

Another woman contacted me because she was feeling anxious about returning to the work force after being home with her child for some time.  She was stuck in feelings of guilt and anxiety about her home and work balance.  Through exploring a variety of art mediums, this mother used the art making process and her personal metaphors and imagery to feel more grounded and balanced in her everyday life.

Tapping into the creative process can help you reconnect with your authentic self. Try it to discover how your heart and mind can work together to live a life filled with possibilities.

This blog was originally published on http://jenniferkogan.com/archives/764