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When I tell people what I do for a living, they often say one of two things. Some say, “Ha! I could have used you 10 years ago. I’m divorced now.” Others say, “Ha! I bet you have a line of people waiting outside your door.”

I just smile in a Mona Lisa kind of way.

I want to give them a safe space to say more if there’s something else that surfaces to add.

After a moment, to the first comment, I may respond with:

  • “In reality, most couples wait six years after relationship problems show up before they get help. Many divorces could be prevented if they got help sooner.” (a statistical fact, as per John Gottman’s research)
  • Or, “Sometimes I get the rare privilege of helping people come to the decision to separate and divorce consciously. The co-parenting relationship is an incentive to act like grown ups through this painful time.”
  • Or, “Should I give you my condolences or congratulations?”
  • Or, “If you ever need assistance on the dating scene or with a new relationship, give me a call.”

To the comment about the supposed line out my door, I say something like, “Actually, there should be an even longer line, for all relationship specialist's who know what they're doing. Quality relationship counseling is life-changing, but there is still an unfortunate stigma, and many people are afraid to show up and face the work."

Many people don’t know enough about the safety and proactive success of evidence-based couples work.   

They say they are too busy, broke, tired, that it’s too hopeless, draining and expensive.

Truth is, on a deep, perhaps subconscious level, they are too scared.

You know what’s expensive?

Divorce.

Financially, emotionally, psychologically, mentally, physically, and developmentally.

Not that all divorces can be prevented, or should be. Some are necessary and the absolute right thing to do. Some are nothing short of liberating, healing, renewing and life-saving.

But very few divorces are carried out in a healthy way, and some divorces can be prevented with quality relationship work.

 

What is 100% certain is that much, much unhappiness, misery, and pain can be prevented.

I have had the desire to decrease the suffering in relationships since I was a child.

To read more about my personal story, and how I came to be a Relationship Therapist, click here to read My Story.

MY STORY

EDUCATION & TRAINING

Any couples therapist worth their weight in salt is going to have a few basic principles, philosophies, and schools of thought guiding their work.

For me those fundamentals are my graduate education in Family Systems Theory, and post-graduate training in Imago, Gottman Method, Gender Differences, Non-Violent Communication, and a blend of tried-and-true Cognitive Behavioral Therapy with ancient wisdom of the need to tame the ego to experience true happiness.

As a Certified Imago Relationship Therapist, I utilize the teachings of Dr. Harville Hendrix and Dr. Helen la Kelly Hunt, originators of Imago Relationship Therapy. In the 40 years since its inception and the publishing of the best-selling book, Getting the Love You Want, Imago has helped many thousands of people reliably and consistently reach new levels of connection and fulfillment in their relationships.

In addition, I have trained with John Gottman, PhD, and Julie Schwartz Gottman, PhD, of The Gottman Institute. For forty years, they have been worldwide leaders in relationship research, and have the distinction of having created their own method that is entirely based on scientific evidence of what works in relationships.

I have also trained in Non-Violent Communication (NVC), the work of Marshall Rosenberg.  This are indispensable tools.

For Gender Gap wisdom - which applies to all couples no matter what combo of genders - I incorporate the brilliance of Alison Armstrong and her work (see PAX), along with other experts - ancient and contemporary - on the Yin Yang balance in life and relationships.

The HeartMind Toolkit includes gems from The Gottman Method, Imago, PAX, and my own structures that support living “dialogically” at home, which result in reliably positive interactions, quick repair of breakdowns, and a solid foundation of partnership.

I have the greatest success with clients who:

  • Are open to change. Who realize what they’ve been doing isn’t working and are open minded about trying a different way. They really want to overcome their problem.
  • Are willing to work. Things don’t just happen without effort. They are willing to invest some energy and try something new.
  • Feel a desire to have their life be an expression of a higher purpose. They know, feel, and need to achieve important things in this life.
  • Are genuinely interested in personal growth.
  • Have read books, listened to talks, seen counselors or therapists.
  • Are willing to look at themselves and their own behavior as contributions to the problem.
  • Don’t blame their partner for the problem in the relationship. Or are at least willing to be shown the way not to.
  • Believe in love.

I’m dedicated to uncovering and fostering the open-hearted, confident, conscious communicator living within each individual, and therefore, in every relationship.

I help couples reach each other like never before, and create a warm, connected, fulfilling bond that renews the purpose of their relationship.

Additionally, you will:

  • Have more energy for fun and play.
  • Have a warm, positive glow.
  • Feel a wind in your sails moving you through your days.
  • Have a positive outlook.
  • Feel that you can take on anything with your partner by your side.
  • Feel good about yourself.
  • Feel more like your real self.
  • Have clarity on what you want and how to get it.
  • Feel happy.
  • Laugh more.
  • Have better sex, more frequent sex, and more intimate closeness.
  • Feel at peace.
  • Have more patience.
  • Enjoy life more.
  • Smile more.
  • Feel hopeful.
  • Feel more connected spiritually.
  • Feel a sense of purpose and satisfaction in your life.
  • Feel fulfillment.
  • Sleep better.
  • Feel healthier.
  • Feel younger.

It sounds like a lot. Think about it. Our relationships affect how we feel in every area of our life. It’s important to have them go well.

I specialize in helping people have their most important relationships go well.

If you want to stop feeling unequipped for handling challenging interactions with your partner, gain a sense of skillfulness with communication and feel more connected in your relationship, you may be ready.

Sign up to receive this eBook and a 5-part series on Emotional Reactivity - Free! Then receive the HeartMind Morsel - email letter from Yaj.


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She is an experienced professional, but offers her wisdom in a way that makes you feel that you are just talking to your dear friend, as she holds space for you with strength, compassion, and without judgment.

Colleen M.
Age 47
Chestnut Ridge, NY

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Thank you for taking the time to read about my work. If you want to learn the skills to take your relationship to a more fulfilling place, let’s talk.