Even Therapists Work On Their Relationships: Part II

I’m super excited for the second part of this 2 part blog series on how therapists work on their relationships and create connection.  The feedback I got from all the readers this last week was really energizing.  Today rounds out the second half of the top 9 ways therapists across the country create connection in their relationships.  I’m excited to share them with you because I think that what they are saying is dynamite!

#5 SHOW UP

Tamara G. Suttle, M.Ed., LPC, another great therapist in Castle Rock Colorado  talks about creating connection through showing up.

“I create connection in my relationships by showing up . . . warts and all . . . Just as I am. Sometimes I feel like it . . . And sometimes not so much. But I do it because that is the unwritten-sometimes-unspoken contract in relationship - right?

My partner travels for her job so in my relationship with her "showing up" is sometimes just answering the phone when she calls to check in from some city across the country. Or, it can be about just doing what I said I would do . . . like taking the trash out or feeding the dogs. It's not big glamorous things that create connection. It's about bringing all of who you are to the relationship.

It's easy to show up halfway, distracted, and uninvested in the relationships but that makes for really weak relationships. If I want to stay connected in my relationship, I know I have to invest my time and energy and I have to invest me in them . . . And their well-being.

It's really easy to get "spread too thin" and then not have enough time, energy . . . not enough of me to go around and then . . . Connections are broken, relationships are damaged and lost.”

I think that the way Tamara talks about showing up in such an authentic and vulnerable manner is really crucial to connection.  If we want authentic connection we have to show up authentically.

#6 BE ACTIVE AND EMPATHIC

Mercedes Samudio, LCSW is a friend and amazing therapist and resource for parents.  She is based in Southern California

“I create connection in my relationship by active listening and being empathetic. Active listening is when you listen to what the other person is saying and then repeat it back to them to make sure that you have understood. I find that when I use active listening in my relationships it reduces the amount of miscommunication. And, when I am being empathetic, I am remembering that we are all human and that judging someone for where they are in their life is useless. What that looks like in my relationships is me saying, "I hear you," "I sometimes feel the same." This helps us both feel heard and not judged.”

What I love so much about Mercedes’s point is that empathy really does allow us to see our mate without judgment.  Giving each other the benefit of the doubt is a theme that comes up over and over again in couple’s counseling in my Sacramento therapy offices and I feel that mentality is filled with empathy.

#7 BE INVOLVED

Jamie L Summers Stacks, LPC, LADAC in Hot Springs Arkansas is a Mindful Living Expert.  She shares about creating connection in her relationship by showing up and settling in.

“I create connection by involving as much of me as I can, I touch, I smell, I hear and see and use all of my senses. The connection for me occurs when all of me is there, when I am mindful and present, when I put away the thoughts and the complications and I am just present."

I can see the power of Jamie’s mindfulness expertise coming out in her contribution. When we are present in our relationships, when we are involved and really intentional with that connection, amazing things happen.

#8 COMMUNICATE

Michael Formica, coach and counseling in Doylestown Pennsylvania talks about the importance of fostering a collaborative connection.

"I create connection in my relationship by......fostering cooperation and cultivating cooperative communication.”

Simple, but oh so important.  Working towards cooperation really allows us to be on the same team as our mate and working together towards common goals.

#9 CREATE SAFETY

Dr. Lily A. Zehner, MFT-C of The Center for Authentic Intimacy shares about the power of creating safety and security through communication.  

“I create connection with my partner through communication: verbal and non-verbal. We are constantly having conversations that deepen our understanding of one another. There are times where it is hard to be completely vulnerable with words and for me, there is safety in the unspoken. With a face caress, a hand hold, a hug, a kiss, a tickle of the back- these are instant connectors. They say, “I cherish you, I honor you, I love you.” They give me a sense of security. Even in conflict, the guard can be lowered, the hardness softened with a subtle, but powerful physical touch.”

What a powerful reminder she shares about the importance of safety in promoting vulnerable communication.  

So there they are folks, the top 9 ways that therapists work to create connection in their relationships:

#1 GET REAL

#2 BE CURIOUS

#3 ASK FOR HELP

#4 BE VULNERABLE

#5 SHOW UP

#6 BE ACTIVE AND EMPATHIC

#7 BE INVOLVED

#8 COMMUNICATE

#9 CREATE SAFETY

I can’t wait to hear how you start implementing these real world truths from the experts on how to create connection in your relationship. 

As always, I want to hear from you!  I want to know what your journey through connection and love is like.  Which of these nine “calls to action” do you identify with the most?  

Send me an email, annaosbornmft@gmail.com, give me a call, 916.955.3200 or comment below. 

I can’t wait to hear from you.

Yours,

A

PS. If you’re reading to take this blog post to the next level, click here to sign up for my 7 Day Relationship Challenge