"Nonmonogamous relationships allow for more flexibility and negotiation about how close, connected and involved partners want to be.”
― Jessica Fern, Polysecure: Attachment, Trauma and Consensual Nonmonogamy
“I used to spend so much time reacting and responding to everyone else that my life had no direction. Other people's lives, problems, and wants set the course for my life. Once I realized it was okay for me to think about and identify what I wanted, remarkable things began to take place in my life.”
― Melody Beattie, The Language of Letting Go: Daily Meditations on Codependency
“The existentially gifted are more likely to experience a high degree of existential angst. Being aware of the finite quality of life and their potential, they constantly feel compelled to move forwards. This can manifest as strong creative urges, but also as constant restlessness, anxiety and insecurity.”
― Imi Lo, Emotional Sensitivity and Intensity: How to manage emotions as a highly sensitive person
"When working with sex workers in the therapeutic context, a resilience lens
highlights the importance of therapists not assuming the sex worker’s occupation is the reason for entering therapy...For those who are satisfied with their occupation, psychologists can instead develop interventions to prevent work-related mental health risks and coping mechanisms to handle stigma and oppression rather than assume pathology."
-Burnes et.al, A Resilience-Based Lens of Sex Work: Implications for Professional Psychologists
As a trauma therapist in Oakland, CA, I often help clients understand what therapy may do for them and what type of therapy (and therapist) might be best for them depending on who they are and what their goals.
Asking for change is something that happens eventually in interpersonal relationships-- whether it's about texting frequency, boundaries with families, putting away the toothpaste... As a couples therapist in Oakland, CA, I help partners share their feelings and ask for their needs to be met in constructive, effective ways.
As a couples therapist in Oakland, CA, I'm often find my clients in painful, frustrating loops of communication that go no where. Often individuals just want to be and feel seen and heard and get their needs met and are using ineffective means to do that. In my experience, the most ineffective means are below.
Box breathing is a simple yet effective technique that can help to reduce stress, promote relaxation, and keep you within (or return you to) your window of tolerance. It involves inhaling, holding the breath, exhaling, and holding the breath again, in a steady and controlled manner, while counting to a specific number of seconds. Here is a step-by-step guide to box breathing:
The window of tolerance refers to the optimal range of emotional and physiological arousal that a person can manage effectively. The window of tolerance is a helpful metaphor I use as a trauma therapist in Oakland, CA.
As a queer couples therapist in Oakland, CA, I often work to assist couples in identifying and understanding the attachment patterns that are playing out in their current relationships and how their past experiences of attachment may be influencing their behavior now. Individuals and couples can heal past attachment wounds and traumas and develop more positive, vulnerable, and secure ways of relating to others.
Stephanie Bain, LMFT
***Resources are not a substitute for therapy and are not intended for making diagnoses or providing treatment. Not all practices and tools are suitable for every person. Please discuss exercises, practices, and tools with your individual therapist or health care provider.