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PEOPLE LIKE US Individuals, Couples and Families We unite to create. The question becomes: What are we creating?
Have you ever walked passed a work site and heard a variety of hammers pounding at various times, only to simultaneously begin to strike in rhythm? This is a phenomenom called entrainment which finds two seemingly independent systems begin to synchronize into a single pulse. As people, we possess this ability to be in tune with others, or to attune to ourselves (accurate emotional self- reflection). Its where our internal rhythm meets the external stimuli and vice versa.
Each day, we find that the more our needs are accurately attuned by friends and family, the better able we are at attuning our own feelings; especially, when difficulties present themselves in the form of career choices, chemical dependency, aging, divorce, parenting conflicts, blended family concerns, or sexual (dys)function topics just to mention a few.
The Four Basics: Life in the City of Angels Do you find yourself struggling with perfection? Or, perhaps you're someone who has to know everything, all the time? Are you drawn towards intensity? Or, are you a person who typically looks at what isn't working, as opposed to what is?
Therapy can help.
Happiness is a Series of Choices 🀰 🀰 🀰
Individuals (24 years old and older) I work with adults from a variety of cultures who find that they use avoidance, anger and emotional distancing to protect themselves from uncertainty, outdated scripts, or fear of being who they truly are. With a little bit of inquiry, we find that people take simple ideas and turn them into beliefs, and these narratives turn their worlds upside down; leading to depression, anxiety, fear or grief. Together, you and I can help you to discover what you need, and uncover ways that allow you to take responsibility for your own fulfillment.
It begins with two basic ideas: The first, is that needs are necessities and these are nothing to feel shame about. The second, is the idea that true satisfaction and forgiveness are each a gradual process. Emotional monogamy appears when we repeat our true limits. Yes, limits actually keep us mentally and physically well. The more we practice healthy boundaries honestly, the more others learn to respect them, too.
Want to know what a healthy boundary looks like? Healthy boundaries have no symptoms.
Conversely, self-limiting concepts keep us unwell. These are activated when we give ourselves permission to lead a life of minimum expectation. Or, when we rely solely on negativity as the answer. Health is profoundly affected by self-esteem, relationship history, and even memories.
The Curation of Our Lives: False Necessity As people in relationship to one another, we are free to choose the paths that deliver us into conflict and resolution. Hour by hour we exchange our lives for fantasy, conformity, and unintended irritation in our dependence on social media, trends, and other engineered forms of cultural organization. In this perpetual engagement, we lose the relationship we once had with ourselves and our own original thoughts. To be continuously accessing curated information about others while promoting ourselves, in time, becomes a wheel that is inescapable. It depletes our tolerance for anything that we do not intentionally seek out. This inability to merely wait, sit, look or listen locks us into a state of anticipation/dread, especially when it's coupled with impatience. Sadly, this is all self-devised.
Authentic feelings derived from mind and body experiences -spent in actual time and space- liberate us from digitized arrangements and virtual limits. Allowing our body and mind to experience our current surroundings makes us better able to tolerate uncertainty. It opens up our world, now flowing with less constraints. Real time experience is the crossroad where what is actual becomes what is knowable. The first step back to self is similar to what the English poet John Keats callednegative capability, which is the idea that confusion and uncertainty bring us (not so much) to the answers, as they bring us to deeper understandings of our own experience with the world.
'Negative capability is when one is capable of being in uncertainties, mysteries, doubts, without any irritable reaching after fact and reason'
Life requires people to experience the world as it is: An uncertain place. This gives rise to a wide array of new perspectives and self-understanding that are essentially impossible to locate if we insist on immediate answers, virtual influences, and ministered images.
Couples (Companioned Cultures) No matter what culture, gender, or sexuality, partners tend to struggle with six areas the most: sex|intimacy, time|space, information|money. These challenges tend to be present when we as lovers and partners, aren't emotionally available. Our discontent shows up when we fail to learn the 'signals' in ourselves and in the ones we love, and then we neglect to show we care. Frustration is a frequent complaint with partners in primary relationships, and it can be misconstrued as anger, hostility, or rage. Ask yourself what the function of your feelings might be? Perhaps those same feelings convey one meaning to your partner but mean something, altogether, different for you.
When you're with your significant other do you become angry when you're actually disappointed or sad? On the other hand, do you become embarrassed if you're actually feeling vulnerable? If you answered yes, (self) cohesion is one of the areas that we can explore together and develop through the therapeutic process.
♔ ♕ Welcome to the 21st Century: Challenges to outdated tropes about Heterosexual people and Coupling Conventions
Being in a Relationship proves my worth Well, no. How we take care, carry ourselves, and recover, given the daily battles that we incur with body aches and pains, technology, traffic, work, family, strangers, or friends typically tells us more about our intrinsic value. Companionship is a whole other movie.
We've been together for 3 years and friends and family are asking when we're ‘taking the next step,’ but we feel solid, here Couples who remain committed to one another while maintaining their own individuation are healthy, mature, and reasonable. If it isn't broken, don't fix it. If it works, do more of it. If it doesn't work, stop.
Don't go to bed mad Well, of course you can. You're emotionally exhausted, you're not thinking clearly anymore, nor are you feeling the least bit receptive. It's better to let things breathe than to feel hurt and then become hurtful. Go to Bed. Sleeping in the same bed assures a healthy marriage Having a primary and secondary bedroom permits the couple time to reset, recharge, and spend much needed time alone for rest and relaxation, as each spouse sees fit. It's often quite invigorating to choose 'date nights' to sleep with one another, as opposed to begrudgingly choosing the opposite.
We are great together and thriving in our careers, but our parents want grandkids. Not all people have children or want them. Namely, those who thrive in their careers and derive enjoyment out of their own mobility, creativity, and pleasure with versatility. Not having kids doesn't mean a thing, other than you as a couple have different priorities as a couple.
If I get a Divorce, my friends and family will think I failed Staying married doesn’t mean that you’re happy as a person. Getting divorced doesn’t mean that the two of you are unhappy when paired. Many, many couples come to find that their love for one another over the course of time makes more sense to not be together, than it does to be together.
Having grown up in the South, I moved to California and have lived in San Francisco and Los Angeles, plus a two year stint in the Northeast for grad school (NH, VT). I am a culturally experienced citizen and couple's therapist, who also practices cultural humility in my work with racially diverse coupling of every generation, ethnicity, sexuality, gender, combination of partnership, and blending of family.
ALL RELATIONSHIPS ARE VOLUNTARY
KJ's Coupling Clues that work as signs along the way Clue One: Appearance or Wealth are not accurate predictors of Good Loving Clue Two: Memory and Desire can be at odds with one another Clue Three: Coupling comes at the cost of Certainty Clue Four: Routine And Rebellion are borne of two joined Individuals who have become a union of opposites All Clues, Equal This: The Longevity of a Relationship has to do with yielding, at times, to unwanted forms of transformation where neither the full shape or import of that alteration can be known in advance.
Emotional Warning Lights: Shame lingers when we cross our own boundaries Guilt lingers when we cross other's boundaries
Tip: Let go of the idea that anger has the answers
Clues Ignored: Grief claims us, when we feel that what binds us can also strand us and we become wrecked. Moral of the Story: Before the possibility of losing a partner arrives, generate daily self-regard, support, and other interests, so as not to become lost in your partner. For best results, keep your individuality and lose the resentment 🥊
And if the inevitable comes: Love the ones who set you free
In our attempts to engineer the lives that we yearn for keep in mind that it takes effort on our parts. If you want something, then keep focus on it, and work towards it daily. 'Truth is Anything that Continues' -Albert Camus