Welcome to the new Vital Collective website! In a twist of universal synchronicity, my practice was shifting right when the site’s host was bought out and subsequently dropped…So, I’ve taken this opportunity to refresh myself energetically, and technologically. Can’t give enough thanks to my generous wife for reconstructing the site posthaste…
I wanted to take the opportunity to preview my intentions for Vital Collective for 2012. I am energized as ever for work with men and masculinity, and have learned a great deal with my clients in 2011. I am really fired up about Relationship Coaching, partly as I see it as my biggest challenge as a counselor. And stay tuned for exciting monthly Community Experientials, which I will be hosting at Knott Street, and will be free to the public!
I want to talk a little more about Relationship Coaching. The name I’ve chosen deliberately reflects my intent to work with people in relationships of different kinds and at an earlier-than-usual place. The normal cliche of “couples’ counseling” is that it is the last resort for a doomed relationship. Sadly, many statistics support this belief. One reason for this is that counseling, self-help, therapy, and whatever else you want to call it, have major stigmas in modern culture, leading people to avoid us until they simply have no other options. I hate being on the dark side of an ultimatum just as much as my begrudged client whose partner drags him/her in, head hung low, eyes admitting defeat. It doesn’t have to be like this!
It’s time for people to put more intention into their relationships. What do you really want from your relationship-any relationship?! We’re talking core rights and needs here. Second, to what extent are your core rights and needs fulfilled in any given relationship? Third, let’s look at what is working well and what is deficient. Sadly, this process usually happens way too late when even the clear answers to these questions are critically compromised by years of resentment, poor communication strategies, and exhaustion of the willingness to heal. The great thing I see is that working on your relationship when the energy is behind it (pre-exhaustion) can take you and your other to a place of mutual benefit, which is what most of us seek in some form or another, at the end of the day. I say Relationship Coaching because this is what I intend it to be: I want to help facilitate human relationships that are based on the Non-Violent Communication principles of Empathy, Honesty, Compassion, and Understanding. I believe if we attend more to the process of our intentions (empathy, communication, etc.) rather than the outcomes (exclusivity, living together, attached forever!), we can leave ourselves and the other in a better place than before.