THE WAFFLE HOUSE DAYS
A little about why I become a marriage therapist after earning my M.A. in Professional Counseling in 2015 from Amberton University. I have had a number of challenges that have enabled me to understand the struggles that occur in life and in relationships. My family of origin struggled with family dynamics and communication. In my own family, my husband and I did the “best we could” but we got off to a rocky start ourselves. We loved each other, but love was not enough to smooth over the conflict we often had and the periods of silence we would both endure. We found ourselves facing some of the same challenges we swore would never enter our relationship along with some new problems of our own making. Add some children to the mix along with the ongoing conflict from my family of origin and we really had some challenges! We often put our kids and our jobs first and EACH OTHER LAST. In fact, most of our marriage was like that. Throw in extended family estrangement, no support for my husband or myself, and ……………….….. Well, all I know is that by the time we had been married for 27 years, our marriage had endured some serious “wear and tear”. Our kids had been affected by the fallout from our animosity. It was ugly. We still soldiered on another five years and finally came to the place where we were no longer willing to keep walking down that road. We were DONE. On April 29, 2012, we had a “come to Jesus” moment at 1:30 a.m in the morning at our front door. My husband came home and knocked on the door and said he was ready to work it out. I was ready to hear whatever he had to say. We decided then and there that we were both willing to do “whatever it took” to make the marriage work but we also both agreed we weren’t going to keep the same marriage we had. We were done with the OLD US. We were unwilling to put up with the treatment we had endured from each other any longer. We were so miserable and couldn’t imagine spending another year so desperately unhappy. “WHATEVER IT TAKES” became our new motto.
It wasn’t easy, but we just kept going at it as we worked through our hurts, our communications, our unmet needs and our differences and went to counseling week by week. On good days, we would take a few minutes for a date and go to WAFFLE HOUSE and sit on the EAST side of the restaurant and have coffee and laugh. On more difficult days, when we were having major disagreements and needed to hash things out, we would go and sit on the WEST side of the Waffle House. This became our code to each other of whether we were going to have a difficult conversation or a lighthearted one. Today, we have quite the collection of WAFFLE HOUSE mugs from those days. We still drink coffee together each morning from those mugs.
I really understand how complicated and difficult life and relationships can get. It can seem no matter what you do, it’s not right. No matter how hard you try it can seem like nothing is changing. The estrangement and relationship dynamics I experienced gave me an understanding of the painful ways in which your actions or inaction can lead to conflict and pain in relationships. But the good news is I know you can come out together on “THE OTHER SIDE.” Been there and done that. ☺
I hope you will call me and we can start working on ways you can start to change your life and your relationships to find your way to “THE OTHER SIDE” for you and your loved ones.
METHODS USED IN COUPLES/FAMILY COUNSELING
I use methods that are evidence based, researched and tested with proven results. I have been in couples/family therapy before and I understand what is like to feel like your therapist doesn’t have a plan or target in mind and you are all just treading water. I believe it is important to match the treatment plan and interventions with the challenges you are facing and the patterns you find yourselves in. We want to be as effective, brief and targeted as possible when we are together in the therapy hour.
Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFCT) and The Gottman Method for Couples Counseling
I have been trained in family systems and in several methods that are uniquely designed to assist couples in becoming emotionally connected and reducing the conflict between them. Using Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, we identify your unique “couple dance” to help you create a true emotional connection with each other. Eighty-six percent (86%) of couples report feeling happier in their relationships after completing EFCT and studies of EFCT have shown a 75% long-lasting success rate.
The Gottman Method will give unique insight into areas where your marriage needs strengthening and repair. I will not be trying to guess what you need as I watch you both struggle.Instead, I will be using proven methods that have helped thousands of couples improve their communication and strengthen their bonds of friendship and love. As a therapist I get to witness growth, change, and hope in my client’s marriages and their individual lives.
Together, we will work through the challenges you are facing and find ways for you to move forward and be connected with those you love.