After receiving my Master's Degree in Counseling from San Diego State University, interning in a number of family centered non-profit organizations and running my own preschool and child care center, I later moved to Northern California where I became a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.
Over the past 25 years, as I have grown as a therapist, honing my skills and developing my practice, I continued to see similar relationship struggles with so many of my clients. Their relationship challenges occurred in the context of marriages or partnerships, parenting, and even their peer groups. I know now that it doesn't have to be this way!
In the last decade, neuroscience has helped to explain the link between early disrupted attachment and a person's ability to form and maintain successful relationships. The attachment bond first occurs in the relationship with our primary caregiver. When our primary needs are met, we learn to see the world as a safe place allowing us to venture into new and trusting relationships. The attachment between the primary caregiver and the infant or young child shapes the brain, influencing how we handle our emotions, developing how we feel about ourselves and our ability to attract and maintain healthy relationships.
When there is trauma and/or other high levels of stress in our early lives, we may find ourselves as adults unable to manage our emotions, impacting the relationships with our spouses or partners, our children and even those we work with.
The good news is that healing can and does occur throughout our lifespan when we interact with others in caring, nurturing and responsive relationships.