M.S. LMFT #105921
Contact Info: Becky@cultivatesandiego.com or 951-532-9884
Specializes in Couples, Affair Recovery, Families, Trauma, and Addictions
Emotional disconnection is at the heart of conflict, distancing, and relational distress. Unmet emotional needs often result in individuals, couples, and families “getting stuck” in coping styles that move us away from each other rather than learning to understand and share our emotional needs, asking for what we need, and finding the connection, acceptance and value we are made to experience.
Emotion Focused Couples Therapy is based on creating an experience of meaningful love and connection that is more than a feeling. Emotional connection, which is a “felt sense of closeness”, is actually coded in our brains and bodies. Everyone needs a secure bond with another, where we can find comfort and support. To be connected is to be stronger, to be more resilient, not to be “immature or weak”. We can explore and learn better when someone “has our back”. A secure sense of being loved is empowering.
Secure connection w/ others also impacts our physical health; immune system and heart, creating an actual “chemistry of love”. Connection impacts our mental health and how vulnerable we are to anxiety and depression and other forms of mental illness. When we cannot connect, we can feel alone, deserted or rejected, turning on fear and panic responses in our brains. Panic responses turn us away from others toward isolating, rather than turning toward and reaching for loved ones.
Having sat on both sides of the “therapeutic couch”, I have personally benefited from the hard work of therapy, both individually, as a family, and within my marriage of 35 years. I have experienced first-hand the brokenness of relational pain as well as the healing and strength that comes from learning and practicing vulnerability and honesty within the couple and family relationships. My work includes over 25 years of work within the Church community, including pastoral infidelity, brokenness and burnout. As a certified court mediator, I also bring strong conflict resolution skills to leadership dynamics. The past 4 years, I focused my work in substance recovery, addiction, parenting and trauma work. My background provides a strong base for working with individuals caught in addiction as well as the effects addiction has on family members. I also have advanced EMDR training working w/ survivors of both traumatic events such as the Vegas shootings, and trauma wounding that results from childhood and adult trauma experiences. Recovery efforts focus on healing at the individual level, as well as addressing the impact traumatic experiences have on intimate and family relationships. My advanced training in Emotion Focused Couples Therapy (EFT), is one of the few research validated therapies helping couples and families strengthen relationships and build stronger connections.