My name is Yaj (soft “j” like in Taj Mahal), and I am a Couples Therapist. I counsel individuals, too, specializing in relationship issues. I have a license in the stuff. I’ve been doing it for 13 years and I’ve seen it all.
Since goddesses are known to rule over war, death, and destruction, as well as creation, healing, compassion and life, it seemed a fitting term to use for my role as a Relationship
Is it just me, or have you noticed that many people are in relationship strife? Turmoil? Angst? Confusion? Pain, misery, loneliness and sometimes just boredom? It’s epidemic. And for some very good reasons.
I’ve come to understand on a very profound level why we suffer in relationships the way we do.
There is rarely an area of life that triggers people more intensely than their private relationships. They bring us to our lowest lows. To feel murderous rage, do mean things, be emotionally and even physically violent. Often, there’s a roller coaster. We swing to our highest highs – feeling more tender than we realized we were capable of, tearfully grateful for the love in our hearts, a joie de vivre like nothing else has ever made us feel. Until the next time we’re triggered.
Why do we suffer so? I’ll tell you. It’s quite simple, but not easy to change.
We suffer so in our intimate relationships because there is no one in the world onto whom we project our expectations to the degree that we do so with our partners.
And by “expectations,” I mean deep-seated, unconscious, unresolved issues from our childhood. Not just, “Why the hell couldn’t you remember to get the milk on your way home?!” Or, “Can’t you just be quiet and let me have some peace while I’m watching the game?!” Though these may have deep subconscious meanings as well.
We think we know what we are complaining about. And yes, some of our partner’s behavior is just downright annoying, and you could even get backed-up on that by stopping the average Joe on the street or conducting a poll.
But what we don’t realize is the intensity with which we are expecting our partner to take care of us, fill the void, make it all better – forever.
For real, folks, we really do this.
It’s our unmet childhood needs that we are projecting. And they are strong. And we are ferocious when they are not met…by someone we are expecting to meet them (our partners). Someone who was supposed to take over where the original caretakers left off, and make it all better.
If all this sounds terribly Freudian, pedantic, or tiresome, I do apologize. But it’s true. For all of us. Like it or not.
So how do I help people out of this mess? This predictable, commonplace, painful mess we get ourselves into in relationships?
I train them to use language in a conscious, responsible manner, that allows true connection to happen between two people.
And I train then to reign in their projections and take conscious ownership of their emotional reactivity.
Oy! It sounds so boring! But actually, it’s as exciting as sitting in the front row of a high-stakes game, a brilliant Broadway show, and critical surgery all at once.
For me, anyway.
For the clients, it’s like being in the high stakes game without proper training, being thrown onstage without rehearsal as a reluctant lead in the Broadway show, and being operated on. Without anesthesia.
Don’t worry. I make it super safe. That’s my job. The way I work has people feel safe enough to explore topics openly with each other that have heretofore ended in fights, say things to each other they’ve never said, and discover their truth and their partner’s in a refreshing, healing, transformative way.
What is left standing in terms of relationship survival remains to be seen with each couple. What I guarantee is that if you follow the directions, you will grow and have a new and enlightening experience that has the power to dramatically and positively change your life – if you let it.
Yaj, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in private practice for 13 years in Rockland County, specializing in relationships. Visit therelationshipgoddess.com to learn more.
Yaj, who is also a performance artist, can be seen in her one-woman show, More Medicine, in Nyack on Dec 12 and the 13 at the NyackVillageTheatre.com, 94 Main Street.
Doors open at 7:30p.