People often get stuck
Through my studies and practice, I have come to appreciate both the power of human connection and the wonders of the brain in shaping who we are and how we navigate the world. Relationship difficulties, though quite common, can have major effects on our daily functioning. When relationships are good, things go well; when in trouble, however, feelings of turmoil, confusion, sadness, anger, and frustration can negatively impact daily life. People often get “stuck,” knowing things should be different, but not knowing what to do, or how to do it.
Let's talk, in a comfortable place, about how you can get better, quality connection in your relationship. In individual or couples therapy, we look at what you are hoping to get from your relationships, and, most importantly, how to get it.
Notice your strengths
I focus on helping you achieve balance and understanding in your life, so that you may have the quality of connection you seek. I work with your mind, body, and brain based on what is known about how people learn, and unlearn patterns that are no longer useful in life. I support and encourage you through the challenges of life and relationships, while helping you to notice and use your strengths. I help you come to truly enjoy each other more, and fight less.
Couples often come to see me when they are at a crossroads, not wanting to split, and also knowing they need more than what they are currently getting from their relationship. Unfortunately, people often wait far too long to seek help. Don’t put yourself through the pain of waiting until it's too late. Let's see what we can figure out together.
How I do therapy
My style of therapy is primarily influenced by the Pragmatic-Experiential Therapy for Couples approach developed by Brent Atkinson (2005), which relies on the science of intimate relationships with the latest research in affective neuroscience. Additionally, I often integrate mindfulness-based practices (which simply means paying attention, on purpose, to what is happening here and now), attachment principles, bodily awareness, and specialized knowledge about intimacy into my therapy.
I have been doing Couples and Family Therapy since 2008. My experience includes over 1,000 hours in both public agency and private practice settings. My education includes a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology, a professional certification in Business, a Master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT), and I am currently working on my Doctor of Psychology (Psy. D.) in MFT at Alliant International University.
In addition, I have sought specialized training in the following areas:
- Couples issues surrounding intimacy, attachment, connection, and eroticism
- Lesbian, Gay, Bi-Sexual, and Transgender issues as they pertain to self and family
- Mindfulness, meditation, and relaxation, both in and out of therapy
- Sexuality: sexual development, expression, dysfunction, and addiction
- Trauma, Grief & Loss
- Pragmatic-Experiential Therapy for Couples (PET-C)
If you have any quesions please feel free to call me: 858-356-7444
Nicole Van Ness, MA Marriage and Family Therapist Registered Intern, IMF#62392