I often hear from couples who say, “We looked for a therapist a year ago, but then finally called you because of how bad things have become in the last year.” It is never too early to come to couples therapy. Waiting until things are “really bad” increases the emotional ruptures that you will be working through in therapy and further engrains harmful patterns. If you sense you are headed that direction, I encourage you to make couples therapy a priority now. Being in a relationship is a lot of work and getting support earlier on can help set up dynamics that make the relationship fun, safe, and loving.
I welcome couples of all kinds, though I specialize in working with relationships that are in some kind of alternative, non-monogamous, or polyamorous arrangement. I also specialize in helping couples talk about sex and sexuality.
I offer a compassionate, non-shaming space to support your relationship. Poly or open relationship concerns may be the focus of therapy, or they may not be the issue at all.
Like all intimate relationships, open relationships can be both rewarding and challenging, often bringing up core emotional wounds. When we sort through all the complicated feelings, there are often underlying unmet needs fueling relationship conflicts. Therapy can be useful to bring empathy and conscious awareness to these dynamics, allowing for more choice in how you deal with issues together and more potential to get those underlying needs met in the relationship.
I enjoy supporting couples to grow their communication skills and foster more supportive intimacy and connection. In our sessions, we will take the time to understand the core of each partner’s experience. I focus on supporting you in creating the relationship you desire, built on your unique philosophy and values.
I am well versed in discussing issues related to the intersections of privilege and oppression and make space for these difficult conversations to take place therapeutically. Speaking directly to issues such as differences in class, race, gender, size, ability, and spiritual tradition can be complicated and bring up a lot of pain in relationships, as well as offer opportunities to grow and heal. I am kink and BDSM knowledgeable.
Laura Northrup, LMFT // (510) 229-4429 // 445 Bellevue Avenue, Oakland, CA