I met Vivian when I was in my mid 40th. My wife and I met her as we were going through a rough patch after 20 years of marriage and had looked for a couple / family therapist. We both grew up in Israel, met in college, got married and moved to California. We lived in California for 15 years before moving to the east coast, had two kids, a boy 13 years old and a girl 7 years old, and just finished building our dream house.
When we started therapy our marriage was already on the brink of divorce, with each of us growing in a different direction, stress from building a house, disagreements about the appropriate way to raise the kids, and each handling his / hers own mid life crises. We started therapy as a couple, which helped both of us to identify, clarify, and isolate the main issues driving us apart. After several months of therapy it became apparent that the issues were not reconcilable. When we realized that the best path forward was to get a divorce, Vivian helped us with transition therapy that helped tremendously with moving from a married family to a divorced family.
Vivian guided us through communicating with the kids, handling specific situations, working together as divorced parents for the benefit of the kids.
After the divorce, I continued individual therapy with Vivian. The therapy focused on parenting guidance as well as individual counseling. Vivian worked with me through the various stages of divorce working through sadness, guilt, anger, and then the realization that I deserved to be happy at home and at work, This process helped me on various levels, not only dealing with the day to day issues but also with a deep dive into understanding what I really want and need from my next relationships.
I am grateful for all the help and wisdom Vivian provided me at a time of crisis. She made difficult times more manageable, and provided guidance that resulted in wonderful relationships between me and my kids. As a result of our therapy, I knew what I was looking for from my next relationships, and currently am already in a two years relationships full of love, fun, caring, and understanding.
I am an English lady who relocated my family to *** recently in the midst of complex family difficulties back home. Vivian, with her international background, maturity, warmth and supportive wisdom, has been a wonderful guide as I’ve had to navigate some very challenging and lonely moments. She has helped me to stay focused and to achieve my goals. She has also helped greatly in my transition into living here in ***.
With a loving partner by my side and plans for marriage and a life together, I came to Vivian for happy reasons. I was looking for guidance in creating a stronger foundation as we take our next life steps together. My partner and I came to the relationship with different life experiences and I found myself with many questions as to how to blend two very different lives together.
How do I successfully transition from my single status to that of a married woman with adult stepchildren? How do I honor my own needs and at the same time be respectful of my partner and his family? How do we all navigate the feelings that this new change brings? How can we maintain and improve communication and resolve conflict in a loving way? I wanted to take a proactive approach to this new chapter and premarital counseling felt like the natural next step for me and my partner.
I’ve worked with Vivian individually and as a couple, and have seen great progress very quickly. After our first couple’s session, my partner and I were able to move past previous stumbling blocks. She’s compassionate, understanding and extremely effective. She gets to the heart of the matter with ease and has helped us identify a more positive approach towards resolution. With her guidance, I truly feel we’re developing the tools to create and maintain a healthy balanced relationship now and for the future.
Dear Vivian – It was great having you help me see my way clear through the business issues I had two years ago. I had always prided myself on being able to solve all problems, but the one that I had was suddenly beyond me. I was unable to make decisions, worried by the repercussions of steps I might take, and just unable to get over tremendous anxieties. You helped me go back and see that throughout my life I had been confronted by other, much larger, problems and I was always able to solve them, and I redeveloped the confidence to move forward with the issues that were tormenting me. You got deep into my background, got to know me and my strengths and my weaknesses, as well, and were able to give me the tools to come to grips with my recent issue and move forward. I am happy to say that it was a monumental emotional hurdle for me, but one that was surmounted. So many thanks.
Vivian helped my husband and I work through a very bleak and dark point of our marriage. It was a few months after I had given birth to our daughter that I noticed a major shift in our relationship. We were more like distant roommates than the loving, fun, couple who had celebrated our 1 year wedding anniversary with love and excitement for each other the year before. We had a darling, sweet, baby girl to take care of but we hadn’t taken care of our marriage while I was pregnant and after she was born, we had drifted apart more and more each day.
I knew we needed professional help. I came across Vivian’s name and reached out to her immediately. She made us feel comfortable and at ease instantly. She is so warm, caring and kind. We saw Vivian every week for almost 2 years. I truly believe we wouldn’t have made it through that first year, after our daughter was born, without her guidance and support. She is so understanding and compassionate; she makes it easy to speak openly in her sessions. My husband was reluctant to go to couples counseling at the beginning but once we met Vivian, he knew it was the right move for us and she was the right fit. Vivian is an amazing listener and an unbelievable and dedicated therapist. She saved our marriage and family and we are forever grateful.
When my sister, the most important person in my life suddenly died I was in shock and hurting beyond belief, but thought I was handling it okay on my own. I knew Vivian from walking her dog, Zelda, and she very thoughtfully offered to see me. After some encouragement from her and reluctance from me, I decided to take her up on her offer. She sensed that I needed time for me and someone to turn to when it was hard to talk to or relate to most people in my life. I was even more appreciative as she offered to see me free of charge for as long as I felt the need.
She has helped me see that I am on my own path and comparing myself to other people my age is not beneficial. I have been seeing her for almost a year now and she has helped me see how far I have come in the past year, and where I can continue to go in this new reality I find myself in.
I am so grateful that she has given me this opportunity to talk through things and have the reassurance that wherever I am is where I need to be and I don’t need to be so hard on myself. Talking to her has helped me connect the dots in the thoughts of grief, guilt and frustration versus the still burning passion for life that are constantly going through my mind. She has shared literature and other resources with me to find other outlets that I can connect with and be inspired by. She asks the questions that need to be asked and helps me uncover truths that I may not have gotten to on my own. Rather than just getting stuck in my head, she has helped me take action in taking small steps towards healing. One of the hardest things for me was really connecting with my parents instead of walking on eggshells and protecting them from my pain. With her encouragement, I have begun to rebuild that parent-daughter relationship. Looking back on the past year, I now realize that all of those tiny steps and accomplishments did come together to put me in a much better place than I was in a year ago. All of the small things really do matter. It will never be okay, and I will always feel the loss of my sister deep in my core and wonder how my life would have been different, but with Vivian’s help I have started adapting and found what I need to do to stay true to myself in this unpredictable life.
When your life suddenly falls apart, you feel alone, rejected and asking God WHY?
You question every decision you’ve ever made and wonder if you will ever recover. If you do recover, what will be left of you.
I contacted Vivian during one of the lowest moments in my life. I didn’t know what to do or where to turn. I felt as though my life had spiraled out of control and I no longer knew who I was. Her warmth, understanding and ability to comfort me during our initial phone conversation was truly a blessing. I felt as if she already knew my story.
Through the years she has helped me find my way through a tumultuous marriage, a late term miscarriage, the birth of my beautiful daughter, the downward spiral and eventual end of my marriage and my ultimate recovery. She has guided me through an amazing journey that has allowed me to find the strength I didn’t know was there.
I now recognize the amazing power I possess as the woman God meant for me to be. Today I am a stronger woman.
Vivian has been more than a therapist, she has been a teacher, a reality check and a dear friend.
New York City was a place I always wanted to live. The fashion, Broadway and wide variety of cultures was always attractive to me. The opportunity came my way when I was in a relationship with a New York native while living in Seattle. We had lived together for three years when he got a job offering in New York. I jumped on the idea to live a Carrie Bradshaw, fabulous life in the Big City, so we moved into a little apartment in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
My boyfriend and I had our share of problems prior to moving to New York. At the time, I believed a move and new life would automatically solve our issues. That proved to be very untrue. I think to thrive in New York City you have to wake up every morning and know your purpose for being there; If you move their because you’re trying to find yourself, or because you think it sounds cool, you’ll get chewed up and spit out. New York City was a bit of a school-yard-bully to me. Even with 10 years of hospitality experience serving tables and bar-tending, I struggled in finding a job. Every place I applied expected at least two years of N.Y. experience, I found that frustrating, how would I ever be able to gain experience without getting a chance to earn it? I finally landed a job a Bier Hall, but the owners were the most horrible people I had ever met. I kept the job because it was great money and I was afraid I wouldn’t get hired somewhere else. Shortly after I got my job my boyfriend got laid off. We continued to struggle, and I realized I wanted out of the relationship. Simultaneously I began getting horribly ill. At first I was diagnosed with food poisoning, but after multiple ER visits within a month I saw a specialist. After months of being poked and prodded, and sicker that you could ever imagine I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, an intestinal disease similar to Chromes.
I fell into a horrible depression, I was stuck in a miserable relationship and didn’t have the physical strength to get out of it. I was referred to a psychologist and met Vivian. Initially Vivian did couples therapy with my boyfriend and me. She quickly realized the extent of our problems and guided me to make the decisions I needed to in order to be happier. My boyfriend and I finally broke. Vivian and I continued meeting, I remember her telling me we still had work to do. Sadly my health continued to derail and I lost my job. I told Vivian I wasn’t able to afford our weekly sessions, she insisted I continue to come in any way without paying. To this day I am touched by her generosity and kindness. New York is not a city of handouts, if anything its opposite. She continued seeing me until I was so sick I had to move back to Washington.
I have been in Washington for three years now, and my life has made a full circle for the better. I am able to keep my colitis under control (for the most part), I’ve been working at a job where I recently got promoted, and I am finishing my last year at Central Washington University. I’m not exactly sure if I was allergic to New York or what, but I am so happy to say I am in a much better place. I know that Vivian helped guide me through the darkest time in my life, I am forever thankful.
I’m a single Hispanic female in my 30’s and have been seeing Vivian for over 5 years now. Initially I seeked her counsel specifically to address issues with my family, but over time we also touched other areas that I didn’t realize needed work. Since working with Vivian my communication skills have improved drastically; I’m less explosive and better able to assess a situation and have a calm discussion with people on different levels, without letting my passion come across as aggression. I’ve also learned to prioritize, at work and in my personal life, resulting in a better work/life balance. My dating life is still a ‘work in progress’ but I’ve learned so much about myself, in my sessions with Vivian, that I’m more optimistic about having a brighter future with MY Mr. Right.
Vivian is a kind hearted, intelligent, and talented therapist. She is able to tackle important challenges with warmth, which makes it super easy to open up to her. Always felt like she was rooting for me and supporting me, in session and beyond. Couldn’t be more grateful to her for all that she has helped me accomplish. I would highly recommend her.
I really appreciate all that you did for me when I was stuck in a bad spot. You helped me gain the strength to get out of a unhealthy relationship as well as an unhealthy environment. I know I wouldn’t be where I am if I hadn’t met you.
After trying to deal with traumatic events that occurred during my life and making very little improvement on my own, I decided that it was time to seek help. I wanted someone who would not judge me, who would establish a comfortable environment, and who would help me grow into a better version of myself. Vivian Jacobs is beyond what I could imagine in a therapist. From the moment I met her, she treated me with gracious kindness and it was only natural that I felt at ease to confide in her. She is attentive, patient, and full of positive energy. She responds with suggestions to alleviate anxiety and to improve my ways of communicating with others. She is teaching me that, although I cannot control the actions of other people, I can choose how they may affect me and maintain peace within myself. Her compassion is so sincere, that her office became a safe haven for me. I look forward to going there every week, I’m so thankful that I found her.
Vivian Jacobs appeared in my life at a critical moment when I was in pain and depressed. She has listened to me, asked me the right questions and helped me heal my self-esteem over a two year span. Vivian has also allowed my husband and I to work on our personal issues and has helped us solve them and grow closer to each other. That therapy has allowed me to be MYSELF and to feel truly free for the first time in my life. It has also been hugely beneficial for my bi-cultural marriage which had been an obstacle course all along the years until I met Vivian. I am now a happy person and I have a much happier marriage. Thank you very much Vivian for everything you have done for me.
As a divorce mediator I work with people who are often going through the worst emotional times in their lives. Over the years I have referred couples and individuals to Vivian who report to have benefited greatly from her help. Vivian’s warmth and caring personality combined with her training and long experience are invaluable to anyone looking for a good therapist.
After 10 years of marriage, the task of balancing a demanding career while still having a connected family life in a house of five became challenging. We went to Vivian thinking she could prescribe a magic bullet to fix what ailed us, however what we got was much better.
Vivian helped educate us first, on each other’s individual perspectives. This helped tilt our views so that we could empathize with each other once again, something we had lost in the course of time.
In addition to her clinical expertise, as a mother herself, she had experienced many of the daily challenges that we had been working through. While her clinical expertise was able to help us get closer emotionally, as a mother she also provided us with extremely helpfully practical advice that we had overlooked.
In total, our time with Vivian was some of the most important time spent in our chaotic lives, helping us emotionally connect again as a family and regain the love we started with as we began our journey as a family.
I was seeing Vivian during a particularly difficult time in my life and in my marriage. At the time, I was struggling through an an abusive relationship. There were times where I had no self esteem and Vivian helped me to realize that my relationship did not define who I was and what I was capable of. She was very patient with me when I continued to let the same behavior effect me over and over. Although my marriage did not last, Vivian’s support and advice was an invaluable part of my personal growth. Additionally, the skills that I learned during our time together, like setting personal boundaries and saying “no” , are things that I cannot imagine not having now. I can confidently say that I am a more well-rounded individual because we were able to work on these personal weaknesses. I cannot say enough about her compassion and professionalism
I have been under Vivian Jacob’s care since late 200* while I was trying to manage and, later, end a relationships with an abusive partner.
I was pregnant at that time and soon became a single mother.
Shortly after leaving the abusive relationship I was diagnosed with stage 2 breast cancer, while my child was not even a toddler yet. For months, I was going through cancer treatment and family court at the same time.
Through all stages of this turmoil, Vivian has been a steady support, ready to give advice and share from her vast fountain of resources. On many occasion she referred me to people, organizations or books, that helped me address particular problems I was dealing with, whether they were of legal, health or educational nature. She also helped me by opening my views to alternate view points, or just listened to my issues helping me go from story to story to really understand that there was a way forward to a new life.
Our regular sessions over the past * years have been guiding pillar through my self-emancipation, healing and learning.
As a francophone myself, I chose Vivian not only for her French language capacity but also for her broader understanding of other cultures, which was an important aspect in my relationship issues.
I am today a cancer survivor and live in a healthy and happy relationship raising my now 5-year old child.
I have worked with several therapists in my adult life, but Vivian was the first with whom I was sincerely able to “stick with it.” She has been supportive yet challenging while nurturing me towards incremental growth, and for the year and half that we’ve been working together, has tailored her approach to meet me in my space of need as I have progressed down the path of self-discovery, and as life circumstances have changed. What I have found in working with Vivian is a steadying, insightful guide who has inspired me to go deeper, learn more and embrace the experience.
We are a family of five, two boys and a princess. With that said, you can tell we are a very busy family, between work, kid’s school, day care, household chores, cooking and of course soccer…. There was very little time left for mom and dad, and the very little time we had was spent arguing. We decided we needed advice, advice from someone unbiased and someone with a professional background. We decided to call Vivian, it really made us see each others different objectives and view of a family. Like all families, we each had pros and cons to offer each other and Vivian was fundamental in helping us understand each other’s needs, beliefs, communication and how important a family is. We honestly don’t know if we could have accomplished this without professional guidance. Vivian, thanks!
My name is Joann. l live in Westchester. I am married for over 20 years. I have 2 children. From the outside looking in, I lived the perfect life. However, behind closed doors, I was very unhappy and very guilty for being so unhappy when I had “everything”.
I spent most of my time alone and crying. I was nasty towards many people who had never seen that side to me. So much so, that several people, including my own father, said that I “changed”.
Thanks to a friend’s advice and fate, I happened to call Vivian Jacobs. I say “fate” because I had no one to ask for a reference. I simply did a google search. Vivian was the 3rd therapist I spoke to. She immediately helped me because she asked me to tell her why i called. I then asked her “Do you think I need help?” she quickly and emphatically said “Oh, yes, my dear. Please come see me”. Before Vivian answered my call, I still did not think that I had a problem… no matter how sad I was, no matter how many hours I spent crying uncontrollably, I still did not think I had the “right” to be unhappy or to ask for help. Her simple and sincere reply immediately sent a feeling of relief and self awareness running through me. Vivian’s kindness, gentleness and honesty were obvious at that moment and she proved these qualities over and over during our sessions.
Vivian helped me realize that I did deserve help and that everyone — no anyone — can be justifiably unhappy no matter how good their life seemed from the outside.
Vivian was patient and compassionate when asking me about my life and listened intently to what I had to say. She was the only person I could be sad in front of without feeling like I was being judged. She made me recognize what made me sad and why. Vivian was most tenderly effective in helping me put my emotions into words that I could say to my husband. This process enabled me to address OUR issues in a non-confrontational manner. She helped me reach my husband. Without ever meeting him, Vivian got my husband to open up to me, participate in meaningful discussions and become more receptive to my concerns. Vivian did all this through the techniques and guidance she gave me in her office.
Vivian also recognized the benefit to me to return to work and was able to make me see that this was my choice, my decision. I needed this confidence and independence. Vivian allowed my to see this truth.
Thanks to Vivian’s guidance, compassion, and tools, I have regained my self confidence, communicate clearly and effectively with husband and have been working very happily. Every day I remind myself of something Vivian said to me or helped me recognize about myself. Every day she affects me in a most positive way.
My wife and I found Vivian online, after a deep crisis following the discovery of my infidelity. Being from 2 different countries, with different cultures and expectations, it was not easy for us to confide our problems to someone who couldn’t relate to this multicultural background. Vivian was wonderful in understanding our differences, but also on bringing us back together from the ashes of a fire that could have burned everything my wife and I had built together with love and companionship. Today, we have been able to move on, find what was the root cause of our differences, and learn to use communication, love and affection to glue back the bonds of our marriage.
Vivian has always made me feel comfortable and able to talk freely. I came to her over three years ago and have made amazing progress along the way. I would see Vivian two times a week. My reason to start with her had to do with many things; mainly my marriage was falling apart right at the time I had given birth to my daughter. When she was less than three months old, I found out my husband was having a four year affair. I felt lost and realized I needed someone to talk to because I was too afraid to admit to anyone else how much hurt my husband had caused. I was protecting him. As I divulged more of myself, I, through Vivian, unraveled other underlying issues I was having: Anxiety in hurting others feelings, having a mother and now ex-mother-in-law who both had very strong personalities and I was afraid to confront and stand my ground, making my own decisions instead of pleasing everyone else, etc. That has now changed for the better and Vivian has helped me develop coping mechanisms in dealing with my emotions and any negativity in front of me. Vivian helped me grow so much along the way and enabled me to see how much stronger I actually was. After I came to the realization that my husband was not trying to make the marriage work at all, Vivian helped me through my struggles with my divorce into the years after my divorce. I feel like a new person! At present, I see Vivian twice a month to just stay focused with life’s hurdles and what matters for myself. I like the techniques she uses in helping me overcome a problem; I feel that she asks just the right questions that opens my eyes to a clearer path of what is going to help me emotionally and mentally. My mind and life are much more peaceful and focused now and I attribute that to Vivian.
My wife and I had recently separated and our relationship was in need of serious mending if we were to ever get back together as we hoped. After meeting a few therapists for myself, I met Vivian Jacobs and immediately felt her experience and compassion could help me. Vivian helped me realize that it wasn’t necessarily my relationship that needed fixing, it was myself. While I was initially looking for answers to questions like, “why did she leave,” or “what can I do to get her back,” Vivian got me to think more about what I needed to be happy. She helped me shift from being dependent on my wife’s needs, to what I needed. She was able to help me become a more confident communicator, being able to voice what I needed to be happy, and open my ears to what my wife needed. I am proud to say that I feel I have changed for the better and my wife and I are back together in a much healthier place than before. Vivian took a genuine interest in my life and my situation, and because of that she was able to guide me to a healthier and happier place.
Vivian exudes brightness and light! She has and continues to be a great source of inspiration and support. My relationship with Vivian started many years ago when I was afforded the great opportunity to be clinically supervised by her for my Master’s Degree Program in Marriage & Family Therapy. Vivian maintained a professional demeanor but was so relatable, that I was always put at ease and had no fear of intimidation. She was able to put many situations into perspective and her advice and clinical perspectives always seemed natural and helpful.
Vivian is the sort of mentor students wish for, her keen therapeutic insight coupled with her ability to treat people with deep understanding and respect, allow for much transferable knowledge.
I came to Vivian during a painful and emotional time in my life. I was dealing with guilt and heartbreak simultaneously and just felt awful. She listened to me without judging and gave me thoughtful feedback and advice. Her insight was always spot on and very helpful. Through our journey together I was able to move past my grief, understand my actions and forgive myself. Thanks to Vivian I have been able to move forward and be happy, productive and fulfilled.
“There are many ways of getting strong, sometimes talking is the best way.”
― Andre Agassi
This is exactly the way I felt from my very first session with Vivian. It wasn’t long before I was totally comfortable, and had no hesitation in revealing things I could tell no one else.
I am a 60 plus female who has been in a very long and troubled marriage. After a number of sessions, and after getting to know me better, she wanted to meet my spouse. At times we met jointly, but also separately so we each had the full hour and could talk freely.
Vivian is not judgmental and very involved in each session. She is capable and adroit in handling our sometimes heated discussions in a professional and caring way. We find her very fair and able to zero in on what triggers many of our conflicts. She has made excellent suggestions on how to deal with and improve our relationship. Her methods and expertise have been invaluable towards meeting our goal.
Although we have a way to go, Vivian has helped us press a “reset” button. She has also pointed out and shown us how to recognize the positive and good things in each other.
I strongly recommend her with enthusiasm!
Vivian is all at once “astute listener” and “cut to the chase” observer.
She has helped me identify consistent patterns of my behaviors and then drills down to understand the root cause and “perceived benefit” or “get” of said behaviors – helping me determine why I get what I need and decipher if this “get” is healthy and if not – how to get in a more positive manner.
I feel very comfortable and relaxed in our discussions and would be happy to recommend Vivian to anyone who is seeking help.
Vivian was referred to me by a family member who said she was an amazing person who could help me during a trying time in my life. After meeting with Vivian the first time I know I chose the right person to help me. Vivian took a very personal approach to helping me. She was understanding and guided me through a situation I was having. Vivian is someone I know I could always depend on in the future. She is one of a kind.
Vivian Jacobs is an excellent, accomplished, and skilled psychotherapist. I highly recommend her. I am an ex-patriot mother living in Westchester County with my family. Her expertise has been a crucial lifeline to me during a very difficult time in my life and my children’s formative years. Vivian’s guidance has been invaluable and transformational. Having consulted with her during individual sessions for many months now, I can attest that Vivian is highly skilled, extremely perceptive, and adeptly intuitive. Vivian has the rare ability to reach the core of an issue by bringing to light feelings, dilemmas and behavioral patterns that are well beneath the surface. Along with this important and beneficial introspective therapy, Vivian continuously recommends constructive advice and practical techniques that can immediately be put into action. This has yielded transformative results for both myself and, indirectly, my children. What’s more, her capabilities in counseling are matched by her empathetic and caring nature. Thank you Vivian!
My first meeting with Vivian was in couple’s counseling where she guided me and my husband into a better place in our marriage. Her approach to couple’s therapy involved seeing us both individually and as a couple, which helped us to understand our problems on both an individual and spousal level. Several years later, I found my way back to her for therapy to manage my depression and anxiety (with which I have struggled most of my life). While there are many counselors (and I have met with many), there is only one Vivian! She, more than any other, has helped me to understand and manage the drivers of my anxiety and I can say that I handle problems in my life far better now than I did before I started meeting with her. I feel safe with her; she is compassionate and non-judgmental. No subjects are taboo. Vivian is also very intuitive–she can sense when a topic is uncomfortable and knows just how far to push and when to move back, often gently returning to the topic in a different way or on a different date until I am ready or feel OK enough to go in that direction. I always feel that she has my back and genuinely cares about what happens to me—as an example, she often starts our session with “I saw something that I thought might be good for you” or “how did things go last week with…” I would recommend Vivian to anyone seeking family, marriage, or individual therapy. She is really wonderful.
Vivian provided me with supervision while I was gathering graduate and post graduate hours as I was working towards my LMFT license. It was wonderful to have a seasoned therapist who could monitor my performance and enhance and strengthen my professional knowledge, skills, abilities, professional development. With Vivian, I felt early on that there was a
mutual respect and trust when sharing my experiences and emotional reactions. She challenged me and in turn often challenged herself in our exchanges. She encouraged critical self-evaluative thought and encouraged learning from new sources. Vivian is a supervisor, case consultant, teacher, colleague, and advocate all wrapped into one!
While I was rudderless, the routine of the meetings with you gave me an anchor, so I was able maintain a sense of hope and to function at home and at work. Looking back to that period I see how stuck I was in a repeat pattern. I looked forward to our meetings because of your personal compassion and your interest in intellectual discussion.
We first decided to seek Vivian’s help when we were ready to take serious steps toward marriage. As a young couple afraid of becoming another statistic in an increasingly divorce-laden society, we knew a haphazard approach to our relationship was not going to be ideal. Therefore we decided to do what you might call, “preventive care”. We take measures to stay physically fit, we do extensive research before buying a new car, and we do copious amounts of soul-searching before taking on a new career; therefore, it was clear that we needed to invest just as much into how we communicate and function as a couple as we do with all the other aspects of our life.
For us specifically, we primarily needed help with how to appropriately accept each others feelings when it came to each other’s family. While we had worked hard to respect each other and nurture the connection that we had with one another, it wasn’t necessarily as easy when it came to our other extraneous relationships. Because we often see our family as extensions of ourselves, it was difficult to not immediately become overly defensive when receiving a criticism–even at times making excuses for bad behavior and being resistant to consider intervention. At the same time, we struggled finding the right way to articulate an issue in a way that was constructive and without fear of rebuke. Vivian was able to make us both equally consider our contributions to any misunderstanding. Empathy is something not easily achieved, but Vivian provided us with meaningful insights and helpful methods to better appreciate the feelings of our partner. Like any complicated problem it took significant commitment and time from us both, but it was crucial to have Vivian guiding us through the ups and downs along the way. She didn’t take sides, and she didn’t make either of us feel judged. Instead we were often praised for our milestones and encouraged to continue making progress. Her sensitive approach to helping us see new perspectives was instrumental in our success.
While every relationship is different, we can honestly recommend doing this process for any serious couple looking to make the next step. We both know that there will always be challenges as we continue to grow together, but we can at least have the comfort of knowing that we’ve built the ever-so crucial foundation to help us through them all.
When I first reached out to Vivian, I was in a really bad place. I had been estranged from my parents, who had told me they did not want a relationship with me anymore for over year, on my own. The first year of working with Vivian, I went through phases of disbelief, anger, sadness, relief, and everything in between when coming to terms with the fact that my parents were emotionally and psychologically abusive, and borderline neglectful. After having spent my entire 25 years thinking that I was worthless and to blame, working with Vivian I finally started to gain a better perspective on myself, my relationship with my parents and my siblings, and my friends.
Working with Vivian has been a transformative experience. With multiple traumas in my past and memories that I have buried and a deep distrust of therapists I never thought a therapist could truly help me or that I could ever be authentic and honest enough with one, without suffering some consequence. Vivian has showed me that this is not the case. Her kindness, support, empathy, and going above and beyond in terms of resources and time has helped me finally understand what people mean when they speak to my resilience.
In the past three years, there have been so many obstacles and hurdles, from discovering what my parents mean to me, my family dynamic, multiple deaths, a dysfunctional and hostile work environment, uncovering and finally discussing certain past traumas, Vivian has helped me push through and cope with it all.
Today, I feel more confident and free with who I am. I trust my choices more and every day feel that I am a stronger and more grounded person. Vivian is an incredibly stable and nurturing resource for me daily. And I know that through her subtle guidance, questions, and support I will continue to knock down past barriers and continue to be able to forge ahead in life with more confidence and less fear.