Individual therapy for navigating your romantic relationships

and 

Couples therapy for strengthening your partnership

Isabelle Morley,

Psy.D.

 Licensed Clinical Psychologist

 

 I work with a range of people, from those who are struggling with specific mental health issues like anxiety or depression, to those who are seeking greater life satisfaction in general. Many struggle with maintaining balance and fully enjoying their lives. My speciality is helping people navigate romance in every stage of the relationship life cycle, from dating to divorce. I utilize an eclectic approach to help individuals improve their mood, adapt to changes, establish healthier lifestyles, and strengthen their relationships. 

 Couples come to therapy to address a number of problems, but all have the goal of having a happier, healthier relationship. Some couples are so disconnected they barely speak while others have explosive fights. No matter the issue, therapy can help. I specialize in treating couples where one partner is anxious or uncertain about couples therapy. I have completed training in several couples therapy approaches, and tailor my work to best fit what the couple is seeking and needing. 

Some people are interested in brief, educational, and skills-focused work. Individual coaching provides you with a comprehensive assessment of your relational patterns, strengths as a partner, and areas for improvement. Couples coaching involves extended sessions and time-limited but accelerated work, where you and your partner will meet once a month for 2-3 hours, and will engage in exercises between meetings in order to strengthen skills and make fast progress.

 I enjoy discussing and sharing my expertise on relationships and couples therapy with a wider audience. I also speak on the benefit of company's prioritizing and supporting the health of their employee's romantic relationships.  I am available for speaking engagements and have given trainings/talks on topics including how to navigate hookup culture and modern dating, skills for managing emotional flooding, and how to strengthen romantic relationships. 

 
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Therapy with

Dr. Morley

I specialize in helping people who are struggling with love.

 

Although it can be a great source of happiness, romance can also cause a lot distress. I work with my clients to help them to find, sustain, and strengthen their relationship.

 

Being single and dating is a challenge for most people.

The current dating culture is one of limited communication and, as a result, a lot of guesswork. You have questions but don't feel you can ask them because you don't want to seem needy or overly attached too early on. Dating in this modern era also brings up a lot of logistical questions (Should I get on an app? How do I tell if someone is actually interested? When can I ask them to meet in person?) as well as emotional questions (Do they like me? Am I attractive/fit/smart enough? Will I ever find someone?).  

Dating requires risk. Swiping right is a risk, as is sending a message, asking for a phone number, agreeing to a date, sharing about your family and past, or leaning in for a first kiss. Dating means putting yourself out on a limb without knowing for sure if the other person will join you there. Finding a happy, long-term relationship means risking that your feelings will get hurt, over and over again, and staying hopeful that your effort will be worth it in the end. Your self-esteem can take a hit during unless you have a strong sense of who you are and your value.

Then there are the challenges that come with being in a relationship.

There are the misunderstandings, the frustrations, and the fights. There are the explosive arguments, the days of ignoring each other, and the nights when you question if this is a healthy relationship or if this is the right person for you. There is the struggle of wanting to create a life with your partner but not knowing how to stop the arguments, forgive them for the hurtful things they have said or done, or reconcile conflicting needs. 

Being in a relationship means being in a cycle of harmony, rupture, and repair. Unfortunately there is no eternal state of harmony; you will fight with your partner. But all too often there is a fight without a resolution, and when this happens over and over, it can cause serious damage to your relationship. It's easy to reach a point of resentment, frustration, and defensiveness. Many people desperately want things to be better but don't know how to fix them.

And navigating romance also includes the loss of relationships, both breakups and divorces.

The ending of a relationship involves a significant shift from "we" to "me," and this shift is often overwhelming, confusing, and disorienting. From logistics such as dividing up belongings and assets, to negotiating how to maintain mutual friendships, endings come with many emotionally exhausting tasks. 

Endings also come with mixed feelings. There are conflicting emotions about the loss  -  despair, emptiness, and fear, but also relief, freedom, and hope. There is mourning and saying goodbye to the future you had imagined with this person, along with excitement about the possibility of a new future with a new person. You keep grappling with feelings of anger, love, sadness, and regret, even though you'd like to be over it. 

 

Endings lead to a period of self-insight and self-growth, where you gain deeper understanding about why the relationship didn't work and how you can have happier, healthier relationships moving forward. 

In each stage of romance, there is opportunity. The most meaningful growth comes from the most challenging situations.

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