Jack and Diane* have been married for 23 years. Their children all moved away from home and now the couple finds themselves adjusting to this new phase in their lives as empty-nesters.
Jack runs a successful business while Diane works part-time. After Diane discovered that Jack was having an affair with a work colleague, the two decided to seek out couples therapy.
The first part of Jack and Diane’s therapy was giving Diane space to express her pain and anger while helping Jack deal with his guilt, and to help the couple understand why this happened.
The next several sessions unpacked a history of miscommunication, lack of intimacy, and built-up resentment. There was a magical moment in one session when the couple finally took down their walls and reconnected with each other for the first time in possibly years.
After six months of weekly sessions, Jack and Diane’s relationship was in a much better place. Through practicing being vulnerable in sessions guided by the therapist, Jack and Diane were able to rebuild their connection, intimacy and trust.
While there are still echoes of pain from the affair at times, the couple is stronger now than they have been in years. This is just one example of the clients Meghan Jerry and Aparna Sagaram work with at Kindred Counseling Center (KCC).
As Marriage and Family Therapists, Meghan and Aparna offer individual, couple/relationship, family and sex therapy for those seeking extra guidance in their lives and relationships.
When you walk into KCC, you’re greeted with soft music and a calming environment designed to make you feel safe. Both Meghan and Aparna emphasized the importance of feeling safe and comfortable when you’re going in for therapy.
Intimacy and relationships can be a difficult topic of conversation, but feeling like you’re in a secure, nonjudgmental environment plays a large factor in the success of therapy.
Meghan specializes in couples therapy but also works with individuals on building self-worth and self-compassion, rebuilding intimacy, infidelity, trauma, and loss of desire.
“Even though our society is saturated with sex, the messages we receive about sexuality are really damaging. Most people aren’t raised to talk about it openly or to feel empowered by it,” said Meghan. “Shame and sex almost always go hand in hand.”
Aparna specializes in family therapy but also works with couples like Jack and Diane, and individuals.
“I look at relationships in terms of attachment,” said Aparna. “If you have a healthy attachment to your primary caregivers, you’re more likely to have a healthy romantic relationship.”
Both Meghan and Aparna talked about the stigma around therapy and unhealthy myths such as going to therapy means you’re weak or a healthy relationship means not fighting.
Good relationships take hard work and couples can learn to disagree without damaging the relationship.
Seeking help, whether as an individual or couple, is always courageous.
“It’s amazing to witness the changes that can occur when our clients are dedicated to themselves and the work. I feel grateful to be able to witness their journeys,” said Meghan.
KCC also offers group therapy options, including Pre-Marital Boot Camp, Empowering Your Sexuality, Relationship Refresher, and Coping With Loss.
“Groups offer the power of sitting in a room full of people who know what you’re going through,” said Aparna. “There’s strength in not being alone.”
KCC is tucked away in a private office complex in Penn’s Court, 350 S. Main Street, Suite 306, Doylestown. They also have a Philadelphia location, Ross House Building, 401 S. Second Street, Suite 401.
For more information, including current groups, visit www.kindredcounselingcenter.com. To schedule an appointment today, call 215-622-9628 or email email@example.com.
*All identifying information has been changed.
PHOTO CAP: Meghan Jerry (right) and Aparna Sagaram.