Psychotherapy Practice

Theoretical orientation

The therapy Dr. Carla Bradshaw offers is a form of relationship intervention that aims at helping each person to identify the best in themselves and to bring this to the aid of their relationship. Even though in her current practice this most often means love relationships between adults, the ideas and techniques also apply to relationships with children and those that occur within a larger group of people such as the workplace, extended family, and community groups. This is because many of the skills required in successful relationships are fundamental to getting along in many contexts.

However, it is often not enough to simply get along. For most of us, it is important not only to get along with others, but to do so without betraying ourselves and our important values, and to do this effectively, productively, and compassionately. The therapy Dr. Bradshaw offers is less focused on who is the problem than it is a way to learn how to develop yourself and to apply this to improve how you behave in your important relationships.

While this may sound like individual therapy in a multiperson context, a better description is a therapy that concentrates on the ecology or system within which you have put yourself. She would suggest that talking about how you see things, what you desire, and how you want to pursue change in front of a person who matters to you and who knows you, presents the opportunity to have the clearest picture of what is actually going on that has impeded you up to now. A clear understanding of what has been happening is the beginning of knowing how to shift things for the better. The comment Carla hears most often is that this is an effective way to address the dilemma of being more of yourself and becoming so within the context of the relationships that you cherish.

The most common reason that people give for seeking couple therapy is "communication problems". That is, people seek couple therapy because they feel that they are not able to say things or that they have a partner who has trouble hearing. The ecological or systemic way of viewing this is that much of what must be said and heard when people are in distress is difficult. Growing the ability to tolerate this difficulty, then sifting through the communications so that you are evaluating them honestly for value rather than pain control (avoiding pain, embarrassment, and the potential for humiliation) gives each person the opportunity to change with the benefit of multiple good perspectives. This can result in each person becoming more of the person each has wanted to be.

While not all relationships can last or survive such change, when we are working effectively together, a decision to shift the status of the relationship will have been made with close attention to keeping integrity in the process. Whether you stay in your relationship to improve it, or decide to leave it, the goal is to be able to look back on your decisions and actions with respect for yourself.

The perspective described above owes a great deal to the work of David Schnarch, Ph.D. of the Marriage and Family Health Center in Evergreen, CO; James Maddock, Ph.D. & Noel Larsen, PhD of Meta Resources in Minneapolis, MN. Please see the recommended reading page for references to their work.

Dr. Bradshaw's practice might be different than you expect

For complete description of Dr. Bradshaw's policies and practices please refer to the informed consent documents on the download page.