Susan Tschudi, LMFT - Marriage and Family Therapist - Westlake Village, CA
Relationships
Every relationship -whether it be with spouses or partners, parents, siblings, extended family members, friends, acquaintances and business colleagues - can have its own, unique challenges. Sometimes our relationships become unhealthy and we find ourselves engaging in behaviors and patterns of communication that consistently result in conflict, tension and turmoil.

Marriage
Being married - successfully - is hard work. Couples often fall into unsatisfying and unfulfilling patterns of relating to each other. Generally speaking, these issues can be sorted out in counseling sessions. With a new understanding of each other and new skills implemented, the couple moves out of the danger zone and marital harmony and contentment can be restored.

Families
The demands of family living are great and quite often these demands take a toll on the family as a whole. Life cycle changes, such as the birth of a child, parenting children in different age groups, the launching of older children, and the care of aging parents can create difficult challenges. Family sessions - where each person has time to be heard and understood - can be powerful moments and can heal broken relationships.

Blended Families
Did you know that:
  • Approximately 50% of all first marriages end in divorce and about 75% of divorced persons remarry.
  • About 65% of remarriages involve children from the prior marriage and, thus, blended families are formed.
  • 1,300 blended families are formed daily. 

While statistics can help blended families feel ‘not alone', it does little for helping them address the complications of blended family living. Typically, blended families go through several different stages before reaching a more harmonious state (one in which everyone can get along and enjoy each other's company). And quite often the difficulties that arise in each stage of blended family living overwhelm the husband and wife. What started out as a new beginning that promised hope and restoration can end up with a sense of despair and hopelessness.
Blended families often need help in navigating the ups and downs of daily life. Counseling sessions can be helpful in assisting each member of the family in understanding some of the unique dynamics that are being experienced. New solutions can be created to handle the problems that seem to keep occurring over and over again.

Divorce
The breakup of a relationship can be devastating to each individual and to the family. Recovering from divorce can be an involved process and I have helped numerous individuals find their way back to health and happiness. Many couples enlist my help in the area of co-parenting so that their children can be less affected by the stress and strain that divorce creates for them.

Friendships and Dating
Friendships are essential because they help accommodate our sense of belonging in this world. Dating is a time of exploration, of getting to know each other. If you tend to be attracted to people who don't treat you well, ignore your personal boundaries, or become abusive, you may want to spend some time in counseling trying to figure out what you may be doing that draws these types of people to you and what you may be getting out of the relationship.

Workplace
Difficulties with relationships in the workplace are common. Ever had a co-worker that was impossible? What about the boss who couldn't be pleased? Or how about dealing with a hostile employee? Since we spend most of our waking hours at our jobs, it can be hard to recover from  stressful work relationships. Therapy can be helpful by learning how to access different communication tools, by learning how to create better personal boundaries, and by learning how to de-stress and practice better self care despite the circumstances at work.

Engagement
Congratulations on your decision to get married! In an effort to
strengthen marriages, I've created a comprehensive pre-marital program that explores all of the significant areas of relational life: communication, conflict resolution, money, sex, even family and friends to mention a few. These one-on-one meetings are personalized and comprehensive. Most couples who go through the process feel that they are much better prepared for marital life. 

If you have any questions about any of the problems you are experiencing in a relationship,please contact me:
Telephone: (805) 557-0405
Email: therapybysusan@gmail.com
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