Maxine Gower, LCSW, NCPsyA - Boulder Psychotherapy

Psychotherapy in person, via skype, or by phone. Please email or call (303) 875-5046

Intimacy Counseling in Boulder

To be intimate (Latin, intimus meaning inmost) is in a sense to bare the "inmost" self; to be seen and known for whom and for what one truly is. So much of what we are or are not, in our estimation (or in the way we think that we are seen by others) is associated with feelings of shame, inadequacy, guilt and "un-loveability". Understandably, there can be issues of fear and anxiety around being seen in a negative light or being seen as unlikable.

We are apt to situate ourselves nearer or further away from others based on what we learned and saw in our families of origin. Past experiences of having been treated well and having felt liked, or, having not been treated well, can lead to styles that involve more or less connection/intimacy. One might be comfortable with contact or one may be wary or withdrawn. This shows up in a pronounced way in intimate relationships. Some people like and can tolerate a lot of closeness while others cannot. It is possible for people with different attachment styles to learn to understand and cooperate with each other's ways of being close.

One of the skills that I am able to guide individuals and couples to in our work, is seeing the differences in the way that people connect to, and disconnect from, each other. There is much to be learned and understood about tolerating closeness (intimacy) and distance in all, and especially, intimate relationships. I help people in counseling who like a lot of closeness, and who can feel threatened and anxious if there is not perpetual closeness, to tolerate more distance in order to be with a person who needs more distance. Conversely, I help those who need lots of distance, and who feel overwhelmed and engulfed with too much closeness, to slowly tolerate being closer to others. These are common intimacy issues and are routinely addressed in counseling.

This knowledge is very valuable (and even crucial in some cases) because it aids couples in working with their different styles and respective issues in their relationships. It also helps individuals to identify their particular attachment style and work creatively with it should they wish to preserve an intimate relationship that is threatened by the differences in the way that the two people connect with, and disconnect from, each other. Please call me at my Boulder office if you would like to talk about intimacy matters.

For further information, please see the “Couples Counseling” page.

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