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Inspiring Conversations with Lisa Rabinowitz

Today we’d like to introduce you to Lisa Rabinowitz.

Hi Lisa, it’s an honor to have you on the platform. Thanks for taking the time to share your story with us – to start, maybe you can share some of your backstory with our readers?
When I began as a counselor, I worked with clients that experienced trauma and domestic violence. Like a lot of mothers, I took off a few years to raise my family. When I re-entered the counseling field, I decided to focus on couples. My strong passion and desire to work with couples was due to watching my family members struggle in their marriages and divorce several times. I started to research the best approaches to help couples build a happy marriage. I began training with The Gottman Institute, and I completed all their levels of training and Certification. After that, I moved onto training with the PACT Institute. I wanted to understand more about how couples bond and where conflict comes from. Also, I wanted to learn why it’s so difficult to navigate conflict and how to stay happily married.

We all face challenges, but looking back, would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I didn’t realize that opening a private practice was going to have so many obstacles to overcome because I had always worked in an outpatient clinic, school or inpatient facility. I had to learn the ropes of marketing, taking insurance, and completing all of the necessary paperwork without any guidance. Originally, I accepted insurance. When they limited my ability to help clients due to the time constraints of sessions, as well as to require me to provide a medical diagnosis, I made the decision to end my contract with insurance. I found blogging and writing about the pain of unhealthy marriages provided an opportunity to connect with clients. In my experience, couples need at least 2 hours to be able to come to a resolution. When I accepted insurance, the allowed amount of time was only 53 minutes which only let us to scratch the surface of the issue. I rather give couples the time they need to discuss what’s bothering them and solve their issues.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
My specialty is working with couples who need to work on communication, trust, parenting, attachment, ADHD and trauma issues. I help them find ways to heal the pain and hurt from childhood instead of replaying the patterns that occurred in their home. Let’s say I was talking with Wendy and Sam (a fictitious couple). Wendy feels abandoned in their relationship, while Sam feels trapped. We can explore possible feelings of invalidation, neglect, “not being good enough,” and rejection.

I am focused on making sure I deliver the most effective treatment for couples’ therapy. Every day, couples tell me stories of seeing other therapists and how it was not helpful. I have explored the most effective methods of improving relationships, and continue my training and participate in supervision with other experts in the field. I also train other couples therapists which really hones my skills. Unlike other marriage’ therapists, I counsel couples from approximately 2-6 months. This is enough time to learn how to take care of and protect each other as well as well as collaborate and cooperate together as a team. Within a few sessions, if I observe that the clients and I are not a good fit, then I refer the couple to a colleague.

Is there anyone you’d like to thank or give credit to?
I’ve been blessed and thankful to be married for 27 years to a supportive, patient, and loving husband. I didn’t have positive role models growing up, but I made it my mission to learn how to be a partner who cares for and prioritizes my relationship. Drs. John and Julie Gottman helped me begin my journey to build a foundation of knowledge and skills as a couples’ therapist. Dr. Stan Tatkin, the founder of PACT, enhanced my role as a couples therapist and taught me other methods to counsel couples to build a strong, enduring relationship today and for their future.

For example, he taught me how to help couples create a secure functioning relationship. His use of play and humor showed me how to encourage the couple to collaborate rather than the couple just telling me how angry they are with their partner. Another example is that Dr. Tatkin taught me a pivotal lesson about eye-to-eye contact. Instead of looking at me during therapy, I have them look at each other, as it increases the likelihood for communication, connection and closeness. I share with my couples in counseling that they can recreate that sense of emotional intimacy and closeness again by looking lovingly at each other.

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