Dr. Karyne Messina





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Psychotherapy | Testing | Psychoanalysis | The College Edge | Career Counseling | Coaching | Couples and Family Counseling | Mother/Baby Interventions | Custody Evaluations

In my experience working with couples and families, the major problem I have encountered is people who try to get their spouse, partner, children, etc. to see things their way. Some people will often insist and argue about what "really happened" while the another person is positive it happened "another way." Since I have experienced many couples or family members endlessly arguing with each other in this way, my approach involves helping people realize and then be able to experience, "A subjective experience."  So many people think if they know or feel something, surely others absolutely know or feel or think the same way but just won't admit it.

In order to break this cycle of each person trying to convince the person about "how it really was," I help patients understand the importance of allowing other people to have their own take on an event. One person does not  always experience a sunset in the same way as another or have the same sense of a movie or feel the same way about a party they attended. Yet, for may reasons, in order to hang on the notion of being a compatible couple or happy family, or a compliant child or having the need to be right, people think they have to experience the world in a similar way as other people in their lives. 

However, learning to respect another person's right to experience situations as they actually do, while giving them the opportunity to freely express themselves with fear of being judged in a negative way leads to the next very important step toward developing better relationships.  It involves being able to put oneself in another person's shoes, so to speak, which helps to create better communication and a deeper understanding of what another experiences that may be quite different from one's own sense of any situation.  When these capacities can be developed, relations can flourish and grow, sometimes for the first time.