When we opened our doors to the public in April 2014, it was the culmination of a dream that was over 20 years old. For that many years, I (Vagdevi) had a sense that something was seriously wrong with our mental health system in that it pathologized, diagnosed, and demoralized or disempowered thousands of people who were simply struggling with the challenges, traumas, and crises that are inherent in life. That does not mean there are not people with serious and chronic mental illnesses that are caused by biological, genetic, or physiological causes that require the kind of medical intervention that falls under the term “treatment”. It is that there are many many more people who do not have a biological disorder or a medical pathology just because they are having traumatic reactions after a betrayal, or challenges raising children and holding down a job, or experiencing an uphill battle in their lives due to some disability, cultural disadvantage, or lack of fit between them and their environments. This is the group that are called “the worried well” in some circles or the “neurotic” in more psychoanalytic terms.
This is a sub-clinical population that is staying functional in their jobs, homes, and social relationships but struggling. This is the group of folks that are naturally resilient and with a little education, support, or timely coaching can rise above their circumstances or handicaps and reach a level of happiness and flourishing in their lives that they could not achieve alone. This is the group of individuals, couples, or families that have fallen into a painful cycle of dysfunction in their communication or coping strategies that don’t need “treatment”, they need guidance and mentorship from a counselor. That is why we created The Center for Relationships.
All of us at The Center for Relationships were committed to our mission of public education and raising awareness and enhancing the health of our local communities in the area of healthy relationships. We want to be the kind of place you come to hang out and watch a movie or have a conversation about something that has been troubling you or challenging you knowing you will not be judged, pathologized, or pigeon-holed. We want to invite you to come check us out at Care Week 2017.
Care Week happens each year the week before Valentine’s Day and this year that is February 6-11, 2017. During Care Week we throw open the doors to our center and welcome everyone to join us for free consultations, workshops, or talk. Free consultations on relationships, divorce, parenting, or individual challenges. Workshops such as Rock and Roll Relationships, or how to parent like a video game. And experiential activities such as yoga, tango lessons, and learning about your communication style.
Sign up for any of our free services and tell your friends about it.
Vagdevi Meunier, Psy.D., Master Trainer for the Gottman Institute and National Marriage Seminars and Licensed Clinical Psychologist, has been a Certified Gottman Therapist and Workshop Leader since 2006. She is the founder of the Austin-based Center for Relationships (@TCFRAustin). Follow her on Facebook at the Center for Relationships and on Twitter @TCFRAustin