I love supporting couples in whatever stage of their relationship they find themselves!
I can help you if you and your partner sincerely want to:
- Shift communication patterns that lead you to fight, shut down, or avoid one another when you are upset
- Communicate authentically and truthfully with one another
- Gain and elicit compassionate understanding of each other
- Open up to one another with love, kindness and vulnerability
- Engage in healthy conversations about difficult topics without fighting
- Navigate inevitable conflicts with confidence and compassion
- Enter, maintain, shift or dissolve your partnership consciously and amicably
- Make important decisions with shared power
- Develop a shared partnership or parenting vision
- Co-create greater intimacy and joy
THE ALCHEMICAL JOURNEY
Here’s a detailed description of how we can work together
We start with a clear plan. I write a summary of your needs and vision. You read it and approve it.
We prioritize and work on what’s needed first.
In our sessions we work by engaging in:
Uncovering your disconnecting communication dynamics
Learning and practicing conscious communication tools for your specific needs
Decrease emotional trigger processes
You come out of each session with an action point to practice in between sessions
Two more things you need to know about me and the way I work with couples:
I’m fully dedicated to walking my talk. As someone who’s been married for 14 years, I know how much attention, energy and commitment it takes to co-create and maintain a thriving relationship.
I also know first-hand how meaningful it is to learn to love unconditionally; how important it is to learn to have conscious conversations about difficult topics with your beloved; and what a gift it is to be understood, seen and loved for being exactly who you are.
Lastly, I know that though difficult, it is possible to forge authentic ways of relating with our partner and stop repeating the dynamics we were exposed to as children from our family of origin.
I remain neutral and do not take sides. I believe that when you and your partner are held with the same level of compassionate presence you are both more likely to be open to communicating with one another with vulnerability, empathy and respect.
OUTCOMES YOU CAN ACHIEVE
It’s deeply moving to witness two people in partnership relate to one another with deep sincerity and respect. Here’s what couples achieved in our work together:
Communicating with each other with empathy, compassion and without accusatory or demeaning language
Expressing individual and collective needs skillfully before tension builds up rather than sweeping important conversations under the rug, shutting down or fostering resentment towards one another
Treating one another with respect and emotional maturity
Having healthy conversations that lead to increased intimacy and connection instead of having arguments and fights
Experiencing each other’s differences and sensitivities as strengths and growing opportunities
Choosing to develop shared power instead of having unhelpful and unconscious power imbalances
Understanding how each partner disconnects from themselves and then learning to build bridge the distance between them
Establishing healthy boundaries to honor and support each other’s individual needs and growth
Making powerful decisions that strengthen the partnership and increase joy and intimacy
APPROACHES USED IN COACHING SESSIONS
There are so many coaching modalities nowadays. Here are the components that influence and shape the way I coach.
Empathy is an essential element of the work. I listen to you with full attention and non-judgment and put myself in your shoes to see life from your perspective.
I reflect what I hear and use techniques from a variety of sources, including Compassionate or Non-Violent Communication, Neuro Linguistic Programming, and Mindfulness.
I guide you through a variety of transformative self-inquiry processes influenced by the work of my teacher Jennifer Welwood in combination with processes I learned from various teachers whose work I have studied for years, including John Welwood, Marshall Rosenberg, Robert Gonzalez, Nancy Kahn, Lama Tsultrim Allione, and François Beausoleil.
I also draw on wisdom and practices informed by yoga, non-dualistic eastern philosophies, Ayurveda, cognitive science and neurobiology. My main teachers and guides in these fields have been Jennifer Welwood, Scott Blossom, Chandra Easton, Robert Svoboda, John Welwood, Christopher Hareesh Wallis, and Lama Surya Das.
Aside from my studies and experience with clients and my own internal work, I also tap into our combined intuition.
COACHING VS. PSYCHOTHERAPY
Many people want to distinguish these two methods of approaching transformation work. Learn how these methods differ.
In psychotherapy, you usually devote a significant amount of time looking at your life’s history and reasons for your current suffering. In coaching, we focus on the present moment, your desired goals and how to reach them. At the end of each session you will have an action to take home and deepen the work in between sessions. You could say that psychotherapy concentrates on the why while coaching focuses on the how.
Even though in our journey together we might encounter sources of suffering or fear such as mental stories, unconscious communication patterns and habitual patterning, our work is not psychotherapy. The scope of our work does not aim to treat or relieve the symptoms of a diagnosable mental disorder. However, you may find our work therapeutic in the sense of experiencing deep transformation, relief or ease.
Also, our Language Alchemy coaching work allows for deep self-connection, self-understanding and self-compassion, which is essential to honor our authentic values and needs.
Many of my clients tried psychotherapy before and are drawn to coaching instead; others find our work to be an excellent complement to psychotherapy. Several of my clients are psychotherapists.
We start with a free 40-minute phone call with both of you in which each of you tell me your needs. During the call, I share with you how I can support you and I answer any questions you may have.
If the three of us choose to embark on the alchemical journey together, we decide:
how often we’ll meet in person (San Francisco or San Rafael)*
how long we’ll be working for - the length of our journey will depend on your specific needs
We schedule sessions and start our alchemical journey!
*Online video conference sessions are a possibility after we’ve worked in person.
FROM MY CLIENTS
Tristan and Danyelle
We already knew each other well. We’ve been dating for over a decade. but Alejandra gave us the structure and the tools to better communicate, express our love, and deal with hardships. Spending time with Alejandra was an essential part of our growth as a couple on a journey that will continue for a long time. Her words and advice have been so helpful. So much gratitude for Alejandra’s work and her care!
Ellen & Ted
At the time we started working with Alejandra, we had been together for more than 11 years, married for 8 of those, and although our relationship on the whole felt strong and we were both deeply committed to it and each other, we found ourselves drifting apart, feeling like we were roommates more than spouses, sharing space but not really life. We began to realize that one reason for this was that we didn't know how to communicate to one another when we were in conflict without feeling like we were putting the relationship itself in jeopardy, or hurting one another and causing a great deal of stress - which neither of us wanted to do. So, instead we had fallen into a pattern of simply avoiding conversations that could lead to such conflict, and in general communicating less and less...
What we were looking for, and what Alejandra helped us to cultivate, was a set of shared tools to help us have those difficult conversations in a way that strengthened, rather than damaged or weakened our connection, that reaffirmed our love for one another and desire to be in connection, even in disagreement.
Alejandra taught us how to hold space for one another and express ourselves to each other more skillfully. Her tools gave us a compass to navigate back to that underlying foundation of love and desire for connection we share, even when we felt lost in the woods of our differences.
Thanks to Alejandra's guidance and support during our time working with her, we now are much more comfortable and willing to have difficult conversations with each other without fear of damaging our connection or finding ourselves at a complete impasse, and through those conversations, our connection, sense of trust, intimacy and confidence in each other has deepened tremendously.
Moreover, our ability to skillfully handle conflict with others even outside of our relationship has grown by leaps and bounds in the years since we worked with her as well. It really was one of the best investments we've made in our relationship to date.
Tara & Craig
My husband and I were having difficulties with communicating – we had married later in life and were “married” to our own individual way of doing things. Alejandra helped us learn to listen to what we each other was actually saying and what we were interpreting from those statements to find what the other person was truly trying to communicate. Her calmness and her ability to listen have helped us in patterning our own behaviors to speaking and supporting each other which has led to having a better and healthier marriage.
Amanda & Michael
We began working with Alejandra to gain clarity and set our intentions for our marriage. Through the process we refined our understanding of what we thought we wanted out of a marriage and what we truly wanted. Alejandra gave us the support and space we needed to have difficult and sensitive conversations with each other. Through her intuitive and skilled facilitation we learned how to ask ourselves and each other questions.
That was over 3 years ago and we come back to the work we did every year when we review those intentions. Having this as a baseline for starting our marriage gave us confidence and clarity of exactly what our commitment meant to each other. Each year we rely on those conversations and that time with Alejandra to recommit with the same clarity of intention.
Scott & Chandra
I was impressed by the powerful insights that Alejandra expressed about how language and psychology are so deeply related. I learned that when I am under stress I think in a language that is deeply conditioned by my early life experiences and often don't represent the values that I aspire to uphold in all my relationships. Working with Alejandra has helped me to shift some very deep and unconscious patterns of communication and this has benefitted my capacity to communicate personally and professionally. One the best discoveries that working with Alejandra has yielded is to be more patient and compassionate with others when they are trying to communicate deeply held beliefs or during emotionally charged exchanges.
I came to work with Alejandra because my partner and I were having conversations about my sexual desires for other people. Neither of us wanted to sweep it under the rug. My sexual energy continues to be an inner journey.
I did learn a valuable lesson during our sessions that I continue to share: the power of speaking for myself. It is me that is feeling what I am feeling - others are not causing it. By disassociating my negative (and positive) feelings from another, I can find more clarity and take responsibility for my actions. This also helps me develop a constructive dialogue which whoever I am with.
I've noticed that this manner of being applies also in the world of AlAnon which I've gone to and Coda (codependents anonymous) - the idea of 'cross talk' or listening to another with a personal agenda are both things that I see in others and myself - but the awareness Alejandra helped cultivate in me has deepened my relationships and enriched my inner world.
Around one year into our relationship, arguments with my girlfriend were creating distance between us. We wanted to find a better way to resolve conflict that arose between us.
After working with Alejandra, I got more comfortable directly stating my needs to my partner. When I started speaking this way, my girlfriend and I were able maintain more intimacy in our time spent together. We got closer because I was more comfortable with showing myself.
Alejandra’s work has helped me center myself into my body and get out of my head before I begin meetings with people. I feel more calm and grounded before I enter into a high stakes situation.
Now, I am able to speak more directly about my needs to others without fear of being rejected or judged. This practice has helped me get more of what I want in my life and in my relationships.