Learn Relationship Skills with Dr. Kolmes

This is a blog post on the theme of enhancing relationships, to celebrate the launch of Keely Kolmes’s upcoming monthly Relationship Skills Workshop. The first workshop will meet on Saturday, April 11th. The second one, just for singles, is May 16th. You can sign up here for newsletter updates. Those who receive the newsletter will get bonus videos and tips!

Why a Relationship Skills Workshop?

One of my favorite things is helping people enhance the quality of their relationships.

However, relationship counseling is expensive (~$2500 or more) and it can be quite painful if you wait long enough so that the relationship needs serious repairs. Occasionally, people come to my office with a small problem, when there is still a deep friendship and flirtation and romance have not left the picture. This type of therapy can be fun and brief, and people can quickly make great strides.

However, according to research conducted by John Gottman, most partners wait, on average, six years before seeking counseling for relationship problems. This means that the relationship is in a high level of distress when they finally get to counseling, and it can take a lot of work to make the repairs that are necessary to save and improve the relationship. We are talking months and sometimes over a year.

My wish for couples and those in multiple partner relationships is that more of them will begin to turn to relationship therapy as a preventative measure — a way to learn to take care of their investment in one another and learn skills and tools to help keep their relationship joyful and strong.

As part of a nudge towards this important work, and since my practice now has very limited openings for new people, I decided to create a 4 hour workshop that can serve as a jam-packed skills-building class to help people fast-track their relationship towards building a great foundation. I also want to help people recognize warning signs so that they don’t wait six years too long before seeking help. There is so much to learn about keeping your relationship healthy and happy in the beginning that can help you dig yourself out of your own ditches, instead of getting stuck in the muck.

My relationship skills workshop is built on great research-based work that I’ve studied. I have completed Level I and Level II Training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy. I have also completed a 32 hour Clinical Externship in Emotionally Focused Therapy, taught by Sue Johnson. I will be bringing in some of John Gottman’s key points that can quickly been learned and practiced. I will be teaching people about attachment styles and how they influence our experience with our partners. I will also be talking about Gary Chapman’s 5 Love Languages, and how knowing these and those of your partner(s) can make a huge impact on your sense of connection.

Since I specialize in working with sexual and gender diversity in my practice, with a focus on working with kinky and poly folks, my workshop especially welcomes anyone who identifies with these communities. I also welcome singles who want to learn these skills so they will be prepared when love strikes!

In the coming weeks, those people who sign up for my newsletter will get sneak peek videos of the principles we’ll cover in the workshop. I’ll also be featuring blog posts from guest clinicians who also work in the Bay Area with a focus on sexual and gender diversity. If you already know you don’t want to miss this opportunity to sign up for this workshop (only 8 spots available), feel free to enroll now. There is currently a discount until March 25th.

Feel free to follow the Relationship Skills page on Facebook and share with your friends! But I hope you are ready to commit to healthier relationships with me!

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