Hello. I’m Jill Edelman, and, counting clinical practice, training and education I’ve been a therapist for over four decades.
My practice focus is on couples therapy which draws on my skills and experience working with individuals and couples with a wide range of issues. Some of the problems presented to me have included significant child-parent strains, divorcing parents, step-family adjustments, post-divorce parenting, mid-life confusion, loss of a family member, betrayal and affairs, children and gender orientation, same-sex relationships, gay and lesbian adult children, dealing with mental illness, cultural differences, special needs parenting and the impact of extended family members and family business on a couple’s relationship.
After three decades of professional experience as a licensed clinical social worker, M.S.W., psychotherapist and couples therapist, trained in psychoanalysis, family systems and couples therapy, I have developed an approach to individual and couples work that utilizes deep listening skills melded together with strategic and problem solving techniques.
My philosophy, garnered from decades of study and careful listening to clients, provides a collaborative approach wherein the couple and the therapist work as a team of three to unravel the injurious patterns of behavior in the relationship, understand the historic roots and, by doing so, reduce the shame that is often lying beneath the surface behaviors.
By normalizing and humanizing underlying feelings, clients feel safer sharing with each other. They experience emotional parity in the relationship and recognize that greater than the need to be right is the need to be honest and close.
Other family members or extended network, who may at times be a crucial part of the couple’s recovery, will be invited by the couple to come in as well. However, the work is primarily to build a strong bond between the partners.
I use the word “coupledom” with my patients/clients. I stress the importance of it above all other “loyalties.” The couple needs to view each other as team players, someone who is on their side, even when sometimes the issues are dividing them. When the couple is more “centered” and clear about their loyalty to each other, viewing the partner as a true partner, someone with whom to “reality test,” share perceptions and be open to feedback, they can work on figuring out the opposing pulls that they often face.
Often, these pulls are their family of origin, (relatives from each side); work/time demands; financial and or child related or sexual dissatisfaction. The couples therapy moves the dynamic (i.e. the usual defensive position) to a new motif, one that lets each partner hear the other, rather than worry about defending themselves. Thus energy is freed and can be utilized in the more constructive activity of listening, learning and expanding one’s ability to understand and to be understood.
A child has learning or emotional problems that are straining the family. The couple turns to couples therapy to find a common ground to deal with the child’s needs and impact on the whole family.