SPECIALTIES

Abandonment

Years in Practice

10 years +

where

Haymarket VA 20169 - United States

Credentials

LMFT, MS

Additional Expertise

Dating Coach, Marriage Educator, Marriage/Couples Counselor, Personal Development Coach, Psychotherapist, Relationship Coach

I Practice in

All areas, please inquire

I AM FLUENT IN

English

I Believe

Everyone deserves to have at least one amazing relationship in their life. The kind of relationship where they feel safe to be themselves and know that they are loved wholeheartedly because of it. Ultimately, all of my work is about helping people have more loving, honest, and fulfilling relationships.

About Esther Boykin

How can I help you have better relationships- with others or just yourself?

Maybe you’re relationship is amazing and you just want to keep it that way or maybe it could use some work.

Maybe you’re not in a romantic relationship right now but you want to be ready to make the most of opportunity when love comes knocking on your door.

Whatever is going on in your life, I’m here to lend an ear and (if you want it) a little advice.

I’m the kind of girl who believes in one-on-one, really personalized services. I love getting to know people in a smaller setting and if you love getting personal attention and support then I think we’ll be a match made in therapy/coaching/speaking heaven!

Ready to learn more?  Here's what you should know about me...

I love love.

I get excited about helping people create relationships that are better than any romantic comedy storyline. I am a licensed marriage and family therapist and an experienced relationship coach.  I'm also the owner of a private practice, an author, and a teacher of classes and workshops on relationships and mental health topics.

Sounds like a lot of different stuff, right?  But it’s not really… let me explain.  

when you get down to the core of everything I do, it all ties back to one simple life purpose.  So here’s the short and sweet of who I am and what I really do:

I am a marriage and family therapist, writer, relationship expert, and coach.

Ultimately, all of my work is about helping people have more loving, honest, and fulfilling relationships.

(Because the best romances aren’t found in books or movies… they happen in everyday moments between real people just like you.)

That’s what I do.  And when you're ready, I'd love to help you find that kind of love in your own life.

Esther Boykin Success Stories

Is The Economy Affecting Your Marriage

Couples dealing with financial stress

There is no doubt that the economy is a hot topic in just about every arena of life these days.  With so many people facing foreclosures and job loss, the negative impact of financial stress on marriage has has become increasingly more apparent.  In fact, the growing number of media reports on the impact of financial stress seems to be influencing academics and policymakers to take a closer look at how to help couples and families cope. Earlier this year the Treasury Department in conjunction with the US Department for Health and Human Services held a summit on relationship finance in response to the growing focus on the interconnection between healthy families, healthy marriages, and economic stress.  And in 2008 researchers at Kansas State University held a Financial Therapy Forum.  As a result of their discussions and research, KSU has now opened a brand new financial therapy clinic which combines the services of  financial advisers with marriage and family therapists.more

 

As a marriage and family therapist, I always try to think in terms of systems, or how each aspect of our lives is impacted and influenced by every other part of life, so this new “trend” is something that my colleagues and I have known for years.  It is the interplay between financial decisions and stressors with common relational issues such as communication that makes money and marriage such a tricky partnership.  To enhance my own understanding of the issue, last year I participated in the Money 1to1 training developed by the AFCPE and FINRA.  This program, designed for therapists, enhanced my understanding of the practical details of financial management so that as a practice we can provide our clients with effective groups and workshops that incorporate both the practical and emotional aspects of money.

 

Many couples may feel that if they just had enough money to pay their bills (and maybe go on a vacation or buy that new designer bag) then their problems would be solved and their marriage would be better.  The reality is that money is almost universally an area of conflict at some point in a long term relationship regardless of your checking account balance.  Issues of trust and security, differences in spending and saving patterns, conflicting financial goals, and the role money played in your family of origin all play a part in making financial waters difficult territory to navigate.

 

Of course, I believe that therapy has the potential to be preventative just as much as it can be the remedy for major crisis.  By working with a therapist or financial educator, couples can learn to avoid common pitfalls and develop a better understanding of the emotional issues that are often tied to our financial habits.  In our Money & Marriage groups this fall (a new group for couples and single parents starts in February) we will focus on learning more about specific money “personalities” and how to talk about the goals and fears that influence financial behavior in addition to budgeting and cash flow.  As is the case with all of our groups, we believe that through communication and connection with other couples facing similar challenges that everyone can develop new, more effective relationship skills. 

 

This collaboration of financial education and sound therapeutic advice has the potential to help so many couples and families break free from the stress of fighting over finances.  I hope that some of you will join me this spring for group and that together we will continue to build on a more sytemic and collaborative way of dealing with these tough economic times.

Is There Hope After Infidelity?

Couples dealing with infidelity

I try very hard to steer clear of the media drama surrounding celebrity marriages.  They just seem so unreal and it’s hard, even for me,  to fathom what it must be like to try and build a strong marriage in the face of such scrutiny and expectation.  But when things spiral out of control and all I see is Tiger Woods and his lovely wife on every single channel, I can’t help but tune in… at least for a minute.  I won’t begin to speculate about what happened or didn’t happen in this relationship.  I can only hope that whatever has happened they will both get the opportunity to do some honest self-reflection and do what’s best for their family.  Which leads me to the question… is there hope after infidelity?more

 

Often that is the question that couples ask when they come into my office after one partner has cheated.  Both partners want to know how, when , and if they will ever get past the betrayal and devastation that infidelity creates.  The “cheater” wants to know what they have to do to move on, how many times they must apologize, or maybe they are relieved to no longer sneak around.  The person who has been cheated on needs their own answers- when will it stop hurting, how do I forgive, should I forgive?

 

The reasons behind infidelity are so varied that it would be impossible to give any sort of definitive answer to any of these questions.  Infidelity springs up from problems in the current relationship, lack of intimacy (emotional and physical), sexual addictions, and outright disrespect.  Often it is a combination of factors including our human tendency to falter in the face of temptation or seek escape rather than face the difficult task of mending a damaged relationship.  The challenging part of repairing a relationship damaged by infidelity is figuring out when (and how) to set aside the reasons the affair happened and focus on the immediate emotional trauma.  Those reasons are important in the long run but in the wake of such a damaging revelation the focus must be on emotional safety and repair.  One book that I really like to help couples (and therapists) understand the impact and process of dealing with infidelity is Not Just Friends by Shirley Glass.  The author lays out a framework of what most people can expect to experience and some useful guidance on how to move forward.

 

As a wife it is hard to imagine how a marriage can recover from such a betrayal and yet through my work I know that couples not only recover but can grow stronger after infidelity.  The human capacity for love, growth, and forgiveness is an amazing thing; it is the reason that I am perpetually optimistic about my clients and the relationships around me.  So while it may be hard to imagine, in my opinion there is indeed hope after infidelity.

Esther Boykin Articles