If I am not for myself, who will be for me? If I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when? -Pirke Avot
About Patricia Rich
I was raised to believe in marriage. My parents, now married over fifty years, taught me that your spouse comes first, and though you might get mad as hell at each other, you make up, because you are family. They watched friends divorce and never envied the result. They themselves were both the products of marriages that lasted a lifetime. I took for granted all that went into making those marriages stick.
As I began my career counseling kids, it became quickly apparent that when the parents were getting along, the children fared much better. Not to say that kids from intact families couldn’t have a pile of problems, or that kids from divorced or single parent homes couldn’t be healthy, but that parental tension, conflict and estrangement sure didn’t help. I found myself gravitating toward helping the parents of my young clients to improve their relationships with each other, and progressed to working with couples as my professional passion. I recognized the importance of touch and sexuality in relationship satisfaction, and decided to study human sexuality in order to offer more help to the couples I served.
As an adult, now married for over twenty years, I appreciate the secure home that I was raised in. It allowed me to do what I needed to do to grow-up, which was hard enough without having to worry about my parents' relationship or where I belonged. My husband and I have hit some bumps along the way, but the marital role models we were both raised with have helped us to see that despite our challenges, we still share love and commitment, and that our connection grows deeper the further we travel together.
I have seen that no marriage is immune to problems, some marriages are beyond repair, and divorce can be the best outcome. I have sat with those struggling to sift through the pro’s and con’s of their relationships, and helped them to make the best decision they can. I humbly recognize that people must make these decisions for themselves, but that I can help them to sort out the pieces and make the decision with integrity.
I have also seen that many relationships can be turned around, with motivation and guidance, and brought back from the brink. I have seen that when couples with a history and maybe some kids together can make it work, the rewards are great. I would welcome the opportunity to help you to take the next step toward improving your relationship.
Patricia Rich, LCSW, CST, founder of The Relating Well Center, LLC, graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Michigan and earned a Masters Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of Chicago. She completed a post-Masters externship in Family Therapy at the Institute for Juvenile Research at the University of Illinois in Chicago. She completed a certificate program in sex therapy at Council for Relationships in Philadelphia, and fulfilled requirements of the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists (AASECT) to become a Certified Sex Therapist, and Certified Supervisor of Sex Therapy. She has trained in Internal Family Systems (IFS), presented at Smart Marriages, AASECT, and other conferences, and written numerous articles on clinical topics. Patty has been married for over twenty years, and has a son and daughter. She loves learning new things, cooking, yoga, and writing comics with her husband.