A therapy practice with a “relationship think tank” twist above Nighthawks at 3751 Nicollet Ave. provides free monthly workshops.
The first in February focused on women and communication.
“How we listen to each other and how directly we speak has a lot to do with how well we communicate,” therapist and founder Jen Rives said in an email.
The way people handle everything from work problems to relationship challenges can be automatic, Rives said. People learn about relationships from their families of origin, she said, and default patterns of behavior aren’t always helpful as adults. She said the more insight you have, the more effective communication can be, quoting Maya Angelou: “I did then what I knew how to do. Now that I know better, I do better.”
Rives, a Lyndale neighborhood resident, has worked in private practice for six years. She has a background in theater and spent time acting in New York City. She sees common ground between the fields.
“For me, it’s all about relationships. We don’t exist in a vacuum,” she said. “…It’s a sacred experience to be with other people when they are experiencing pain.”
The LGBTQ-friendly office provides therapy for individuals, couples and families.
Rives’ specialties include dating, being single, feeling stuck, affairs, confidence, post-divorce and anxiety.
Rives said she still sees a bit of stigma surrounding therapy, but she said many people would benefit.
“If you have time, financial resources and emotional resources, the payoff of therapy is enormous,” she said. “You get better and better at relationships, and relationships are what life is all about.”