Isabel Thao Tran
Registered Therapeutic Counsellor
My Relationship Journey
I had big questions about life and love when I was a little girl. I wondered, “How can humans live with and love each other well?” and “How can humans handle conflicts peacefully and feel safe, be themselves and support each other in their relationships?”
In my relationships as an adult, I avoided conflict or tried to solve problems quickly to prevent discomfort. This cycle created even more relationship difficulties and left me feeling burnt out.
Here’s my story:
After several years of marriage to the man I loved, we were stuck. I couldn’t understand why two committed partners could not live and love well with each other.
We loved each other, but where was the love when there was a disagreement? I tried to be a good person, as did my partner, but we still hurt each other.
Neither of us could understand why we struggled so much. We blamed each other and ourselves, and sometimes we blamed society for not providing us with the support to be happy together.
More than anything, I desired a safe, loving, and secure relationship.
My partner and I went to relationship classes, read books about relationships, and attended couples counselling. I also attended my own therapy and entered counsellor training to find the answers to those big relationship questions I first asked in childhood.
I found my answers.
I discovered that conflicts and differences can’t be avoided – no perfect partner or relationship exists. Loving relationships needed to be learned, and partners needed to work hard to grow them.
Overcoming my relationship challenges freed me from my ineffective reaction of avoidance and fixing when in relationships.
Counselling enabled me to identify my negative interactions, triggers, and attachment wounds. I learned to change my part in our negative cycle and de-escalate the conflict. I became responsible for my own needs and could take care of them myself.
I discovered how to communicate with my partner in a way that built trust, respect, and closeness. I also learned to show up when my partner is in distress – to create safety, connection, and secure attachment for him too.
Finally, we can love and live well with each other and accept each other the way we are. I feel free and happy and secure in our relationship. We now have more tools and skills for Doing Love Well.
I know there will always be relationship ruptures in the future, but working to repair these breakdowns will bring my partner and me closer together.
My Gifts as a Relationship & Couples Therapist
Creating a Safe Space: I create a safe place for you to explore and manage your relationship challenges. I have a lot of empathy for you, your pain, and your challenges. I’ll validate your experience and offer a non-judgemental space for you to feel safe to share whatever you need to. I will support you in identifying that the negative cycle in the relationship is the problem. You or your partner are NOT the problem!
Expansive Worldview: I have lived in many places in the world and seen clients in many cultures. I hold space for cross-cultural relationships and the differences in same-culture relationships. Wherever you and your partner are from, you’ll be seen in my space.
Ability to Develop and Follow a Clear Map: My specific training as a relationship therapist has given me many tools and skills to assess where you’re stuck. Together we’ll map out your growth plan to achieve the kind of relationship and life you truly want. Having a map means you’ll always know where you’re going. And, I will walk with you until you get there.
Fun and Gentle: Talking about pain can be scary. I love to bring humour and gentleness to this work to support you along the way. I help you talk about heavy things with some lightness, so the counselling process is easier.
Professional Counsellor Credentials
- Diploma in Professional Counselling – Rhodes Wellness College
- SEP – Somatic Experiencing Training, Beginning Level Modules 1,2,3
- EFT – Emotionally Focused Therapy, externship, and core skills
Counselling Association Memberships:
- Association of Cooperative Counselling Therapists of Canada #3009
- Canadian Professional Counsellors Association #4220 (Candidate)
I’m passionate about supporting couples and individuals to achieve a secure, loving relationship – to Do Love Well.
If you resonate with me, click here to book an appointment with me.
We at Love Done Well Counselling humbly acknowledge that we live, work, play and heal on the unceded traditional territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), and səlilwətaɬ (Tsleil-Waututh) Nations.