Last month, I had the pleasure of sitting down (via Zoom) with Elizabeth Earnshaw, LMFT, CGT. Elizabeth is a couples’ therapist and author of I Want This To Work: An Inclusive Guide to Navigating the Most Difficult Relationship Issues We Face in the Modern Age.
We bonded over the challenges of practicing psychology in a pandemic and finding our niche. I told Elizabeth that I have the utmost respect for couples’ therapists because my skill set definitely does not include couple work, and she shared that she previously worked with kids and found her fit in couples’ therapy.
Elizabeth has worked with couples for more than 10 years and wanted to help educate couples before they come into the therapy office. Her book helps couples navigate their relationships and the challenges faced by couples in the twenty-first century.
When recommending resources to clients, Elizabeth found that the available books tended to have a niche focus, and she had to recommend several books to each couple. She also found that the existing literature tended to be heteronormative and cisnormative. Although the themes and conflicts addressed in these books can apply to other couples, representation matters! Elizabeth set out to create a book where all couples could see themselves represented. She created “a comprehensive guide that is inclusive to people.”
The book is currently available in English but is in the process of being translated into other languages for worldwide accessibility. Elizabeth shared with me that she will be working with an editorial team to ensure that I Want This To Work remains culturally sensitive and competent when it is translated.
I Want This To Work was just released in November 2021, but Elizabeth is already thinking about creating a series of various relationship needs, including postpartum, following a mental health diagnosis, or other issues. She has noticed that there are books about these issues that do not specifically encompass the unique challenges that a couple might face.
In addition to her book and her therapy practice, Elizabeth offers online courses in learning how to get the most out of your relationships and developing healthy boundaries with your partner. In her practice, Elizabeth offers couples’ therapy and premarital counseling. You can follow her on Instagram.