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The Short Version: Julie Orlov always knew she wanted to help people, and being a naturally skilled listener and communicator, she decided to pursue a career in therapy. She found her passion in working with couples, and, for more than 30 years, she’s been helping clients of all ages improve their lives and relationships. Her book, “The Pathway to Love,” teaches couples how to effectively deal with everyday issues that arise in every stage of a relationship. For those who want to work with her directly, she offers both coaching and psychotherapy for couples and individuals. In addition, Julie consults with businesses on professional development strategies and does speaking engagements.
From a young age, Julie Orlov knew she wanted to help people and make a difference in the world.
“I think my ability to listen, communicate, and build a safe space for relationships and connections was evident early on, so I made a choice to put my energies, education, and training into mental health and psychotherapy,” she said.
Her career choice was a perfect fit for her personality, and Julie has now been helping people improve their lives for more than 30 years.
“I feel like I was born to do this work; it’s a calling for me,” she said. “It’s a lovely experience to be a part of someone’s growth in such a deep and profound way. It’s an honor that people trust me enough to bare their souls and be vulnerable. And I hope to provide a positive experience that, for some people, is the first time they’ve ever felt completely heard and understood.”
That understanding is often overlooked, but Julie finds it vital because most people just want to be heard and accepted for who they are. While Julie sees clients with a range of issues, her focus is on helping individuals and couples improve their relationships.
“Relationships are the most precious things that we have in this world, and they’re also the most challenging and complicated things that we engage in,” she said. “So we need to pay attention to them and learn to take care of them — just how we learn to take care of ourselves. Don’t hesitate to reach out and get help because it can be difficult when you’re in it.”
She has helped countless couples learn how to better communicate and re-invest in their relationships.
For example, she is working with a couple in a long-term marriage that was having major trouble communicating. The couple was questioning if their needs were being met and if they even wanted to stay together.
Julie said she taught them some simple ways to listen to each other and communicate clearly, which completely changed their dynamic.
“They found a deep love for each other again; they’re having fun, and their relationship feels renewed,” Julie said. “Sometimes, the simple things can precipitate the biggest changes.”
After many years of gaining experience working with couples on common relationship issues, Julie wrote her book, “The Pathway to Love,” to reach a wider audience than she could through her private practice.
She also created a companion workbook, an audio guide, and an online course that goes more in-depth on the book’s material.
“‘The Pathway to Love’ takes a look at relationships from a developmental perspective, focusing on what issues will emerge in each one of those phases, and what to do to resolve those issues so you can deepen the relationship and create more love and intimacy,” she said.
Julie receives feedback about the book and says many people enjoy how it helped them understand where their relationship stands while providing real solutions for some of their recurring issues. She’s also proud of the praise the book has received from readers — and other therapy professionals.
Throughout her career, Julie has worked with clients ranging from age 6 to 80. While she works with any person and issue, she said she has a unique talent for working with couples.
“Some therapists are good at working with couples, and some aren’t. It requires a specialized skill set to manage interactions and make both partners feel heard and supported, so no one feels like they’re being ganged up against,” Julie said. “It’s imperative, when working with couples, to make sure nobody feels like they’re wrong and everyone has space to say what they need to say, be heard, and work with the dynamics that are occurring in the relationship.”
While she does traditional psychotherapy and counseling for individuals and couples, she has learned that some people have a specific issue they want to tackle — or they don’t want to invest time or money into months of therapy to resolve issues.
“That’s why I developed my coaching program, which is designed for individuals or couples. It’s focused on the world of relationships and targets understanding where your relationship is, what the dynamics are, how you can shift them, and where you want to take your relationship,” Julie said. “I give a lot of homework, exercises, and assignments between coaching sessions. It’s targeted and action-oriented — as well as insight-oriented.”
After decades of working with couples, Julie has found that the most common relationship concerns are about trying to answer these questions:
How do I get my needs met when I’m having a relationship with someone who’s different from me?
Why does this person trigger me?
What’s occurring that’s causing reactivity and power struggles within the relationship?
According to Julie, people want love and intimacy, but if someone has been wounded in the past, they’re likely also scared of being vulnerable and hyper-protective of their emotional safety. Then the challenge becomes letting down those barriers and creating a safe space for them to open up and learn to tolerate the anxieties that come with vulnerability.
“Then, how do you create a space for healing from our past wounds and make sure our relationships are a source of healing and not further wounding?” Julie said. “When couples learn how to do that, how to turn a feeling of, ‘I’m being hurt again’ into a feeling of ‘I’m being healed,’ then you have a really powerful relationship.”
Shifting that perspective can help relationships become so much stronger and healthier.
In addition to working with individuals and couples, Julie is busy consulting with businesses on organizational and professional development. She conducts comprehensive organizational needs analyses, and she can also do one-on-one coaching and training to help develop and empower employees and managers.
She loves doing speaking engagements, including seminars, keynote speeches, and workshops at events and businesses. And she is considering writing another book because of the profound impact her “Pathway to Love” program has had on people’s lives.
Julie is also contemplating teaching as a way to share her expertise and methods with other professionals.
“I’m at a stage in my career where I have the opportunity to pay it forward and help those starting out in their career doing this important work,” she said.