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The Short version: Tamara Green has worked as a marriage and couples counselor for nearly three decades, but in recent years, her practice has shifted its focus. After helping her husband through his cancer diagnosis, Tamara started working primarily with clients who were affected by the disease or had helped loved ones who were. Despite that shift, her mission to help her mostly female clients open themselves up to the love they seek has remained the same. Through her Loving Meditations program and app, Tamara is sharing her message with a broader audience of love seekers, patients, caregivers, and survivors.
Tamara Green’s clients are often looking for love, but they don’t always open themselves up to the possibilities. She shared the story of one client who was hesitant to take the necessary steps to allow in the love she craved.
“This is a woman who grew up in an extremely religious family,” she said. “She joined a cult where she met a man with whom she was in an abusive relationship for 14 years. By the time I started working with her, she had deep-seated fears surrounding relationships, and felt the need to protect herself from being abused.”
The client desperately wanted to be in love but was not yet prepared to take Tamara’s advice about how to find it.
“Her deepest desire was to have a full-on, committed relationship, but she didn’t know how to make that happen,” Tamara said. “She would stay in safe relationships. When she started working with me, she still self-sabotaged. She’d have sex too soon, and she’d wonder what happened to the guy.”
Eventually, Tamara finally broke through to her, and, after following Tamara’s advice, the client finally found what she sought — a loving, long-term relationship.
“I told her it was time to cut things off with a guy if it didn’t reach another level of commitment. She listened to me and cut off contact with him for a couple of weeks,” said Tamara. “That was a big motivator for him. He said he wanted to do whatever it took to devote himself to her. Now, they’re madly in love, and I expect they’ll marry within the year.”
Like this client, many of the other women with whom Tamara works have trouble opening themselves up to love. While they may believe they cannot find partners to date, they are instead engaging in behaviors that keep them from forming healthy bonds.
“A love problem is a receiving problem. I help my clients see what’s really going on,” she said. “I go very deep to unearth their fears. They don’t realize they’re blocking love through doubt and shame. We clear those issues, so they’re able to attract and receive love into their lives.”
Tamara has been a psychotherapist for many years and, in 2010, decided to turn her focus to dating as well.
“I got the itch to expand into something different, and I was well-trained in working with those who are navigating dating and relationships,” she said.
In her practice, Tamara primarily sees women from across the age spectrum who are seeking advice about dating or relationships. She said her clientele is 97% women in their 30s to 60s, but she sometimes sees clients outside that range, as well.
“I even had an 80-year-old client who got married to her soul mate by the time she was 81,” she said.
While most of Tamara’s clients are professionally successful, they’re usually less satisfied with their romantic lives. Tamara said that dissatisfaction is often exacerbated by the success these high-powered women have had in their careers.
No matter the situation her clients are experiencing, Tamara works with them to recalibrate their outlook on love and their dating lives.
“I work with many women who have never been married and want a family, or they’re just having a difficult time in relationships — sometimes with challenging or abusive men,” she said. “I also work with women who are widowed or divorced, and they’re trying to navigate the dating world again.”
After years of working with these women, Tamara had a life-changing experience when her husband was diagnosed with cancer. During that period, she devoted most of her time and effort to caring for him. As he recovered, she was inspired to shift some of her professional focus.
“My husband is now cancer-free and doing well, but it was a grueling process when we were going through his treatment,” she said. “Now, I’m working with single women who’ve had breast cancer or mastectomies to help them sail through the dating scene with much more self-assurance and success.”
“I’m working with caregivers more frequently. They want advice about how to pursue dating while also caring for their elderly parents and, in some cases, their young children — what I call the Sandwich Generation.” — Tamara Green, Loving Relationship Expert
These women are different from the high-powered, career-driven types with whom she typically worked. They may also be divorced and have health-related confidence issues as they ease back into dating.
“They may wonder, ‘How do I tell the guy I’ve fallen for that I only have one breast?’” Tamara said.
In addition to women who have been diagnosed with cancer themselves, Tamara finds that women who are — or have been — caregivers are attracted to her practice.
“I’m working with caregivers more frequently,” she said. “They want advice about how to pursue dating while also caring for their elderly parents and, in some cases, their young children — what I call the Sandwich Generation. This whole new area is opening up for my practice and I can help them through my knowledge and experience.”
A new chapter in Tamara’s professional life has grown out of a trying time in her personal life. She envisions a world where people access their natural wisdom and resilience to architect a joyful life through self-care and loving kindness. In individual and group sessions with her clients, she teaches practical and potent mindfulness tools that help them do just that.
Even outside of her psychotherapy practice, Tamara said she is committed to helping others cope with trauma and loss. To this end, she and her husband — Grammy® Nominated Recording Engineer and Composer David Dachinger — created Loving Meditations. The program is inspired by his point of view as a cancer patient and Tamara’s perspective as a caregiver.
“We create meditation and mindful programs for those living with cancer — patients, caregivers, and survivors,” she said.
The Loving Meditations mobile app aims to provide cancer patients and their caregivers with meditations they can practice anywhere — even during stressful cancer treatments. These meditations can also provide self-care and inspiration to their practitioners.
“We offer guided meditations and imagery, self-hypnosis, and various forms of breathing exercises,” Tamara said. “We assist users to work through their fear or judgment, which in turn helps to relieve issues of sleeplessness, anxiety, depression, and worthlessness. I think the app is highly effective, and I’m incredibly proud of it.”
Tamara and her husband have written an international best-selling book on the subject called “Live Calm With Cancer (and Beyond…).” The book covers many of David and Tamara’s real-life struggles as cancer patient and caregiver. One of her colleagues, Dr. Diana Kirschner, calls the book “a MUST-READ by anyone whose life has been touched by a major illness.”
Tamara said her role as a counselor is to provide emotional support, advice, and guidance to the women who need it. In recent years, she has found many different groups of women who benefit from her advice and support.
By offering diverse resources for caregivers and patients with serious illnesses, Tamara said she feels she is serving her purpose in life.
“It gives me such unbelievable joy when somebody has stepped into their self-worth and self-confidence,” she said. “Self-love thrills me to no end. It’s the most amazing thing and fills me with so much joy. I’m over the moon with happiness.”