Couples & Marriage Counselling
Do you find yourself thinking about your relationship and how it got to where it presently is? You may be feeling lonely, betrayed, resentful and unloved. There is negative conflict and you may even be thinking of separation and divorce.
I provide couples and marriage counselling in person and via video conferencing online. My approach is informed by four decades of evidence based couples research and therapists including John and Julie Gottman, Susan Johnson, and Stan Tatkin. I can help you to heal past hurts and learn practical tools and exercises to (re) create and (re) generate your relationship.
A happy, healthy and strong relationship benefits your health and wellbeing and provides the structure for attachment love and feeling safe. Research shows that a good relationship improves your physical, emotional and psychological health and wellbeing, ability to cope with stress, and your work performance and relationships with family, friends and colleagues.
Happy, healthy and strong relationships do not happen automatically and take willingness and commitment from you both to work at making the relationship successful. Studying what makes a successful relationship, John Gottman’s research identified two broad types of couples that he called masters of relationships and disasters of relationships.
The masters of relationships treated each other with respect and gentle kindness when they argue and they think, feel and behave in ways that creates a deep connection between them. Masters are able to lean on each other and they foster friendship and appreciation as well as build each other’s goals and aspirations.
In contrast to the masters, the disasters of relationships experience significant stress, anxiety and negative conflict. They rarely turn towards each other, show appreciation or give positive feedback to each other. They use the toxic behaviours of contempt, criticism, defensiveness and stonewalling to manage conflict and they do not actively listen to each other.
I can provide you with techniques to build a happy, healthy and strong relationship where you both feel closer to each other and experience the relationship as more meaningful. I will help you to resolves the issues that you are gridlocked over and improves your ability to manage the perpetual issues that keep coming up.
There are three phases of this evidence based approach to couples and marriage counselling. In the first phase, you both see me for a 90minute session and I explore why you have decided to come to couples counselling now and I take a history of your relationship to get a picture of it over time. Between the first and second session, you both complete a comprehensive evidence based assessment online. Then, I see each of you individually for 45minutes each, ideally on the same day, so that I can understand your unique history and perspective. Following this session, we meet together again for a 90minute session where I give you feedback and recommendations for a treatment plan. If you decide to make the commitment to 3-6months of weekly or fortnightly couples and marriage counselling, I schedule your appointments and then we begin the work of couples counselling.
You may benefit from couples and marriage counselling if
- You feel lonely, disconnected and unloved
- You disagree about money
- You don’t communicate and listen to what is important for each other
- There is little or no affection and sex is just not happening
- You are criticising each other, or constantly fighting about an issue that never seems to get resolved
- An affair has occurred or some other significant betrayal. Perhaps your partner has suggested an open relationship or you want one
- You resent that your partner has a career and you gave up your career to stay at home with the kids
- You can’t agree how to raise the children or in-laws are a problem for one or both of you
- You are considering a separation
- You have fertility issues or lost a child