compassionate therapy to help make relationships work
It might be time to consider couples therapy if –
You fight more than you express kindness to each other
You recently experienced a transition (job change, house move, bereavement, having children)
You are unhappy, but you cannot pinpoint why
You have significantly different hopes and expectations for the relationship
You are in fundamental disagreement about how to raise your children
You coexist rather than enjoy each other’s company
You would like to explore issues before you enter into a commitment, for example you are considering premarital counseling
You struggle to manage boundaries in your relationship, including boundaries with family members, friends, or use of social media
One or more of you is experiencing depression, anxiety, addiction, or anger management issues in your relationship
How can couples counseling help?
It takes a great deal of effort to admit that something is wrong in a relationship. And it takes even more effort to do something about it. Life gets in the way: After your children, career, parents and friends, it is hard to give your relationship any sort of attention. But an unhappy relationship can end up impacting on those other parts of your life, including your children, your career, and your personal wellbeing.
Couples therapy (otherwise known as relationship counseling, couples counseling or marriage counseling) offers you a neutral setting to work through your difficulties. Often it is hard for the people in a relationship to notice patterns of behaviour, so a professional can offer that insight. I will work hard to ensure that all perspectives are heard and understood.
The solution can sometimes be as simple as fine-tuning communication patterns within your relationship. Or perhaps there are unresolved issues from your past. Couples therapy is a confidential space to explore those issues, somewhere you can be heard and understood.
Sometimes a relationship is dominated by the ‘tyranny of the shoulds’. This phrase was coined by Karen Horney, and it basically suggests that we have an idea of how we should live, how others should treat us, and how society as a whole should be. When our expectations do not match reality, we can end up experiencing distress. In a relationship, there are multiple sets of ‘shoulds’, thereby increasing the risk of distress.
To help with this, we need to identify our ‘shoulds’. And we need to identify the 'shoulds' of our loved ones. Then we can negotiate and decide which 'shoulds' are mandatory for the relationship, and which we are willing to concede. I can help you with this.