When our relationship is not going well, we are in pain.
Constant fighting, distance, disconnection, feeling shut out by our partner and that we can’t reach them, not being able to communicate, and betrayals like affairs, leave us feeling hurt, alone, and distressed.
As partners struggle to deal with these feelings and distress grows, their best attempts to get their emotional needs met trigger the other’s panic, fear, and distress, and each reacts to this in self-protective ways. Couples then get caught in a negative, reactive cycle that starts to take on a life of its own. Usually when couples come to come counselling, they are stuck and feel that they “can’t communicate anymore”. This negative cycle then further entrenches the distance and disconnection between a couple, and the sense of helplessness and despair about whether it can change. Underlying the endless fights and arguments about issues such as parenting, responsibilities, finances, sex, and money, are deeper needs and fears such as,
“Are you there for me when I need you?”,
“Do I matter deeply to you?”,
“Does our connection matter to you?” and
“Will you reject or abandon me?”
How I Can Help…
I have over 15 years of experience in working with couples and am extensively trained in a well-researched and evidence-based approach called Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), which has been shown to be highly effective for couples in helping them bring about deeper level and long-term changes to their relationship, regardless of how distressed they are when they first come to therapy. EFT has over 25 years of research supporting its effectiveness, with studies showing that 70 to 75% of couples move from distress to recovery and 90% show significant improvements in relationship satisfaction. EFT has also been shown to be effective for couples impacted by specific issues including, but not limited to, depression, chronic illness, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
In therapy sessions with me:
- Couples experience a safe, supportive, and validating space where I can help them get to the heart of the issues that are underlying their conflict
- I work with couples to get to these deeper needs and fears, express these in a clear way, and respond to each other’s needs differently
- Couples are able to make long term and deeper level changes in their relationships, rather than just learning general “communication skills”
- Couples find they then have the capacity to deal with the surface issues that they used to fight about.
I have helped many couples build a more secure bond and emotional connection and am also experienced in working with couples impacted by issues such as trauma, mental health struggles, and grief and loss.
“To love at all is to be vulnerable.
Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken.
If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal.
Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements.
Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.
But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken; it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable.
To love is to be vulnerable.”
Issues couples come to see me with:
- Affairs, betrayals, and broken trust
- Lack of connection and emotional distance
- Conflict and fighting
- Difficulties with intimacy
- Relationship dissatisfaction
- Communication difficulties
- Separation and divorce
- Life transitions and adjustment to change
- Parenting and extended family issues
- Step-family and blended family dynamics
- Relationships impacted by issues such as trauma, mental health struggles, chronic illness, infertility, grief and loss