Relationship Counselling / Couples Counselling
Working Through Relationship Problems
As your therapist I work with you to reveal and examine the underlying, unconscious patterns that exist. Together we create new, healthier responses through conversation in a calm, neutral setting.
Couples counselling can help you, your spouse, or partner through cases of:
- Substance abuse
- Physical or mental conditions
- Same-sex relationship issues
- Cultural clashes
- Blended families
- Communication problems
- Sexual difficulties
- Conflicts about child rearing
- Changing roles, such as retirement or illness
All relationships navigate through three identifiable phases in order to arrive at a deeper, more intimate connection that is satisfying and long lasting.
The first phase of a relationship is the infatuation phase. During this phase of a relationship you observe your mate from rose coloured glasses and typically view their behaviors as endearing. Somewhere at the point of making a more lasting commitment the infatuation phase ends and what you initially percieved as endearing now becomes a source of frustration.
The second phase is the conflict phase, where the common result is you find yourself caught in a perpetual power struggle. Unfortunately, many relationships don’t successfully complete the journey, becoming stuck in the second phase. All of your partner’s idiosyncrasies that you initially found so endearing in the infatuation phase have now become a source of irritation in the conflict stage.
At the beginning of the relationship you believed your partner had the capacity to do it all, such as satisfy un-met childhood needs (eg; express love and affection), nurture you in a consistent and loving way and be eternally available to you. However, when your partner unwittingly responds to you in a way similar to how your parents dealt with you that caused emotional damage (eg; withdrew affection when not liking how you behaved) you respond by becoming hurt or angry, and acting in ways you did as a child (eg; withdrawing; fixing and rescuing).
When you act in old familiar ways to your upbringing you are bringing your baggage into the relationship. That explains why an individual who was raised in a physically abusive environment with alcoholic parents will typically find a partner who is either abusive and/or alcoholic. Remarkably, this is still a comfort zone. It doesn’t have to be positive to be your comfort zone, it just needs to be familiar.
When you notice that you are in the conflict stage of your relationship it is time to fix things in order to assist the relationship to navigate to a deeper place of intimacy.
Every successful relationship makes it to the final phase. The transition to the point where they are able to put forth their most vulnerable and painful areas of their life, establish deeper emotional connections and trust that their partner will be there to support them.
Your mate simply acts as a beacon to point out your old patterns that you continue to repeat over and over again in your present relationship without successful change.
Whether you are working towards rebuilding your relationship, or are intending to separate, relationship counselling can assist you in developing a deeper understanding of your relationship and make well-thought-out decisions.
Regardless of your intentions – to stay in, or leave the relationship, Relationship Counselling delivers strategies to help couples resolve their conflicts. It encourages communication, opens up differences, assists in problem solving and even encourages arguing in a healthier way.
Relationship therapy utilizes conversation, in a neutral, calm setting, to encourage and emphasize, openness and respect. There are many causes for distress in a relationship. When these issues are not resolved in a timely manner they begin to fester and can worsen an already difficult situation. It isn’t uncommon for individuals in a troubled relationship to develop physical or psychological problems such as headaches or depression. Chronic issues in a relationship can spill over and affect job performance, other family members or even friendships.