Relationships are never easy. Even the good ones.
The truth is, nothing triggers us like our closest relationships do. Why? Because relationships activate the unhealed parts of our being and reflect back to us our own unresolved pain and deep-rooted fears.
“Relationships are laboratories of the spirit. They are hospitals of the soul. They are the places where the wounds that we hold will be brought up because that’s the only way they can be healed”. – Marianne Williamson
The more time we spend with someone, the more likely it is that we will experience challenges and stressors that test the stability and security of our relationship. Long-term relationships naturally change over time as they progress through a series of predictable developmental stages; and let’s be honest, we as humans tend to find change difficult.
There are typical ways that all relationships end up managing the disappointments and differences we encounter with one another. These can develop into anticipated cycles of blame, criticism, judgement, avoidance, withdrawal, and reactivity. Ordinary events such as misunderstandings and external stressors can trigger disproportionate reactions between partners as we try and control, avoid, and disarm painful triggers from the past.
When you’re on the inside of a relationship, it’s nearly impossible to view it objectively. And while the idea of relationship counselling may initially feel intimidating, the benefit of having an impartial and experienced guide to help you untangle dysfunctional patterns and re-establish connection can prove to be invaluable.
There’s a fine line between normal relationship stress and more serious problems. If you and your loved one are struggling with any of the following, relationship counselling can help:
I am guided by and trained in a number of therapeutic approaches, such as: Emotionally Focused Therapy, Developmental Couples Counselling, and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy. I am consistently up to date on the latest evidenced based research so you can be sure that you are receiving the most progressive and effective counselling possible.
My approach to relationship counselling focuses on the growth and development of each partner individually in addition to the growth and development of the relationship as a unit. I believe this model is essential to the therapeutic process because: a) so many of our relationship difficulties are attached to the projections of our own core wounds and underlying fears and b) the relationship itself is essentially a separate entity with the same needs we all have: love, connection, compassion, attention, and energy.
While it may be necessary to express to your loved one what is bothering you, our sessions will also focus on personal responsibility and accountability because this is the only way for any relationship to improve. When we are fixated on waiting for our partner to change, it is highly disempowering and usually results in a stalemate. Personal growth is an integral aspect of our work because ultimately, we cannot become a more effective partner if we are not willing to look within and find the courage to change our own unhelpful ways of being. If both partners make this choice…you will learn to grow together and the relationship will improve substantially.
While we each have our own levels of comfort in sharing personal thoughts and feelings, there is a minimum level of communication that must occur in order to maintain a healthy relationship. Once I have an accurate assessment of your unique interactions with one another, I can help you to better understand the unmet needs that underlie these patterns and co-create more effective ways to restore feelings of love, trust, security, playfulness, and connection.