Couple Therapy can help you work together...

When individuals enter into a relationship, a whole new world of experiences, both exhilarating and challenging, unfolds. Initially, a couple is in a state of bliss. They are energized by good feelings and each is devoted to the good of the other. Over time, numerous factors may either foster or hinder the couple’s ability to maintain a mutually enhancing relationship

Difficulties can emerge for a variety of reasons:

  • natural developmental shifts in the relationship present challenges  (individual interests change, children arrive or grow up and leave, individuals mature at different rates, individuals may be at different life stages)
  • stressors such as loss of health, job or loved one, work stress, complicated family relations take their toll
  • personality issues can be demanding

Often couples manage to deal with their problems and even become stronger for it. Sometimes, even the hardiest of couples find themselves stuck and need to turn to outside resources for help. These resources can include family, friends, spiritual supports, or counseling and therapy.

The AIM of the therapist 
The therapist aims to provide a safe, non-judgmental setting where the couple can enter into a meaningful conversation. Each individual not only talks about his or her thoughts and feelings but also learns to listen deeply to the other’s thoughts and feelings. In a spirit of cooperation, therapist and couple identify key issues, strengths and gaps. They focus on what’s going right and figure out how to support each other in meeting needs and overcoming obstacles.

Typical issues that arise in couple work include:

  • poor or no communication
  • lack of mutual goals and vision
  • conflict (regarding finances, children, family, responsibilities, personality differences)
  • loss of self in the relationship
  • infidelity or trust issues
  • control issues
  • unfulfilled needs
  • life/ work stress
  • pressure from extended family, friends, (including cultural differences)
  • boredom, lack of romance, unsatisfying sex
  • unresolved past issues that colour partners’ perceptions
  • decisions about whether or not to end the relationship

Approaches
Therapist and couple explore a variety of approaches. Sometimes improving communication skills and understanding of each other is enough. Sometimes practicing to notice what each admires about the other helps. At times, it may be important to do deeper psychological work around unresolved issues of the past. Developing internal and external resources can be critical. New perspectives pave the way to new behaviours. Education, mediation, real-life practice and psychotherapy all play a role in helping a couple to re-discover their lovingness.  In some cases, these approaches can help a couple end their relationship as constructively as they wish.