Relationship Therapy

Relationship Therapy

Getting to the heart of what’s cooking in your relationship

A particular area of focus for me is working with couples to navigate the terrain of their relationships.

We usually embark on relationships with hope and good intent. We believe in the positives of committing to our partner.

How do relationships that seemed to be ‘cooking with fire’ at the start, end up extinguished and stagnant or destroyed by the fire of conflict?

Popular culture seeds in us the myth of finding ‘the one true love’ and of a romance where we are the centre of each other’s worlds and prioritise our partner’s needs. Forever.

We hear how, if we chose correctly, our partners make us feel complete, energised, happy and safe. Forever.

Reality is different. Relationships have much to deal with and ‘forever’ is a long time. Time does not stand still, and our worlds are in perpetual motion. We each grow and change. Events and environments shift our perspectives. While we are distracted by everything we need to manage in life, our relationship evolves to a point beyond recognition. We find ourselves a long way from the romance we initially embarked on.

Mostly, couples struggle alone before reaching out for help, perpetuating the myth of the perfect, self-sufficient, romance. Their decision to come to therapy is a ‘last resort’. Sadly, by this time, their resources are low, the relationship is in crisis and things can feel hopeless.

What triggers a couple to seek therapy might include:

  • A major significant event has knocked the relationship off course (trauma, illness, loss, grief).
  • Multiple issues that have built up over time. Their intensity and impact on the relationship have amplified.
  • A belief that the relationship is at risk.
  • The decision to separate.
  • A desire to move the relationship forward in a different way and to grow.
  • A new relationship where couples want to invest in groundwork from the start and explore how they complement and challenge each other.

Together, we can explore the above as well as anything else you may wish to navigate.

Couple’s Therapy with me

I believe couples who come to therapy want something to change. It is a courageous act in honour of the relationship. Their task is not an easy one. They arrive bearing a great deal of distress and a complex story of how they have arrived at their current position.

I am passionate about supporting couples in this difficult endeavour and have specialised training and years of experience to offer. I work to help them better understand their struggles and the impact on the relationship as it stands. I aim to create a safe enough space for the difficult conversations, the ones that no one wants to have. The therapeutic environment is one of holding and containment so that the couple can slow down their process and begin to listen to their partner as well as feeling heard themselves.

The focus of our sessions together is the relationship co-created between you as a couple. Essentially there are three of us working on this jointly, each paying attention to the dynamics being communicated and those generated within the session itself. Given this focus, it is important that you attend sessions as a couple. I tend not to see each partner individually.

A couple needs to feel safe enough with each other to speak openly and honestly about the struggles they face. If it becomes clear that we cannot meet together in the same space and work effectively, I will explore the option of referring each partner separately for individual therapy prior to reconvening the couple sessions.

If your partner does not wish to attend therapy, it does not mean that you cannot seek support about your relationship. We can arrange to meet for individual sessions. Should you decide at a later date to work together in couples therapy then you would need to find another therapist to do this with.

Talking together with me in therapy is different to talking to friends or family. I am independent and am interested in you getting the outcome that serves you best as a couple. Sometimes this means reviewing and renewing afresh your commitment to each other, or it may mean that you decide to end the relationship and separate. I will support you in reaching these decisions in a considered way.

How to choose a therapist