Couple therapy works best if you have more goals for yourself than your partner. Sessions begin with both partners. The aim of therapy is to promote and accomplish a process of healing through increased compassion and behaviour change. The moments of passion, communication and genuine interest in each other that used to be there give way over time to disillusionment and despair. We recognize that couples need their hurt and suffering to be understood in a safe and neutral place where they can be listened to and where they can give voice to their truths. We will do our best to balance out resentments, anger and provide the couple an opportunity to vent their feelings. Most hope their partner will do the changing. We have discovered that it is much easier to change yourself than trying to change your partner.
What we are not:
A common misconception of couples is that they will go to an impartial counsellor who will be a referee. This will lead to arguments from our experience. It is easy to build a strong case for why the other should do the changing and improving. We feel that the key is when both individuals are willing to “hold” their partner’s upset to minimize criticism and defensiveness.
We will first assess the problem, which will include the relationship and individual issues. We will identify emotional states, individual defenses, and work towards fostering new behaviours that should assist in building healthier communication. Cycles and patterns will be identified and each individual will be encouraged to look at their own behaviour and how that may impact their partner. Trust can be reestablished when you increase your knowledge about your partner’s injured feelings.
Change takes time and can feel risky especially when trust feels so broken.