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Blue Mountains
Blue Mountains

Couples Therapy

The spiral down...

Long term committed relationships, like individuals, go through stages in their life cycle.  In the beginning open communication seemed so easy.  There may have seemed to be a seamlessness to the couple.  The "two" may really have seemed to become "one". 

As time went on into later stages, dissappointment emerged, dissappointment that these feelings could not be sustained.  Over time these feelings may have deepened into strong feelings of isolation, devaluation, being disliked, or simply a profound dissatisfaction with your partner and yourself.

Focusing on the big picture...
Couples therapy offers an opportunity to reflect on your relationship in ways that promote a deepening awareness of yourself and the ways in which each of you contribute to the ongoing difficulties.  Each partner is asked to reflect on their own contribution to the ongoing struggle with an open mind looking toward behavior change.  Likewise, each partner is asked to listen to the other, as each of us wants our partner to understand "...where I'm coming from." 

The RELATIONSHIP finds the solutions...

It is important to know that therapy for couples is NOT about simply having a referee or mediator to help settle disputes over individual conflicts or having a place to go and just get rid of accumulated anger, in the naive hope that catharsis is curative.  Neither partner is "wrong" and in need of fixing.  It is the RELATIONSHIP itself that is the "patient." 

While feelings can run strong and intense, partners need to learn ways to communicate their unique experience of eachother and their relationship, without shaming or blaming one and other.  When you feel hurt in your relationship, healing requires a way to process those wounds and repair the damage within the context of the relationship.  The relationship itself is asked to "hold" those wounds and the relationship works on the repair.  In this way each partner transforms wounds into healing for the other.  Subsequently, through this intimate experience, growth resumes for the couple.

It's about exploration, not explanation...

Couples therapy provides a forum within which the couple has the opportunity to explore and reflect on their "system of relatedness."  Together they explore their "dance."  They explore the way in which each partner brings unhealed wounds to their ongoing relationship. 

Each partner is asked to reflect on the contributions they make to the perpetuation of their unique "dance".  Couples therapy stands the greatest liklihood of helping the couple when each member is willing and able to look at themselves in a non-defensive way and learn about how their behavior impacts their partner.

The "work" of couples therapy...

During work with couples it is often important to help each partner learn to contain and hold strong feelings within themselves.  In so doing, a sense of emotional safety and trust can re-develop for each partner, thus enhancing greater emotional intimacy.

The couple is encouraged to strengthen their communication skills so challanges from within the relationship can be processed with enhanced satisfaction. The couple is also asked to examine and change important behaviors and to tolerate the risk involved in doing so.

In changing their "dance", to now include "new steps," the goal is to break the old patterns they were locked into and allow for greater fluidity between their "coupled" and separate selves.

If this sounds appealing to you and you wish to discuss arranging a consultation, please feel free to call me directly or use the APPOINTMENT REQUEST.   

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