*** Practice is currently CLOSED to new couples counselling clients***
Are You Struggling To Connect With Your Partner?
Have you and your partner fallen into communication patterns that are taken over by arguing, resentment, or silence?
Are you feeling misunderstood and alone?
Has the dynamic in your relationship become so tense that you're not sure you will ever be able to truly connect emotionally or physically again?
Perhaps unresolved feelings from past or present hurts, such as an affair, have become so built up that you are struggling to feel safe and trusting.
Maybe you're desperate to feel that your partner wants to work with you to heal your relationship.
Or, you might fear that any concerns or issues you bring up will escalate into an argument.
Do you wish you could resolve your relationship issues, feel close with the person you fell in love with and trust in your ability to work through challenges together?
Difficult communication and constant conflict in a long-term relationship can be a frustrating, lonely and painful experience. You may want to engage with your partner, but you don’t know how. Perhaps you feel responsible for your partner’s emotions when he or she is unhappy, which makes you feel bad and causes you to withdraw further. And, if you and your partner have been out of sync and stuck in a routine of chronic criticism or avoidance, you may question if repairing your relationship is possible.
All Couples Face Challenges At Some Point During Their Relationship
A committed relationship means joining your individual life with someone else’s. It requires coming together in love and nurturing a safe and secure bond where both partners feel connected, valued, respected and heard. This can be a complicated process for anyone. As conflict and disconnection become increasingly routine and intense, they can take root in your relationship patterns, making conflicts very difficult to overcome on your own. You may be feeling alone and at a loss for how to heal or fix your relationship, and maybe you've suffered for quite some time before seeking help. If this is the case, you are not alone. On average, couples who are struggling wait six years before they seek guidance from a couples therapist. You may think that you should be able to handle relationship problems on your own, but sometimes outside, professional guidance is needed to help you understand the key reasons why you and your partner are struggling to connect and what you both can do to heal the hurt and communicate in more loving and respectful ways.
Building and maintaining a healthy relationship is one of the most challenging, important and rewarding things we experience in our lives, and experiencing conflict in your relationship is completely normal. With the guidance of an empathic and skilled couples therapist, you can learn to communicate more effectively with your partner and overcome challenges as a team.
Couples Therapy Can Help You Build A Relationship Of Love And Respect
Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) can help you and your partner identify the underlying causes of your problems as well as transform difficult emotions and ways of communicating into opportunities for growth and closeness. My therapy room is a safe space where you both can learn to listen to and respond to each other’s feelings, thoughts and desires, openly express your innermost concerns and needs, and ultimately transform your disconnection into a close and secure bond. Together, we can work toward resolving past wounds, such as infidelity, so that you and your partner can enjoy a new sense of mutual trust, predictability and joy in the relationship.
When you’re able to understand your own feelings, needs and triggers, as well as your partner’s, you will be able to deescalate arising conflict as well as stop conflict from occurring in the future, and this will result in better communication. All relationships have conflict. It's how you handle the conflict that is most important, and relationship counselling can help you learn how to resolve conflict more effectively by bringing the science of relationships to your relationship. In emotion-focused therapy, you and your partner can understand and appreciate the impact of disconnection, start to turn towards each other again rather than away, and heal the difficult emotions you are both experiencing. EFT uses the power of emotion to move clients towards new responses and away from old habits or stuck patterns. In a private and confidential space, you will learn to communicate in ways that allow you both to feel heard, respected and cared for. When you’re able to open up and really hear each other, you can address and overcome challenges as a united team instead of letting conflict drive you further into battle or further apart.
I have been practicing EFT for couples for over 10 years and have helped many partners move from conflict to reconnection. I have helped many couples overcome challenges, including those in long-term relationships, common-law relationships, marriage and couples who are separated and wanting to reconcile. My approach is guided by empirically-validated, research-informed maps that help change a wide-range of issues that couples face, such as high conflict, disconnection, invalidation and relationship injuries, such as infidelity. Over 30 years of EFT research in adult love relationships informs this effective therapeutic approach. In fact, 90 percent of couples who complete emotion-focused therapy report significant improvements in their relationship and 70-75 percent of couples who complete EFT therapy report recovery. With guidance and support from a skilled, empathic therapist who understands what you’re going through, you and your spouse can heal your wounds, learn to communicate your needs effectively and feel confident in your ability to move forward together.
You can move towards a healthier relationship today!
I Can Help You With These Common Issues
Infidelity, affairs, and issues of trust
Conflict, fighting, and feeling disrepected and not valued
Family issues, such as blended families, in-law difficulties, and empty nest adjustment
Distance, disconnection, and loneliness
Frequently Asked Questions
Will marriage counselling really work? If we need professional help, doesn’t that mean it's too late?
There is a lot of stigma attached to couples therapy, and it takes strength to seek out help when you need it. Realizing that you have a problem that you can't solve on your own is a brave step forward. Also, know that encountering issues in a long-term relationship is completely normal. However, if conflict remains unresolved over time, negative emotions, thoughts and behaviors may continue to build and create a seemingly impenetrable wall between you and your partner.
Couples therapy is about understanding how you got to where you are, how you can resolve issues, and what you can do to come back together as the connected and united team that you wish to be. In couples counselling, you and your partner can openly express your needs and receive practical, science-based guidance from me as a non-judgmental, empathic therapist. If you feel far away from one another, both emotionally and physically, or if you’ve been through an affair, you may be close to giving up. But, in a safe, empathic space and with an evidence-based approach, I can guide you on your path to healing and reconnection.
Can you help with affair recovery?
Absolutely! It takes time to recover from affairs and there is more that can be done than just waiting for time to pass and "get over" what has happened. It is possible to heal the injury caused by infidelity. EFT has been found to be highly effective in therapeutic repair work after infidelity, and I have an evidenced-based map to help guide you on your path to healing, rebuilding trust and reconnecting again.
How long are appointments? Do we both attend?
At the beginning of getting to know you, I typically meet for 1 to 2 sessions with both partners. Couples sessions are typically 80-minutes in length. After the first 2 sessions, it is helpful for me to have an individual appointment with each partner. After this assessment phase, we return to couple sessions and move forward towards healing and reconnection!
How often do we meet and for how long?
Deciding on frequency and duration are important parts of the assessment and treatment planning stages of our work together and will be unique to you as a couple. These will depend on factors such as (1) how deep and longstanding your conflicts are, (2) how receptive both of you are to therapy, and (3) how you make use of between-session time on things such as couple homework. Expectations and recommendations for frequency and duration will be important parts of our collaborative first session.
As a general indication, couples often attend between 15 and 20 sessions. Some couples attend for as few as 7-8 sessions and experience rapid changes when both partners are highly motivated for change and issues are not as longstanding. Some couples attend for 20 more more sessions when issues are longstanding, multiple, and complex. Once treatment goals and desired changes have been reached, some couples like to continue with occasional "tune-up" sessions as a way to ensure maintenance of changes as well as have some guidance with common issues that come up in a marriage or relationship.
What if my partner won’t attend?
Couples counselling is most effective when both partners are engaged and committed to repairing the relationship. If your partner is hesitant or reluctant to take part in couples therapy, I’m happy to speak with him or her regarding their concerns. Often times, a partner will be reluctant to attend couples therapy because they fear they will be judged or found to be the "bad" person in the relationship. Couples therapy isn't about finding and fixing the "bad" partner. It's about creating a safe relationship between both partners so they can engage in the therapy process. However, if you are ready to gain a new perspective on your relationship challenges and work individually on saving your relationship because your partner will not attend, Hopeful Spouse Counselling may be for you. Please contact me to discuss relationship therapy for individuals.
Connect. Heal. Thrive.
I invite you to call me at (416) 931-0690 for a free 15-minute phone consultation. We can discuss any questions you have about couples counselling and my practice in Oakville, ON.