If you’re like many of the people I see for Couples Therapy, you might find the following thoughts or feelings about your partner familiar:

  • he/she/they doesn’t/don’t love me anymore
  • this is never going to get any better, so why bother trying
  • he/she/they needs/need to grow up!
  • did we ever love each other?
  • my partner feels more like a flatmate
  • we can never agree on anything
  • better not to argue… then I’ll be safe
  • my partner thinks they’re always right
  • we don’t have anything in common anymore
  • will we ever have sex again?
  • can I ever forgive him/her/them?
  • we keep having the same arguments about the same things
  • if I’m really honest, this is just so hurtful and I don’t know if I can stay

During sessions with me, couples often report that they’ve been able to:

  • improve their capacity to do conflict well
  • get better at communicating their needs
  • find a renewed sense of appreciation and respect for each other as well as improved intimacy
  • heal old relationship wounds
  • understand how an affair happened
  • forgive a partner who has been unfaithful & create a new relationship together
  • feel more connected to and understood by their partner
  • talk about topics that have previously been taboo, such as sex, money, in-laws, and parenting styles (to name a few)
  • discover if they want to stay together or separate

However, Couples Therapy is not a magic bullet and it doesn’t work for everyone:

According to a 2011 journal article in the Archives of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, for Couples Therapy to be successful, both partners:

  • must be trying to improve the relationship
  • want to undertake therapy for mutual support or help with problem-solving.
  • want to prevent or solve problems in their current relationship that caused previous relationships to fail.
  • want to prevent an accumulation of difficulties and strengthen their bond.

The same articles suggests that when Couples therapy usually doesn’t work, there is:

  • there is a history of abuse or violence between partners (can include emotional, physical or sexual abuse).
  • there is an active or untreated mental illness or addiction with one (or both) partners.
  • one or both parties are engaged in infidelity and lack the motivation to give those outside relationships up for the good of the primary relationship.
  • one or both parties have already made the decision to separate or divorce.

If you’re experiencing any of the difficulties mentioned above, I encourage you to start with individual therapy and actively engage in working on those issues before you try Couples Therapy

I invite you to get in touch to see if I might be a good fit for your individual work. I offer all potential clients a free 20 minute Zoom consultation for this purpose.

How sessions work:

I practice the Gottman method of Couples Therapy and am trained to level 3 in this approach. The Gottman method is a well-researched and supportive approach designed to help people build healthier relationships.

The treatment starts with a thorough assessment:

  1. The Joint Interview: we’ll spend most of this time exploring your history together as a couple.
  2. The Written Assessment: you’ll answer questions about topics that include your friendship and intimacy, how well you believe you know your partner, how you manage your emotions and conflict together, how you share your values and goals, and what gives meaning to your lives. There are additional questions about parenting, housework, finances, trust, and individual areas of concern.
  3. The Individual Interviews: we split this session in two and I’ll meet each of you individually. This gives me a chance to get to know you better and ask any questions I might have based on your responses in the written assessment.
  4. The Feedback and Planning Session: We’ll review your results and talk about the strengths we can build on along with the areas that we can develop to ensure an improvement in the health of your relationship.

The treatment phase then follows. The Gottman’s research suggests that massing the sessions as much as possible at the start of treatment gets the best outcomes, so we’ll be keeping this in mind as we plan how frequently we meet and in what format.

Once couples have gotten to the point where they’re using the skills and engaging differently outside of sessions, we start to taper off. We bring sessions to a close at the point that the couple have fully integrated the changes and are confident of their abilities to engage with their partner in healthy ways.

If this sounds like something you believe your relationship would benefit from, I invite you to book in for a free 20-minute consultation with your partner to find out if I’d be a good fit for you.