Couples Counselling – Relationship Therapy – Marriage Counselling
Common areas presented in couples therapy include: frequent arguing or lack of Communication, inability to reach a specific Decision, lack of Intimacy, feelings of Jealousy & Insecurity, reluctance to Commit, strong Emotions, issues with power & control that can lead to domestic Violence or family violence and, post Separation.
Talk Together provides couples with a discrete and safe place to assist with communication, intimacy, trust, disconnection and repairing old wounds.
When I work with couples I am mindful that each person comes into therapy with their own unique past and personality and as a result, their experience of life will be perceived differently. Thus, I emphasise the importance of maintaining a position of neutrality, honesty and respect.
My approach in couples or relationship counselling is multi- theoretical and incorporates ideas from Emotionally Focused Therapy, Attachment Therapy, Systemic and Cybernetic Family Therapy, Gestalt Therapy, Amago Techniques, Narrative Therapy, Client Centred Approach, Inner Child Therapy and Developmental and Gender Therapy.
I emphasise the importance of working through relational processing and examining the relationship between partners and aspects of self.
Together, we work to identify (explicitly or implicitly), patterns or rules that govern interactions between the two of you.
These patterns can be destructive to the relationship and are often related to past relationship or attachment styles resulting in communication misunderstanding, obstacles to intimacy and trust, blocks to commitment, struggles for power and control and, strong emotional reactions.
Strong or under regulated emotional reactions can be related to past experiences or, current contextual framework. Together we work to make meaning of the source of these emotional reactions.
It is here that I may initiate constructive couple talk to make changes in the way individuals relate to each other. I understand that the importance of communication entails both content and process. Content refers to what you are actually saying. The meaning is overt and taken at face value. When I talk about process in couples counseling, I am referring to how statements are made. It can be thought of as contextual cues that are associated with the content; any use of language and the emotion and beliefs conveyed within the message.
I may utilise the immediacy of the moment to actively work through interactional processes. As the two of you begin to be aware of the various destructive reactive styles, a new way of relating is presented in the session that is more real and authentic. This process initiates a profound and new way of interacting with each other.
If I sense that certain aspects of self is getting in the way of an individual making changes that is affecting their relationship I may suggest individual counselling sessions as a temporary intervention.
Finally, part of my role is to collaboratively explore whether the two of you fit will together and, it may be necessary to work through the process of separation.
We are all aware that violence in the family creates division, conflict and long-term resentment that damages and destroys relationships. What we are often not aware of is why and how this family discord occurs.
When working with partners I am mindful that domestic violence is a product of social and gendered messages, partly because of a person’s inherent disposition and, as a result of learned conditioning. Certain messages from family and society create an imbalance of power within the family system. It is within this context that I am sensitive and mindful of each person’s current context, psychological vulnerabilities and, your personal background and history.
Domestic violence is when one person controls, intimidates, abuses, harasses and / or puts down the other partner to such an extent that the partner feels intimated, fearful, unsafe and small. In light of this, I value the importance of safety, confidentiality and respect.
Ideally, it is preferable for the couple to work through these various challenges together. At times, where stuck patterns of behaviour are preventing integration of learning, I may suggest temporarily individual counselling.