A sad fact of being in a relationship is that our feelings for our partner are likely to change over time, this may happen for many different reasons. Our interests, values and needs may be vastly different from those of our partner; the demands of work, being a parent, or a sudden life event can have a huge influence on our relationships, sometimes it feels that the person we once were attracted to has been replaced by somebody we scarcely recognise. It slowly becomes harder and harder to talk honestly and openly . . .
Communication problems often lie at the heart of most relationship difficulties, without good communication we begin to see our partner negatively.
This can fuel behaviours such as constant arguing, blaming, criticising or avoiding.
John Gottman, who has spent 30 years researching relationships, lists what he has found to be the four most destructive behaviours as; Criticism, Contempt, Shaming and Stonewalling (Blanking)
Often the only option couples are able to see, in such dire circumstances, is to end their relationship, bury their feelings, and try to move on. Unfortunately, this often leads to a repeat of circumstances in new relationships further down the line, unless the underlying root cause(s) have been worked through, and the important lessons learnt and integrated.
As a couple therapist, I facilitate new ways of communicating that can help transform and heal past experiences, not only in terms of how couples relate to each other, but more crucially, how as individuals they relate to themselves – allowing outdated perspectives and defences to be challenged.
Whether couples decide to end their relationship or continue to move forward together, as a counsellor and therapist I offer couples the opportunity to get a deeper understanding of the underlying issues that caused their relationship to decline or ultimately fail. In this way, couples can free themselves from outdated behaviour patterns that create repeating conflict, and look forward to a brighter future.
Such stressful conditions may create:
> Infidelity, Breach of trust
> Return of old /unresolved issues from the past
> No longer having good sex; or sex addiction issues
> Depression, feeling trapped, ‘ going round in circles”
> Anger, rejection, loss of confidence
> Increased intake of alcohol or substance abuse
> Destructive behaviours including violence
I work to provide the skills to enable couples to:
> Listen and understand more about each other
> Communicate more easily
> Resolve conflicts without hurting each other
> Negotiate through difficulties, finding solutions
> Recover the love, trust and respect
If you want to make changes in your relationship:
I ask that both of you are willing to put in time and effort to work on the relationship
You are prepared to treat each other and myself with respect
You both are committed to the process and agree to attend the sessions we collectively decide upon