Couples Counselling: How do we change what we’re experiencing as a couple?
What is Couples Counselling?
Couples counselling or couples therapy helps you and your partner(s) change the parts of your experience that aren’t working well for you anymore.
For couples, this might include explorations such as
How can we listen to each other better?
How do we become closer, even when we don’t agree?
How can our relationship become a safe place for us?
Couples counselling will help restructure your communication patterns so that you can then discuss important issues you are having trouble navigating. Often, couples come to couples counselling or therapy when they are on the brink of ending the relationship. I welcome you to come to therapy in this space, and I also encourage couples to consider counselling even if the relationship isn’t in crisis but there are still important issues to discuss.
In my experience, couples who are considering therapy have something ‘right’ with them rather than something ‘wrong’ with them. It takes courage and a commitment to the relationship to engage in couples work. As a Clinical Psychologist, I feel very lucky to be working with the kind and inspiring people who are my clients, and helping them discover and become more of who they are in connection with each other. I welcome all clients, including clients in polyamorous relationships or other relationship constellations.
Who Can Benefit from Couples Counselling?
Couples therapy is designed for couples who want a space to explore their communication patterns and navigate issues/conflicts they have had trouble resolving. Often couples come to counselling when they are experiencing frequent, intense conflict; longstanding misalignment on key issues/goals (e.g., finances, decision whether or not to have children); or have a specific topic in mind that they would like to explore in depth (e.g., how do we balance time as a couple with time with extended family). Couples can benefit from counselling at all stages of the relationship, and especially in advance of or during important life transitions (e.g., long term commitment, pregnancy, aging parents, death/illness). I practice a type of couples counselling called Emotion Focused Therapy which facilitates couples to change how they communicate to share more vulnerable emotions. This type of couples counselling does not work well when one or more parties in the relationship are having an active affair (i.e., not consensually agreed upon) or there is any abuse occurring in the relationship, and so for this reason I cannot work with couples in these situations.
You can also learn more about Emotion Focused Therapy here:
For couples who are generally getting along well and want a venue to explore key issues before commitment to marriage or other forms of commitment (e.g., common law, moving in together): you may be more interested in premarital counselling.
What Are the Benefits of Couples Counselling?
Online couples therapy can give you and your partner the excitement and tenderness of your relationship back. I will help you restructure how you communicate to share your more vulnerable feelings and needs with each other so that you can ask for (and receive) what you need from one another. In exploring these feelings, you will learn more about yourself, and you will also learn how to transform these emotions with the help of your partner, decreasing stress and increasing intimacy for both of you. After this foundation has been established, I will help you navigate any specific issues you may be facing together so that you can face life and its challenges together as a team.
My Couples Counselling Approach
I will develop a customized treatment plan for you based on your needs and preferences. I practice Emotion Focused Couples Therapy, which involves working together to get beneath the surface level emotions (often anger, defensiveness, disappointment or apathy) to access and explore your more vulnerable feelings. In exploring these feelings, you will learn more about yourself, and you will also learn how to tolerate and transform these emotions with the help of your partner. This decreases stress and increases intimacy for both members. I also draw heavily on Narrative Therapy, which privileges the couple's and clients' knowledge and expertise, and supports couples to rewrite the stories that larger entities and systems may have authored.
Couples Counselling Fees
$300/50 minute session
Book a Free Couples Counselling Consultation
Please use the contact form below to get in touch if you would like to book a free initial 20 minute conversation about virtual couples therapy or to ask any questions. I welcome questions and comments from folks at all stages of their journey, whether you’re researching options, curious about therapy, or ready to book an appointment.