DOES ANY OF THE FOLLOWING SOUND FAMILIAR?
- "I love my partner, I just don't know if I'm still 'in love' with him (her)."
- "We just seem to have the same fight over and over and never get anywhere."
- "She (he) never listens to my point of view. Our communication is awful."
- "Our sex life is non-existent; we're like pleasant roommates who have no real connection."
- "My partner (or I) have had an affair."
- "We can't agree on anything - how to keep the house clean, how to spend/save our money, how to raise the kids..."
- "I didn't think finally finding someone that I loved would end up feeling like this."
Feeling disconnected in our intimate relationships can have a powerful impact on all other areas of our lives, and awaken some of our deepest fears and insecurities. We may have a difficult time managing our own heightened emotional state - let alone responding (rather than reacting) to our partner - and find ourselves either shutting down or defending ourselves by ruminating on the many ways our partner is a disappointment.
WHAT HAPPENS IN RELATIONSHIP COUNSELLING?
In relationship counselling it is the relationship (rather than the individuals in that relationship) that is the client. We begin therapy by getting to know that relationship; when it works (or used to work), when and how it disconnects, and what it wants or needs to get reconnected. I often suggest that we start relationship counselling with a commitment to 4 sessions:
- a couples session to discuss the current circumstances and the concerns that have brought you to therapy
- an individual session with each partner (to learn more about his/her individual perspective, background, and desired outcomes)
- another couples session in which we clarify the issues involved and begin to craft a path towards a desired resolution
RELATIONSHIP COUNSELLING IS AIMED AT HELPING COUPLES MOVE:
Love never dies a natural death. It dies because we don't know how to replenish its source. It dies of blindness and errors and betrayals. It dies of illness and wounds; it dies of weariness, of witherings, of tarnishings.
- Anais Nin
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