couples counselling

Is it time to start couple’s counselling?

When a couple decides to seek out a therapist, it’s generally because they’ve exhausted all attempts to deal with the problem on their own. They have been struggling for awhile and started spinning their wheels. They end up repeating the same patterns over and over again within the relationship. They may have difficulty communicating effectively or they may get stuck in a pattern where one partner withdraws and the other partner pursues.

One partner may feel unloved and uncared for – causing them to criticize, attack, demand and blame.

At the same time, the other partner may feel rejected, worthless, and insignificant – causing them to withdraw and shut down emotionally in order to reduce the conflict within the relationship.

One partner  – the pursuer – might be yelling, while the other is silent and withdrawn

The pursuer or the withdrawer may feel unloved and uncared for by their partner or feel as though their partner is slipping away. One or both of the partners may feel unsafe and emotionally disconnected by their partner, causing them to feel insecure, fearful and alone in the relationship.

There is HOPE for the relationship!

The couple can learn new relationship skills! The problems that are experienced within a relationship are generally brought on by

  • negative beliefs
  • suppressed emotions
  • unmet needs
  • unhealthy communication patterns, and
  • lack of understanding, particularly of the dysfunctional dynamics the couple is locked into.

Once the couple has made the decision to reach out for support, we can then begin to guide the healing process.

Here’s how the process might unfold…

At first, the couple will learn about the de-escalation of their conflict. They will begin the process of learning to have compassion, empathy and a deeper understanding for each other and of what has been happening within their relationship.

If you tend to withdraw:

  • you will learn how to understand, acknowledge and be aware of how you are feeling.
  • you will no longer default to continued distancing patterns of behavior.
  • you will be better equipped to effectively communicate their needs to their partner openly and honestly.

If you tend to pursue:

  • will learn how to understand their partner, and discern how to change their approach
  • no longer communicate with a general attitude of blame, anger, criticism and resentment.
  • instead, communicate with more sensitivity and vulnerability, and reach out to your partner for acceptance, comfort and reassurance that everything will be okay in moving forward.

Don’t be stuck in patterns of conflict, painful disconnection and isolation. Learn how to stop the negative cycle of conflict and replace it with more open communication. Call Debbie for a 30 minute free consultation

My girlfriend and I had not been communicating effectively and began feeling disconnected due to both of our high stress levels. Debbie helped us to focus on what was most important (our relationship!) and helped us improve our communication. She gave us strategies to manage stress and not let it get in between us. We have been feeling better and have repaired our bond together. Thank you Debbie!

H.C. (Abbotsford BC)

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