Often in relationships, communication comes to a halt when we feel blamed or criticised. When this happens, we naturally prepare our self-defence and in the process, we stop listening. Relationship therapy gives you the opportunity to develop your listening skills to understand your partner better, as well as the ability to express yourself more effectively in a nonthreatening way.
Research indicates that early attachment patterns inform our unconscious choices of relationships as adults. For this reason, I may draw a family tree to help you better understand your early attachment styles and how they influence your choice of partner in adulthood.
Please keep in mind that the purpose of couples counselling is not to fix an ailing relationship at all cost, but to work towards the best outcome. Whatever the outcome, you are likely to learn a lot about your partner and your relationship, and about yourself too.
When a relationship is going through some difficulties and communication between partners seems to be slowly breaking down, one of the issues that often emerges is the lack of intimacy.
By slowly absorbing the safety and trust established in therapy and by replicating it outside, your capacity for entering a shared intimate space would increase. Within that intimacy, that willingness to acknowledge and share your hopes, needs and anxieties, old patterns would hopefully shift and transformation and healing will take place.
No partner can meet all our needs, of course, but when we become aware that the basics, whether it’s affection, conversation or sex are just not working between us, it’s clearly time to talk. Talking at this stage can be really difficult - there may be growing resentments that means when we do talk, there’s simply just anger and blaming.
Even small changes made by one partner inevitably bring about changes in the other, so it’s possible to gain perspective and more sense of being able to achieve change even when only one partner attends relationship counselling.
If you think you might like to work with me, please contact me.