I am a relational couples therapist, which means I emphasise holding awareness of self, other, and the relationship. It is a powerful framework for guiding couples therapy. My primary work is to help each member of the couple hold this relational awareness. Sitting with a couple, one can begin to “see” the relationship as it exists between and around the two people and to work on the qualities, dynamics, and history of the relationship, and the vision of the relationship in the future. I also view this specific relationship being shaped by a network of others — the couple’s extended family, the culture and historical context, the friends and work colleagues, and in the larger world.
I look at relationships as living things that thrive on awareness and work. The zest and vitality of a couple’s relationship comes from movement — not from connection alone, but from growth in connection. I find that using the relational model and bringing a sustained seriousness to the challenge of mutual relationship creates an urgency, if not an imperative, for a couple to move one way or another — either to connect and engage towards a mutual future together, or to disconnect, which may mean separating.
Most often, couples leave therapy with deeper respect and love for each other. However, in an honest encounter with the psychological facts of the relationship, couples who decide to separate are often able to do so without being debilitated by shame or guilt. I view couples work as profoundly meaningful and gratifying, as I believe that the meaning of one’s life is defined by the meaning of one’s relationships, and often the most important relationship in one’s life is with his or her partner.
Although I tend to do comprehensive and deep work that is open-ended and longterm, progress in certain areas can often be made with shorter term work of between 4-6 sessions, which I will be happy to discuss if more suitable to you.
Some issues that bring couples to therapy are:
- Balance (Work/Life/Family)
- Blended Families
- Chronic Illness
- Cross-cultural differences
- Extended Family
- Mental Illness
In my couple’s therapy sessions, I help people develop the necessary skills needed to maintain sustaining love.