When we are at odds with the people we most care about, we feel great distress. The connections we have with others are integral to our sense of security and meaning in life, and the threat of losing these connections can cause us to behave in ways that feel out of control. Sometimes we seem to be stuck in a cycle of arguments that we feel helpless to stop, much as we desire to interact differently. Sometimes we feel so wounded that we can’t see a way back to a trusting, respectful relationship. Sometimes the distance seems to have grown too far to bridge.
Counselling helps because I can interrupt your usual cycle of communication and help you to really hear and understand each other. I ensure that the counselling session is a safe place where boundaries are respected and emotions will not get out of control. Taking the time to listen to and understand each individual, I give you each a chance to express your perspective on the situation, and hear that of the other(s). My intervention helps take the “heat” out of the conversation and avoid misinterpretations that spring from intense emotions like fear and anger. I help you identify how your particular cycle of communication is working (or not) and facilitate opportunities for you to talk to each other in different ways.
Because safety is paramount in the counselling process, I will not conduct joint counselling with couples or families where physical or emotional abuse is present. If abuse is happening in your relationship, I can work with members of the relationship on an individual basis to determine the way to move forward, or transition apart.
If you are wondering if family or couple counselling can work for you, I encourage you to contact me and book a free half hour consultation, or send me an e-mail. I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.