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Couples or relationship counselling is a specialised type of therapy which usually involves an intense focus on improving the communication pattern within the couple. Unlike individual therapy, couple’s therapy involves the therapist entering the couple’s way of life more directly. They bring their habits and routines with each other directly into the session.
I am trained in a number of therapeutic approaches for working with couples ranging from Emotional Focused Therapy through to Gottman Method Couples Therapy. I am an approved member of the Gottman Referral Network. Gottman therapy seeks to disarm conflicting verbal communication, increase intimacy, respect, and affection, remove barriers that create feelings of stagnancy in conflicting situations, and create a heightened sense of empathy and understanding within the context of the relationship.
My approach involves both couples and individual therapy sessions:
Initial joint session to understand your concerns and relationship history.
An Individual session to gain personal histories, feelings, and perceptions
Another Joint session for feedback and treatment planning
Another 6-8 joint sessions working on those issues
Depending on what issues come up future sessions you will be attending
therapy together as a couple. However, there may be times when individual sessions are recommended. I would discuss this with you together in more detail if needed. The length of therapy will be determined by your specific needs and goals. Once you have developed your new skills through therapy, sessions will be less frequent in order provide you with the opportunity to integrate your new relationship skills and to prepare for moving on into the next stage of your relationship.
An important tool I use in couples therapy is the Gottman Relationship Checkup - an online assessment designed as a tool for use by clinicians in professional settings to offer precision help for unique relationships like yours.
This assessment provides direct feedback that is specific to your relationship to help identify what’s going well, and what areas your clinician focus on with you and your partner. This tool streamlines the relationship assessment process for your therapist, providing personalised, clinical feedback plus specific recommendations for treatment based on your answers. Many clients often report therapeutic benefits from completing the questionnaire.
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