COUNSELLING FOR COUPLES
EFT for couples is a chance to be in relationship with your partner in the company of a supportive ally—someone who will help you unravel challenging dynamics and connect on a deeper level. Relationships are hard. How we behave with our partners is often a product of how we learned to earn love or avoid hurt in past relationships. EFT allows couples to come together in this understanding and create new ways of being together.
Q: How does EFT for couples work?
A: EFT for couples is about breaking unhealthy cycles of behaviour within a partnership by understanding and moving beyond each person's relational past.
We begin by tracking each person's coping strategies in the relationship, and how they play off one another to create a painful and unwanted dance. We explore how these behaviours may have been necessary in our past for self-protection but how they are no longer serving us. In doing so, we begin to see that the cycle itself is the “problem” more than one partner’s behaviours or character. This new perspective facilitates an experience where we move out of blaming or self-shaming, attacking or defending, and into a process of working together against the cycle. As we do so, we uncover the vulnerabilities that lie beneath problematic interactions. I support each of you in experiencing this vulnerability and sharing it with your partner, enabling you to create and practice a new, desirable dance of deeper trust and closeness. Throughout it all, my job is to ensure both of you feel seen and understood.
Q: Will you also meet with us individually?
A: At times, I suggest seeing each of you individually for one session, usually on the second or third visit.
An individual history-taking session provides an opportunity for us to discover and explore the personal life experiences that may be influencing the partnership dynamics. Your greater life context (e.g., history of mental health, trauma, family dynamics, previous partnerships) all influence how you show up in your relationship. Broadening the lens and walking through your past in this way is often affirming and/or eye-opening and contributes to the de-escalation process with your partner. These individual sessions are not secretive, and anything that arises may be brought back into the couples work. The process does not replace individual work that you may desire from another counsellor, but rather helps us to support and deepen the couples work.
Q: Will counselling end with us being told to divorce or break up?
A: You will never be told what to do, including being told to divorce or break up. The overall approach is about repairing the bond within the partnership. However, connecting with your true feelings may result in a decision to break up, if it's the right one for you.
Couples counselling provides a safe space for you to discern whether you want to break up or salvage the relationship with professional help. When we are in pain, feelings of indecision or the desire to leave are common. When we normalize this, we free up space to explore what the pain is all about, and often enable both partners to see a path for moving forward together. If breaking up or divorcing is ultimately the right decision, we can work on doing so in a safe and meaningful way.