In the early days of any relationship there is excitement, passion and admiration. Once a relationship is well-established and increased responsibilities such as a big promotion at work or children enter the frame tension can arise. Stressors outside the couple unit can place pressure such as the demands of extended family, different cultural obligations, grief and loss or health issues. Following significant change and stress, particularly where there has been unresolved conflict, it can be difficult for couples to re-establish their connection and a sense of separateness and sometimes bitterness can pervade.
BayWellbeing therapists are trained and experienced in assisting couples to rediscover what originally connected them, to learn to effectively communicate and resolve conflict and to build shared goals and meaning into their future together. We take an objective and non judgemental stance and each member of the couple will feel respected and involved. We view the couple holistically and our approach is influenced by systems theory as well as skills from Gottman therapy.
Couples seek our help for a variety of reasons including:
- Constant arguments, complaining about and criticising each other
- Controlling or verbally abusive behaviour from one partner
- Disagreements about responsibility around the house
- A lack of support and/ or respect in the relationship
- Not having time together, not talking
- A lack of affection or intimacy
- Loss of loving feeling
- An affair has occurred
- Problems with the in-laws
- Difficulties managing stepchildren & ex-partner issues.
From time to time a couple attends telling us that one or both partners are ready to separate. Most people wanting to separate wish to have a rigorous conversation to be certain this is the right course of action. We can assist couples to talk through what is driving those feelings and determine the next steps in a compassionate way. Often we are able to help the couple negotiate a mutually respectful and smooth transition to separation. We assist them to make plans for their children and this is important for everyone’s mental health during a difficult time. We also offer individual counselling for each member of the family.
In the case where there has been domestic violence, safety for all family members is our priority. We may recommend individual therapy before proceeding with couples work so there are skills in place to prevent explosion. In many circumstances, when safety agreements and skills are in place, domestic violence can be dealt with in a couples counselling setting and our therapists are experienced in providing the appropriate environment, support and therapeutic techniques to ensure change.