Couples Counselling

Helping to restore the resilience and joy of your relationship.

Feeling understood, supported and accepted by a loved one is how nature makes us resilient to the stress and tragedy. As explained by the neuroscience of attachment, love and care make us physically healthier! Yet when we feel invalidated, let down or unsupported the opposite is true. Our brains light up in pain and our bodies sense danger. Suddenly, safe connection is flipped on its head, actually becoming a source of stress. Instead of being restored by our partner, we might find ourselves working out, meditating or doing more yoga just to survive our relationships!

Yet underneath all the arguments, defensiveness and protest are positive intentions.

After all, the reason you feel so angry, let down or criticized by your partner is because they matter enough to you that they can hurt you.

The secret to restoring the superpower of safe connection is looking at the hidden messages below your disagreements.

For example, when your partner doesn’t seem to listen, tries too hard to ‘solve the problem,’ shuts down or disappears into work, they may have a concealed message: “I feel totally overwhelmed like I can’t do anything right in your eyes. I feel you can’t love me as I am. Being criticized by my person is so scary that it’s easier just to disappear.

Here’s another one: If you feel nagged by a partner who wont get off your back, there may be a softer message that is harder to hear:I feel so scared and alone right now. I want to tell my person how much I need them here with me, but I feel like they’ve abandoned me because I am ‘too much.’ I try to tell them I need them but it comes out as anger and it pushes them away even more.

Talk about lost in translation! Fortunately, our counsellors offer a safe and non-biased space that can remind you that fear and anger are just the shadows of love and the healthy need for each other.

Speak each other’s language again.

 

We use Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy, an approach with perhaps the most research support of any style of partnership therapy. You’ll be greeted with warmth and respect and quickly see this isn’t about being right. It is about feeling heard and understood and learning that it isn’t you versus each other, it is both of you versus destructive styles of problem solving. You have done your best to this point, yet there is another world of care and kindness waiting.

Your Questions

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How many sessions does therapy take?

Growth and healing are best viewed as a journey that you learn to live, instead of a cure that you take like a pill. For this reason, everybody is different. We often find that 4 – 8 sessions accomplish a great deal of relief. With that said, clients may experience transformation within a few sessions or realize there is something bigger they want to work on longterm.

How often should I come?

When possible, it’s a great idea to come in every week or two when getting started. The biggest first step is building the trust and safety that allows good work to be done. Once this occurs, clients often space out appointments to a month or more, or take breaks from counselling altogether.

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Does insurance cover your fees?
Registered Clinical Counsellors are covered under most Extended Health Plans, but always call or check online to ensure your plan covers counselling specifically.
What is a session like?

You will be greeted in a waiting room that offers espresso, tea and water, before joining your counsellor in a comfortable sound-proofed room. You will be met with warmth and respect before you are guided through the process of informed consent so that there is total transparency. Your counsellor will get to know you so that the therapy is specially fitted to you as a unique person. All activities will be explained fully and nothing will ever happen without your consent and awareness.