Couples Counselling

Our most precious relationships can be a source of joy or distress. Here at Safe Harbour Psychotherapy we see many couples who are seeking to heal deep wounds and rebuild emotional connection to their partners.  We use the attachment based models of EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy) and AEDP (Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy) as well as strategies from marriage Parents-To-Beexpert John Gottman.  With these approaches couples are able to experience one another in a more compassionate and caring way in the session, rather than just talking about their problems.  This process transforms emotions and builds loving connection.  Just as infants attach to their primary caregivers when they respond to their cries of distress, so do adult partners in intimate relationships form secure attachment bonds when their concerns are met with a loving response.  This secure attachment bond between partners makes each person feel loved and valued, which in turn transforms negative emotional states. Watch the following humorous vignette which illustrates this principle:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJOjpprbfeE&sns=em

We are often not aware that we interpret our partner’s words and actions in a completely different way than was intended.  During therapy we explore the triggers from our clients’ pasts that contribute to this misunderstanding.  We have found that if people were raised in homes where there was anger, distrust and cruelty, they will learn to expect that from others. On the other hand, if people were raised in a loving and secure environment, they will tend to think the best of others.  Becoming more aware of our own triggers can help us reduce these defensive reactions that often lead to conflict.

Research has shown the single most important factor in the success of couple counselling is the motivation and desire to make the relationship work.  If both parties want to save their relationship they are well on their way to success. If you have the motivation, we can give you the tools to succeed!