Is your relationship in crisis?
Gold Coast Couples Counselling & Therapy can help…
The fundamental problem in relationship breakdown is a lack of effective communication. Problems with communication contribute to the manifestation of dysfunctional relationship patterns. Ineffective communication together with poor dynamics in the relationship leads to stress and to the breakdown of trust and safety possibly resulting in trauma to both parties.
We also bring styles of relating learnt from childhood and former relationships with us into our current relationship, so-called “baggage”. Maybe we’ve learnt to withdraw and stonewall to get a reaction in previous relationships, we learnt to become passive-aggressive. Or maybe we lash out and fight back because we are fearful about being hurt again. Sometimes we’ve just become numb, unable to react or act at all. These ingrained dysfunctional patterns, while not obvious in the initial stages of relationship, manifest over time as you become more deeply entwined with each other. Unresolved issues from the past begin to emerge. These reactions may become triggered by your partners attitude or behaviour and are difficult to resolve as the person you need to resolve them with is the same person who triggered them in the first place! Hence the need for counselling and therapy.
At the core of our ineffective communication and problematic patterns of relating usually lies deep hurt and fear. We freeze, withdraw or act out in order to protect ourselves from further hurt. We become fearful of our partner because they are the one who is hurting us or who has the potential to hurt us. Our partner who we love becomes our greatest threat in that moment.
Couples relationship counselling and therapy allows for a safe, supportive, non-judgmental and unbiased place to allow both of you to express that deeper hurt and fear. To look past your anger and to express your vulnerability, your hurts and your fears to your partner. Being supported therapeutically allows your partner to more fully “see” and hear what’s really happening for you beneath your anger. This has the positive effect of drawing your partner closer towards you, they drop their defenses and reach out to you. Fundamentally your partner loves you and when allowed or able to, want to care and support you in your pain, even as they may have to face the realisation that they are contributing to it. The result is better connection and more positive loving relating.
Understanding and communication are the keys to successful relating and healing from relationship breakdown and trauma
Gold Coast Couples Counselling & Therapy’s approach is to support you both to:
- Understand each other better and discover more fruitful and effective ways to communicate your discontent with how the relationship currently is
- To communicate better your needs and wants resulting for a more satisfying, growthful and healthy relationship
It is grounded in encouraging awareness in the “here and now” of “how” you are relating to each other, in both positive and negative ways. Of the patterns and dynamics that contribute to healthy relating and to the dysfunctional ones that undermine successful and happy relationship. Bringing awareness to entrenched negative patterns of relating allows change to happen. Through shared awareness of destructive patterns your relationship will heal and grow. In growing you will replace negative dysfunctional patterns with more mature constructive patterns that become a place of trust, safety, nourishment and support for each other.
Gold Coast Couples Counselling & Therapy seeks to support you both to uncover deeper emotions within your habitual reactions and to express these to your partner thereby encouraging better relationship, healing and growth. By communicating from primary core emotions such as hurt and fear rather than reactive secondary emotions such as anger your relationship will heal and strengthen. You will grow together, becoming more emotionally mature and capable of expressing yourself in ways that encourage deeper and more effective communication.
Gold Coast Couples Counselling & Therapy’s approach to couples relationship counselling and therapy also works to acknowledge the strengths in your relationship to help and support the challenges of the growth. It works to orient your relationship towards a successful outcome.
It also seeks to disentangle negative engagement patterns allowing you both to become more intimate again. Being in relationship means that we often lose sight of ourselves and the other, we become merged together. While this is initially exciting, losing awareness of who you are undermines your sense of self and it undermines the difference that the other initially brought into the relationship. You become too familiar and while comforting, it can lead to loss of excitement in the other person and thereby loss of sexual intimacy and enjoyment. By re-becoming yourself while remaining in relationship, you allow the other to do the same. In doing so excitement re-enters the relationship leading to a more sustainable, intimate and long-term relationship.
Gold Coast Couples Counselling & Therapy’s approach to couples relationship counselling and therapy is grounded within a number of approaches. All these distinct but complementary approaches are used by your therapist in each session.
Founded on awareness and contact the Gestalt approach enhances the understanding of “how” you do relationship in the “here and now”. Awareness or being more “mindfull”of contacting or how you are both relating is supported and facilitated by the therapist. In doing so it brings into the present moment the negative entrenched patterns and ways of being that inhibit positive, effective and healthy relating. The magic of Gestalt is that by bringing awareness to “what is” in the relationship it allows change to naturally take place. Change towards more positive, happier and satisfying relating with your partner.
Emotion Focused Couples Therapy
Emotion Focused Couples Therapy supports couples to understand the way they do relationship and how it can be based on earlier significant emotional attachments during childhood. How those earlier patterns of attachment contribute to the way you both do relationship in the present. It is focused on supporting couples to communicate from primary core emotions rather than reactive secondary emotions.
For example, your anger and withdrawal may mask hidden fears and insecurities that are being triggered by your partners behavior. By getting in touch with these deeper emotions and expressing them you allow a different approach to communication and you will receive better more positive responses from your partner. You both become more responsible and capable of handling the difficult areas in your relationship. You allow more healthier attachment patterns to develop.
Solution Focused Brief Therapy
This approach is strengths based and goal oriented. By drawing from the already working aspects of your relationship and keeping in mind where you want to go, you can overcome the difficult and problematic aspects of your relationship. Healing occurs, comes from and is supported by the strengths already in your relationship.
Differentiation vs Confluence
By unlocking yourselves from confluence or the entangled enmeshing in your relationship, you allow each other to emerge as individuals once again. You become differentiated or regain a clearer sense of your own identity. You become a couple of I‘s relating across clear boundaries and not lost in a We. This leads to excitement and growth in the other and in the relationship once more. It leads to a fuller and deeper appreciation of the other and a renewed vitality in sexual interest and expression.
Gold Coast Couples Counselling & Therapy’s aim is to facilitate and support the healing and growth of your relationship
Call on 0410 889 332 or Contact for more details or to book in for a Couples Relationship Counselling & Therapy session on the Gold Coast.
Fee per 1 hour session is $150.
Gold Coast Couples Counselling & Therapy also works with non-traditional forms of relationship eg monogamish, non-monogamous, open-relationship and polyamory.