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COUPLES THERAPY

In my therapy with couples I encourage learning the principles and the rituals of a conscious and connected relationship. Our essence as human beings is always in a state of connection – we crave connection because we need it in order to live in line with our true nature. We are hurt through disconnection and made whole again by connection.

Learning how to connect with your partner is therapeutic. In time it promotes safety and increases the ability of partners to share each other’s worlds at a deeper level. As you learn to connect deeper with your partner you reach relational maturity. A relationally mature couple can survive almost everything life throws at it.

Ask yourself:

  • Do you want to heal your relationship after a marital affair?
  • Are you concerned that you are headed for a divorce?
  • Is your marriage or relationship in trouble, and you would like to turn it around?
  • Are you looking to create more safety in your relationship?
  • Do you want more excitement in your relationship with your partner?
  • Do you want to re-connect with your partner in a new and much deeper level?
  • Are you searching for a counsellor who will help you create the healthy relationship with your partner?
  • Are you interested in learning skills that will help you create more effective communication in your relationships?

If you have answered “yes” to any of this questions you may want to learn new skills that will take your relationship to a new level of connection.

What is couple therapy?

Couple therapy is not about negotiating skills or conflict resolution. Research into couples therapy shows that such approaches do not work. It is about increasing what couples do right when they do not argue.

It is about increasing their friendship, learning about each other, increasing positive emotions in each other, staying in connection with each other, influence one another and be OK with it, working through problems and compromising, help each other achieving their dreams, and sharing meaning.

The types of couple’s therapy I provide using the EcCT model

  • Intensive 2 day workshop for couples
  • Couples sessions

The EcCT model

In the couples sessions I use the EcCT model (Encounter-centered Couples Therapy) and the following are the learnings that you will experience:

  • Your “survival dance” as a couple and that is not who you are in your essence.
  • Your capacity to feel alive and connected with your partner.
  • Coping is not living: coping is done in isolation and living is done in connection.
  • Connection – This requires a big YES to life and constant commitment, disciplined attention, focus and investment.
  • Your own world and that of your partner’s – which is a multi-layered, rich, unique landscape with neighbourhoods of past, present and future all of them worthy of being visited.
  • The positive regulating impact your full presence is in the world of your partner.
  • Learn that no matter what each of you have done in the past, it was the very best each of you could do under the circumstances and therefore deserves full understanding and compassion, especially in the places where each of you struggled alone.
  • Learn that being present by just sitting and holding hands and softly gazing into each other’s eyes and saying “Oh! It’s you!” is wired into us from the time we are born and is essential to our daily living.

Marriage Myths

  • Personality problems ruin marriage! Not true – is how you deal with them!
  • Lowering expectations of each other will help marriage. Wrong! People with higher expectations of marriage had the highest quality of marriage. They confront issues in a gentle manner.
  • Constructive criticism – no such a thing! The critical stance does not work.
  • Common interests keep people together. The truth is in the “how” you do things together!
  • Reciprocity keeps a good relationship. Not true! Keeping a tab on things is BAD for the relationship. Just do something because you feel happy about the relationship!
  • Avoiding conflict will ruin your marriage. Not true. Saying and not saying tough things are both not necessarily good and bad. It is whether both partners are satisfied with the pervasive approach.
  • Affairs are the root causes of divorce. Not true! Affairs happen because there is a problem in the relationship. The relational problems which send people into divorce also send people into affairs.
  • Men are not biologically built for marriage. There is no proof of that.
  • Men and women are from different planets: Not true. Gender differences may contribute to marriage difficulties, but do not cause them. Friendship is the key to satisfying relationship, and much is affected by it (i.e. sex, romance, passion).

Marital conflict

The 90-10 formula

When we are frustrated with our relationship, and don’t know what to do about it creatively we can apply the 90-10 formula.

This formula says that if you are frustrated more than twice about the same thing and stays loaded, only 10 percent of the emotional energy is related to the present situation. The remaining 90 percent comes from the past, from childhood events that we still carry with us.

90 percent of energy is spent on reliving those events, even when we ourselves are now adults, parents, or even grandparents.

The marital conflict is then indirectly related to unmet childhood needs that seem to surface on and on regardless of the situation. It seems to be always about the same thing e.g. the need to rescue your partner (inner need: to feel valuable), or the need to criticise him/her (fear: they see my faults), or the need to isolate (overwhelmed). We call this the relationship’s “survival knot”.

Encounter-centered Couple Therapy will introduce you to a new way of dealing with conflict by removing the veil of projection each partner uses from childhood. When the veil of projection is removed you begin to see the potential of having a relationship with each other instead of the perpetual projection of the past failed relationships.