Relationships are a primary means through which we pursue certain goals and values, whether that is to build and support a family, explore the world, live in a community or experience ourselves.
Working with relationships, I respect each person's perspective and encourage both of you in the process of discovering how you can be more effective as partners in dealing with the concerns that challenge you.
Relationship counselling entails all the elements of individual counselling, but has a special focus on broadening your mutual understanding and capacity to resolve issues together. However deep the conflict may be that affects you right now, you can develop the interest and skills to enhance the relationship and support each other's capacity to address your problems.
My work is to help you have the conversations which you're wanting to have with each other. This is particularly important when conflict derails efforts to talk and prevents effective problem resolution. We will work to untangle the conflict patterns that you may been unable to change.
I will help you to identify what's most important to you by asking questions and encouraging you to examine your own assumptions.
I will reflect back to you what I hear and observe to help you expand your perspective on the issues.
If you don't share your true thoughts and feelings, those will remain unexplored and perhaps impede your own progress.
It's best to be honest about your situation as that will allow you to have the most benefit of the process.
My role isn't to judge who you are, what you do or where you find yourself in life. You can work in therapy at the level you choose, which optimally may entail some discomfort, but not beyond your level of tolerance. It's my job to ensure that you retain emotional safety and integrity of your boundaries. I will trust that what you tell me is the truth as you know it, but I will help you to look beyond the obvious or comfortable. The process may lead to a deeper exploration, particularly when patterns emerge that are not well understood at first glance, or are not amenable to ordinary problem solving.
While one of my specialties is working with couples, I also work extensively with individuals who are looking to better understand some of the struggles they are facing, whether in a relationship or not. Individual therapy can be a gift to yourself, seeking to find happiness in a life that may have become stale, overwhelming or simply not what you had hoped for. Perhaps there are some issues with depression or anxiety, both of which are very common, but being unhappy with the life you're living might reflect more a loss of direction, a pattern of subordinating yourself to the needs of others, or life transitions which are changing the way you feel and the things you want.
The therapy relationship is a close, personal one, but unlike that with friends or family, allows you to fully explore thoughts you may keep private from others. Sometimes you may have feelings of ambivalence about your relationships with others, may hold some shame or sadness that is hard to share, may want to have someone who will hear you without judging or jumping to conclusions about these private thoughts. I can be that person. I hold no expectations , other than that you allow yourself to be open to trusting and respecting me to work with you.
Counselling is most helpful when you participate of your own free will. Others may suggest it, but keep an open mind to the possibilities and be aware that your choices are ultimately yours.
It is important that you feel able to trust and respect me. This is an evolving process. You may have many questions and it's always okay to ask.