Relationship struggles can greatly effect self-esteem and happiness. We can go to the gym and look after our nutrition, yet our immune systems are compromised under the stress of emotionally painful dynamics in relationship. Our beliefs about how lovable we are determine whom we develop relationships with. Individuals are often drawn to partners who can reconfirm their inner beliefs of how worthy they are of love. Some Individuals are drawn to partners who can be neglectful while others are the ones who push partners and intimacy away.
Relationships strongly impact us and our energy for the World around us. However, they take work, they take tending to and our investment. The work involves really looking at our own patterns and having the courage to explore them and change them. Partners have the ability to tap into our emotional wounds. When we become triggered we can become aware of old wounds which still need attention. Couples often repeat patterns which repeat old familiar pain subconsciously. Individuals re-experience not feeling seen or not feeling important. Partner's often subconsciously repeat these dynamics. Individuals may be struggling to express their wants and needs clearly in relationship, even when they feel like they do. Individuals maybe withdrawing from meeting their partners needs, without being fully aware of this.
As the Gottman's proposed, couples can encounter the four horsemen of death! Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness and Stonewalling. There is usually a familiar cycle that couples repeat in their dynamics and communication. Individuals can fight, flight or freeze when communicating, having the opposite effect to getting their needs met. Dr Sue Johnson suggests some of us are Demanders -'I feel dismissed' and others are more Withdrawers -' I can't do anything right'. In some couples both are Demanders or both are Withdrawers, yet we may not be aware of our roles and their impact on the relationship.
In Couples Therapy I hope to help you identify any repeating patterns, explore their full impact
as well as the roots in defensiveness. We can explore alternative ways of having your needs seen and met. Often individuals tell me they fight over something so small that it feels embarrassing to admit these things, yet as a Psychotherapist I understand that arguing over the seemingly little things, is actually arguing over something deeper without even fully knowing this. As our core wounds can be activated in relationships I am aware that reactions in situations can feel Shameful. I am interested in Parts Work Theory concepts in which we try and understand the different parts of us rather than shame those parts. The concept of Couples therapy can feel daunting, it can require a lot of self reflection and ask individuals to be open to changing. This is difficult yet it can be also be such a richening experience, hopefully inviting individuals to understand themselves and each other with more compassion and at a deeper level.
I welcome you to contact me for an Introductory Session. My preference is to work in Person yet online sessions are also available.
Couples Therapy Introductory Session & Following Sessions £85 per session.
The Introductory session will include assessment of frequency of sessions required/ manageable.