Romantic relationships have the potential to be one of the most fulfilling parts of a person’s life. But similarly, they can also be challenging and require hard work. Life’s uncertainties mean even the most loving and healthy relationships can get rocky. While some couples struggle with communication and trust issues, others struggle with infidelity and intimacy. But none of these road bumps have to mean the end.
Our couples counsellors provide a non-judgmental, safe, and open space where they employ a wide variety of psychological approaches, such as the Gottman Method, to help couples manage relationship challenges. Some of the issues our counsellors can help with include communication, trust issues, infidelity, family dynamics, co-parenting, gender identity and transitioning (as it relates to couples), financial issues, and divorce or separation.
Every couple has unique circumstances and situations that they have to work to overcome. In some cases, couples may need to work through very difficult feelings and in others, they are looking to improve their relationship through personal and mutual growth. Regardless of the situation, our counsellors offer helpful recommendations to help couples work out their problems and come out stronger.
Healthy communication is necessary to maintain any healthy relationship. So when couples are unable to express themselves and discuss their grievances, their relationship is jeopardized. Some of the signs of a breakdown in communication include feeling misunderstood, unheard, or silenced. Problems with communication may be due to childhood circumstances, cultural background, and/or newfound stress, among other things. Counselling helps open up the lines of communication through active listening, empathy and respect.
Like communication, trust is the foundation of any successful relationship. Without trust, partners cannot be vulnerable with each other which causes them to feel distant and resentful. Unresolved trust issues may lead to the deterioration of the relationship. Symptoms of trust issues in a couple include one or both partners being overly suspicious, exhibiting self-sabotaging behaviour, and/or acting distant. Counselling helps both, individuals who have trust issues due to previous trauma, and couples who are working on repairing broken trust.
Whether on purpose or by mistake, infidelity can rock even the most stable relationships to their cores. Affairs can be either emotional, physical, or both but regardless of the nature of the affair, it can destroy many years’ worth of trust in a moment and cause a relationship to be pushed to the brink. Infidelity impacts the relationship and the individual involved, but there is hope. With open and honest counselling and hard work, couples can learn to process, accept, and possibly even forgive infidelity in the relationship.
From emotional support, words of affirmation and a deep connection to cuddling and getting frisky, healthy couples enjoy a rich diversity of intimate situations. When intimacy is missing in the relationship for extended periods of time, couples may struggle to bring back the spark and connect on a deeper level which may lead to resentment, irritability, and withdrawal from the relationship. Counselling can help couples rekindle their spark and improve intimacy by addressing underlying concerns such as performance anxiety, low self esteem, depression, erectile dysfunction, previous trauma, and sexuality, among others.
Other relationships in our lives, especially familial ones, can have a great impact on our romantic relationship. Children from previous relationships, co-parenting/joint custody agreements, blended families, and other circumstances all affect the vitality of a relationship. While these various family circumstances can enrich a couple, they can also cause difficulties. For instance, one partner can feel as though their spouse’s co-parenting arrangement is taking too much time away from their relationship. While on the other hand, the co-parenting spouse may feel as though their partner isn’t being supportive enough.
Regardless of how long it has been in the making, divorce, break-ups, and separations are all very difficult life events to process for everyone involved. Studies have shown that grieving a relationship triggers some of the same mechanisms as mourning the loss of a loved one. Aside from affecting the couple involved, divorce impacts the children, the finances, the living arrangements, family celebrations and more. Counselling provides a safe space for couples to openly discuss these issues, listen to each other, and cooperate to resolve their differences for the betterment of everyone involved.
Grit Psychology celebrates diversity and welcomes all kinds of relationships including heterosexual, homosexual, polyamorous, open relationships and all other unique connections. We will never limit your access to counselling.
The Gottman Method is a well-researched and effective approach to couple’s counselling. It empowers couples to strengthen their bonds by providing them the tools needed to improve verbal and non-verbal communication skills, facilitate intimacy, heal broken trust, manage conflict, and rebuild their relationship on a foundation of respect, trust, vulnerability, and empathy.
Emotionally focused therapy (EFT) is a popular form of couples therapy that can be used to address relationship problems, including arguments, poor communication, and lack of intimacy. The therapist helps couples discover the triggers for their negative emotions and then teaches them new ways to interact with each other so that conflicts can be resolved more rationally.