Couples Counselling / Marriage Counselling in Burnaby

You may be considering couples counselling or marriage counselling after a challenging patch in your relationship. You may be fighting, feeling disconnected, or like you lost your best friend. It can be scary to look at your partner and not remember feeling close. It is especially hard to look at your partner and feel like they don’t see or hear you. You may all too often feel the need to be ‘on guard’.

Understanding ourselves in relationship is extremely challenging. It is common to be unaware of how our own ways of relating are effecting our relationship with our partner. Much of how we communicate or behave can seem beyond our control, and it may feel difficult to live up to our own or our partner’s expectations of us.

My approach to working with Couples:

I ‘tune in’ to both partners’ experiences in order to understand the needs, longings and patterns of relating that you and your partner each bring to your relationship. Relationship difficulties often stem from patterns that were learned in the past as a means of coping. Negative repetitive cycles can leave partners disconnected and at an impasse, or in the turmoil of conflict. I truly believe in the real potential for growth and building new patterns together.

I have a calm, non-judgemental and warm presence which supports couples to feel heard and to gain empathy for each other so that they can free themselves from the painful snags, barriers, or breakdowns in trust and safety that they experience. I’m also ready to connect and assist with the intense emotional distress that couples may be struggling with.

While practicing from presence, I bring a relational and embodied approach that is informed by my ongoing learning in relational neuroscience and attachment theory. This contributes to the supportive relationship I seek to have with you, attending to each of your emotional safety, a process which is both integrative and emotionally regulating. My intention is to support your capacity for wholeness, authenticity and connectedness with each other.

I have, and continue to train extensively in the ways that our early relationships effect the development of our nervous systems, how we manage emotion, and how comfortable or uncomfortable we are in connection with others.

I am consistently inspired by the couples who place their trust in me and allow me to support them to turn toward each other to deeply heal their connection.

Do you feel alone, stuck or misunderstood by your partner?

Do you feel exhausted from the cycle of arguing; mixing between blaming and defending?

Do you feel threatened / emotionally unsafe / on your guard in your relationship?

Does understanding your partner seem out of reach? 

Do you or your partner avoid conversations that need to happen because one or both of you feel too anxious? 

If yes, Couples Counselling can be helpful for your relationship.

In working with Couples I am dedicated to:
Offering my presence as your committed ally to ‘dive in’ and work in a manner that respects you both to discover what is happening between you. This includes giving feedback on strengths I notice in your connection with each other, and barriers I notice which block your connection.

With gentleness, respect, and honesty, I work to help you soften the hard edges in how you relate to each other, and to help you be heard / get needs met in more connecting ways.

Offer honest recommendations if I do not feel I can be helpful to you/your relationship.

Help you recognize, name and work together to reduce negative patterns of relating and communicating. This may include exploring your attachment history and any barriers to connection and intimacy in your relationship.

Support you each to see and feel each other’s cue’s and attempts to make connection.

Help you each become more aware of your own and each others’ cues (visual and verbal) for stress/distress.

Guide you, as needed, to work toward supporting each other manage/regulate strong emotions.

Support you to have important conversations that build deeper mutual understanding, respect and empathy for each other’s different feelings and needs.

Help you both become more aware and ‘tuned in’ with your own and partner’s inner world (sometimes for the first time).

Developing more understanding and empathy for each other’s vulnerabilities can bring you closer, giving you the feeling that your partner is there for you and “has your back”.

Support you to explore and address issues, differences and any hurts, “raw spots” or charged past incidents / breakdowns in trust that have occurred between you.

Support you to connect with each other in ways that feel meaningful, hopeful and strengthening.

“A rising tide (of empathy) lifts all boats”

David Shaddock