"How did we get here?"
Each of us had dreams of what our lives should look like: a healthy, balanced, intimaterelationship with our partner, and fun times of togetherness and connection within our families.
So what happened?
So often, I hear heartbreaking stories of pain and disillusionment from my clients. Stories of broken trust, of drifting apart, of arguments that erode hope. A cheating spouse. An out-of-control teenager. A family member with addictions or mental health issues.
Relationships are precious and vulnerable things, and they need delicate and intentional care. Often, we can do this mending on our own; but at other times we find ourselves fighting over the same things over and over, our needs unmet and invalidated by those closest to us. When this happens (or when such issues as betrayal, lying, contempt, rage, or feelings of abandonment come in) we often need some helpful guidance.
Experience and research show that it is important to look past the topical arguments, into the unmet needs that lie beneath the surface. Unresolved arguments usually center on the things that happened rather than on what it is that may be causing the issues in the first place. Fights about house cleaning/chores, for example, are usually more accurately about the need for appreciation and respect. Coming to a point of recognizing this, and working through it, is difficult to do on your own: you’ve likely already had the same arguments over and over without making any progress and are instead growing further apart with each heated exchange. A good therapist can help sort through the facts and perceptions, focus in on the emotional and practical needs of each party, and shift patterns away from conflict, toward resolution, peace, and connection.
But what if there’s been an affair?
Extramarital affairs can be devastating to trust and often result in severed relationships and broken families. But there IS hope! I have a lot of experience working with couples where there have been affairs and breaches of trust (including physical, non-physical, online relationships, pornography, etc.). I've developed a blueprint for healing that has benefited many couples.
Family Counselling & Parenting Support
Oftentimes, family conflict grows from seemingly small issues to massive ones that break relationships apart, lasting years and sometimes lifetimes. The tension frequently spills over to others as people take sides, gang up, avoid, or gossip, making things even more complicated and painful. Sometimes this is parent-child conflict, at other times it involves other generations/extended family members, sometimes it seems that everyone is involved, and sometimes it seems like it is in fact handed down through generations in a defined pattern. In any case, if your family has struggled and hasn’t been able to find solutions that work, a family therapist can be of huge benefit!
I Can Help!
I have 20 years’ experience in the following family counselling situations:
High Conflict Parenting
Parenting after Separation
Parenting in Adoption
Group Family Therapy
(and many others)