Romantic relationships can be one of the closest and most complex at the same time. Choosing a life-long partner and staying together through different twists of life can become challenging and deeply unsettling. Many couples, whether heterosexual, gay, lesbian, bisexual or transgender, find it helpful to seek support outside to help them build on the resources they already have. Couple counselling can help partners understand more clearly each other’s deepest emotions, longings and fears in a safe and encouraging environment.
Some of the couples we have worked with found the sessions useful in improving the following areas of their lives:
- becoming aware of unhelpful patterns, i.e. blaming, shutting down or demanding
- experiencing the relationship as emotionally safe
- embracing more effective styles of communication
- improved emotional and sexual intimacy
- bonding through sex and touch
- greater understanding of how their own and their partners' past experiences impact on them now
- finding balance between being partners and parents
- working through traumatic wounds.
How does couple therapy work?
Couples are supported in learning to recognise the negative cycles that keep them stuck where often one person pursues and criticizes and the other responds defensively or withdraws or both pursue or both withdraw. They learn to identify the needs and fears that keep them in that negative cycle and to identify and express their underlying emotions in a way that transforms the repetitive negative cycle into a more positive and secure relationship.
In couple therapy, we see the relationship itself as our client and therapist's job is to help couples better understand how their emotional responses and behaviours co-create cycles of conflict, resentment and emotional or sexual disconnection. Your experience of couples therapy with us may include integrative aspects of a number of different but compatible approaches, such as Emotionally Focused Therapy, Psychodynamic and Relational Therapies and Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. To learn more about these approaches please visit Types of Therapy section of this website.
If you'd like to commit to a more intensive couple therapy programme away from home, consider our residential Couples Retreats on the island of Gozo in Malta.