Do you feel like you’re not valued or appreciated in your relationship? Are you and your partner struggling to communicate productively? Do you find yourselves occupied with other things and spending less time together—even avoiding each other at times?
couple on bench in woodsMaybe your conversations are riddled with misunderstanding. Perhaps you feel like you’re not on the same page in terms of sexual intimacy and it’s made you disconnected from each other. Or maybe there’s been infidelity and you’re not sure how you’ll ever rebuild trust. For the first time, you might be considering a couples therapist.
Relationships go through rough patches for all kinds of reasons. The problem isn’t always cheating or arguing too much. You and your significant other might have different attachment styles—maybe one of you is withdrawn and the other is clingy. Or perhaps one of you likes to address conflict head-on while the other prefers not to talk about it.
The problem might not even be conflict. Both of you may have gotten so swamped with other responsibilities that you don’t have as much time for each other. Between work, kids, and all your other obligations, your romance has gone on the backburner.
The bottom line is that underneath all the challenges, you love each other and need to find a way to resolve and strengthen your relationship. If you and your partner want to stop feeling like adversaries and work together as a team, we encourage you to pursue couples therapy with us. Here at Darcy Bailey & Associates Counselling, our goal is to help both of you feel understood, appreciated, and valued on a deeper level.
According to a report by CBC News, 4 out of every 10 Canadian marriages end in divorce. Put simply, committed relationships are hard to maintain. Peoples’ values usually change over time. This makes navigating long-term relationships tricky. Two people might see eye to eye in the beginning, but years down the road, their perspectives will usually differ.
Unfortunately, many couples get so caught up in the honeymoon phase of their relationship that they forget to anticipate these changes. They live as if they’ll always be the same people in the same phase of life. And when you factor in having children, caring for aging parents, or dealing with unforeseen life events, a couples’ dynamic can change even more drastically. This is why it’s important for couples to be proactive and get therapy early on in their relationships.
In the Instagram age, faithful and committed relationships are no cakewalk. Social media has made cheating easier than ever—one click of a button is all it takes to start an affair. Additionally, being connected to so many people makes relationships seem disposable. As soon as things get tough, it’s tempting to jump ship and try to find a replacement.
Counselling can help you and your significant other work through the tough times together. We want to help you break out of entrenched and long-standing patterns and deepen your commitment to each other. Oftentimes, when couples work through the tough stuff, they end up even stronger and more connected afterwards.
It’s easy for couples to get hung up on the superficial issues that show up every day—the “he said, she said” arguments that are easy to spot. It’s much harder to dig down and uncover the root of a relationship’s struggles. That’s why couples therapy is so vital. At Darcy Bailey & Associates Counselling, we want to help you figure out where your values differ, look at each partner’s patterns and contributions to your dynamic, and use that knowledge to change the way you interact with each other.
Most importantly, we want you and your spouse to fall back in love. By increasing your respect and appreciation for each other, the two of you can reignite the spark that drew you to each other in the first place.
Generally speaking, your couples therapist will meet with you and your partner together for each session. It’s possible to pursue individual therapy at the same time as couples counselling, and this is something you can discuss with your therapist. But since the goal of couples therapy is to help you work as a team, the majority of sessions will take place with both of you together.
Counselling can assist you in identifying the breakdowns in your marriage and the core issues that fuel them. We’ll look at how your attachment styles differ, how you’ve both learned to handle conflict in terms of your patterns and roles, and how past relationship traumas might affect the way you relate to each other. We’ll also help you work through defensive and protective behaviours so that you can communicate more peacefully and focus on understanding each other instead of pointing fingers.
One of the main approaches that we use in couples therapy is called The Gottman Method. At its core, the Gottman Method is all about assessing your relationship’s strengths and weaknesses. Doing so can help you work through areas of disconnection and build a stronger foundation of trust, empathy, and mutual understanding.
We also draw from Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT). This approach is a process of stages for addressing de-escalation and facilitating deeper connection. EFT can help you and your spouse improve your emotional literacy, expand your emotional response patterns, and feel safer navigating tough conversations. For example, one goal is to use “I” statements—such as “When you don’t show affection, I feel unloved”—instead of resorting to “you” statements and trying to blame the other person.
In the end, we believe that both of you have the resources, wisdom, and resilience within you to make things better. Our role is to help you draw on your strengths so that you can discover a new-found love and regard for each other. We want you to increase your intimacy, improve your communication, and establish a greater depth of connection
Our couples counsellors are deeply committed to keeping things neutral. There is no bias or judgment here. Our therapists have heard it all—understanding people and their patterns and dynamics is our specialty. After all, both you and your significant other are responsible for the health of your relationship. Your therapist will help you identify how your own individual roles and patterns are adding to your relationship dynamic and figure out how you can best work together.
Every relationship has its dirty laundry. Very little will surprise an experienced marriage therapist. We strive to create an environment of total acceptance and non-judgment, ensuring that you and your spouse feel comfortable talking about all the problems in your relationship. We understand that it takes a lot of courage and vulnerability to seek therapy, and we are committed to helping you achieve a happier, healthier relationship.
Ignoring relationship conflict won’t make it go away. Couples counselling is a chance to practice different ways of communication so that you can manage and resolve conflict more easily. What’s more, our counsellors are trained to help couples work through their disagreements peacefully. We’ll give you both a safe space to say whatever is on your mind without fear of it creating more tension.
Having a supportive yet objective therapist help you navigate your relationship is a positive decision.