Relationships & Couples Therapy

Our psychologists are trained in Schema Therapy and Gottman Relationship Therapy and use both of these therapies when working with couples

About 1 in 6 clients we see for therapy come as part of a couple.
Couples seek counselling for many different reasons including coping with life’s changes; managing and resolving conflict; improving their parenting skills and dealing effectively with separation and divorce just to name a few.

Many couples unfortunately leave therapy as a last resort and this can make the process more difficult as there is often a lot of built up resentments and heated emotions to deal with. It is generally more effective to be pro-active and seek help sooner rather than later, as this can make a big difference to the success of therapy.

Many couples can’t understand why they seem to always “push each other’s buttons” so to speech, they experience quite a lot of misunderstandings and one or both of them often end up feeling “hurt”, “rejected” or “controlled’ in some way.
This is a common dilemma in many relationships. Couple’s often put this down to simple “communication problems”, but the issue is usually a lot more intricate than that and often involves the triggering of schemas. When we experience reactions that seem to be ‘irrational’ or disproportionate to what our partner has done or said or just plan ‘over the top’, then it is likely that one or more schemas are involved.

A Schema Therapy Approach to Couples Therapy can be very helpful at getting to the real core of the issue and helping couples become more aware of what is really going on. Once this is achieved, clients are more able to learn new and useful communication skills and learn how to emotion coach each other and avoid heated and hurtful conflict escalations.

The Gottman Approach to Couples Therapy is a well research, highly effective approach developed and studied over 30 years by John and Julie Gottman (see The Gottman Institute; www.gottman.com).  We recommend their book The seven principals for making marriage work as a good starting point for couples to read.