Marriage and Couples
Counselling in Barrie
Couples / marriage counselling for people in Barrie/Simcoe County and virtually across Ontario
Starting Couples Therapy
The First step is always the hardest
Couples come from all walks of life and in different forms. I am committed to doing the work to get to know your relationship. I have experience working with couples in:
- Blended families
- Same-sex relationships, lesbian, gay, and bisexual couples
- Long-term relationships, not defined by marriage
- Mixed-race relationships
- Open relationships or conscious non-monogamy
- Transgender or gender-nonconforming members of a relationship
While many couples come to counselling ready to get to work, there’s understandably a good deal of apprehension around getting started with relationship counselling. Often one partner is more comfortable with the idea than the other, and that is perfectly normal. The biggest challenge is making the first session happen.
Some common concerns for couples include infidelity, separation and divorce, intimacy and conflict resolution.
What’s going on in your relationship?
- Are you feeling unfulfilled in your relationship?
- Are you always having the same fights over and over again with no resolution?
- Are the day-to-day activities in your lives taking priority over your relationship?
Relationship Counselling helps you increase trust, intimacy, and the overall connection you both have in your relationship, as it strengthens the foundation of your relationship.
Once refreshing, full of life and fun, relationships can begin to feel like too much work. It’s normal for relationships to get stagnant, as life gets busy. Maybe it’s due to kids, jobs, or something completely unknown, counselling can help to identify the type of change needed to bring back the relationship you want and deserve.
You are not alone. Couples counselling can help. Together, via focused dialogue, you and your partner can talk things through and come up with solutions to make things better, one strategy at a time!
How counselling can help
I will work with you and your partner to help you better understand your problems, your own feelings and those of your partner. Together, I will provide you with tools and strategies to navigate your stressors together. The goal for many couples is to help develop a healthier and more fulfilling relationship. Your sessions will be confidential, non-judgemental, and unbiased, which allows for open and healthy communication together, without fear of being judged.
To avoid drifting apart
Going through periods of drifting apart from each other is normal in relationships. What you do about it is very important. In order to move forward you must notice it is happening, take steps to correct it and figure out a way to come back to each other. This is important for all relationships, but crucial for relationships in which drifting apart is already happening. Remember, being in a relationship is a lot of work!
To regain love, respect & Stability
Stability is often anchored by feeling love, feeling heard and feeling valued. Showing fondness and appreciation helps too, but it isn’t enough. You need to share fondness and appreciation in your partner’s love language. The term love language refers to the way that a person prefers to express love to, and receive it from, a partner. In couples counselling, many times a partner will say that their partner doesn’t show them love, but in fact, the messages are being unnoticed, which is really demoralizing.
For your well being and your family’s
A balance of togetherness and separateness are both required to have a healthy relationship. While closeness is important, maintaining your own sense of identity and independence is vital, when it comes to having a healthy relationship. If you strive for balance, know that at times, you will always experience times of feeling more or less connected. Small check-ins each day can help increase your closeness, even when hectic schedules stand in the way.
Even small, or silly things become big blow-ups. Trying to communicate only fuels the flames of yelling and anger. Well, now is the time to transform your conflict into closeness. Become the couple you used to be again. In couples counselling, we will create space in your relationship to express yourself, feel heard and address unhealthy communication patterns. Studies have shown that relationships with good communication skills have a greater chance of having a happier and longer romantic relationship.
Take the First Step
Learn to be on the same page again. Learn to have fun again. Learn how to grow again! Contact me to schedule a free 15-minute telephone or online video consultation to see if counselling with me is a fit.
Assess/ Clarify Situation
Through careful consideration, curiosity and open dialogue, together, we can identify a newfound way of thinking about and understanding your situation.
In order to be effective, it’s typically best to aim for setting SMART goals, as they are easier to achieve.
SMART stands for: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely. Let’s get goal setting!
Together, we will explore and create habit-forming strategies to support you and help you achieve your goals. Your progress will be reviewed and adjustments will be made to keep you moving forward towards long-lasting change.
What to expect from the first couples counselling session
To take some of the pressure off, bring an open mind, but also your questions and concerns to that first session. Be open to doing some work together–that’s the best way to learn how the couples therapist works and this will allow you to get a sense of whether I’m the right fit for both of you.
How many couples counselling sessions are required?
Of course, this is impossible to answer, but there are a few principles I follow that may help bring clarity to that question:
Getting right to work: In any counselling, you want to get right to work. It’s important to address the issues of concern and set a goal in the first session, as this guides future sessions
You both should have the same goal for counselling. While this might be tricky to agree on in the first session, a commitment to the process and doing some work is required. I can help you get on the same page, in most cases!
A short-term/brief framework is usually used to guide couples’ counselling. Some couples need fewer sessions, while others need more. Typically, couples attend in the range of 4 to 12 sessions and there is no pressure to commit to a certain number of sessions or the frequency of the sessions.
How couples counselling works?
I will provide practical strategies to help you understand the positive and negative dynamics of your relationship and how to build a healthier connection together. I will provide you with new insight to better understand and manage your emotions, and your partner’s emotions. You will be better able to express your thoughts and feelings in a respectful and productive way.
You will need to be committed to the process and be committed to ‘doing the work’. Working collaboratively together, I will support you to rebuild trust and create a deeper connection. Typically, clients leave after the first session with a greater sense of hope for their relationship. Hope is the starting point for relationship repair and is a vital component of couples counselling.
Do you work with LGBTQ Couples?
Yes, I believe in providing inclusive and affirming support for all couples, including those in LGBTQ relationships. Couples from all sexual and gender identities, as well as binary and non-binary are welcome. I offer relationship counselling and marriage counselling to gay couples and lesbian couples facing separation or divorce and other issues.
Typically, counselling sheds new insight, which increases the ability to openly communicate with a newfound respect for others and openly work through issues with more motivation and ownership. Counselling can help you tap into a new you. Get support from a counsellor who understands you.
How it works
Counselling is about stages. The first stage, exploration, involves helping clients examine their thoughts and feelings. The second stage, insight, helps clients understand the reasons for these thoughts and feelings. The third stage, action, involves the client making changes. It’s really important for clients to set the right goals, in order for the change process to be successful.
Counselling is a collaborative process in which I will help you create goals and to create or develop new coping strategies to help you to achieve long-lasting change and personal growth. I provide a safe space for clients to share openly, and to reflect, and in response, I meet them where they are at, in a non-judgmental way. Get support from a counsellor who understands you.