I began working with couples at Hestia Barcelona in 2019, a clinic grounded in the systemic school. The systemic approach reminds us to have a global awareness of how the individual is formed by patterns of behaviour within their family and social context. So often a couple in crisis consists of two individuals who struggle to see the other's perspective and to understand why they are the way they are and why they struggle to be any other way. So, part of how I work is to help the couple unpack and gain understanding of their own childhood programming in each other's presence, and this in turn allows them to see the behaviours that trigger conflict and misunderstanding. Gaining awareness is one step in a process of mutual change, one in which I assist you to develop new behavioural patterns as a couple.
My job is to support you both equally and, in so doing, to help you hear the other and enable you to be heard with openness and non-judgment. This can be a profoundly moving process, but it takes utter commitment from both parties. Within the first session I will seek to gain a sense of whether both of you are open to this. I recommend we agree on a commitment to six sessions after that first session. Two of those sessions may be individual sessions for each of you if we feel it would be advantageous for you to have the chance to express yourselves in the absence of the other. If, along the way, we discover there is a lack of commitment to the therapeutic process from either party, I may suggest couples counselling is not for you.
Communication: a major part of my work is helping you to listen to each other, and to communicate your needs and wants in a peaceful and open manner. There may be issues such as anger management and defensiveness, and we will seek to understand the triggers and techniques you can use to diffuse the emotion.
Sex: Shame and awkwardness in talking about sexual intimacy are incredibly common. In fact, the mind and body are one and, where there is a problem with verbal communication, this inevitably affects our ability to be intimate. Developing new behavioural and communication patterns around sex can have a profound affect on our sex lives.
Therapy is online, using Zoom. I am afraid I have limited availability, but I do strive to answer all queries within 24 hours.