"There’s an ancient saying that’s profoundly applicable to couple’s therapy: the laws of nature are like a miller’s wheel—they’ll grind you to powder, unless you learn to be the miller." Terry Real
One hears all the time about how relationship will “push your buttons,” but rarely is the nature of those buttons described. What are they?
Implicit in this work is helping you to understand, not just what happens between the two of you, but what happens inside of you (your buttons and knee-jerk reactions) and then how that affects what happens between the two of you. Sometimes you'll hear people say 'that's just who I am", but your character is not something that’s hard-wired into you. Rather, it can be thought of as what you’ve learnt about relationships and connection from your role models... The people who taught you about relationships.
So to increase relationality and closeness — ie connectedness to ourselves and others — is the very foundation of character transformation. Increasing connection in your relationship changes your character.
To help you in this way of relating, the goal is to show you how to
The first step (there’s a few) is remembering love, or if that’s too far, try friendliness. This doesn’t mean it’s going to be gushy love all the time. Hardly likely right! But we can begin to commit to what we call “full-respect living,” neither dishing out nor passively tolerating disrespectful words or behaviours. With respect in both directions, we move beyond knee-jerk reactions. It’s hard to remember love & respect and hurt the other person simultaneously.
To live relationally, to live in a fulfilling & happy relationship, you have to understand what works and what doesn't. Sometimes you have to give up being right, get over yourself and choose relationship instead.
Relational living means that you can stand up for yourself, you can be assertive and you can be firm. But there is no reason to do any of that in a way that is disrespectful or harmful to the other person you are speaking to. Also, relational living means that you do not allow yourself to be on the receiving end of disrespectful treatment and do nothing about it. Living relationally is a daily practice of respecting yourself and others at the same time. As we try it out and learn, it's like living with an awareness of us, of moving from 'me' consciousness to 'we'. It's about a care and respect for ourselves and others that leads to and sustains a healthy connection and closeness.
'It always means a lot to me to get warm feedback … and I love giving it as well. Thank you for all the effort and thought that you put into our counselling sessions. I am so grateful. I have been seeing counsellors/psychologists/psychiatrists for decades, and I consider you to be one of the most perceptive, insightful, wise and skilled therapists I have had the pleasure of meeting. I will continue to spread the word whenever I can! We are both for all that you have taught us, and the subsequent ‘doors’ that are opening." Jane and Peter
After the Honeymoon....
After the “honeymoon phase”, some call it the 'Love without Knowledge' phase of a relationship, we start to see our partner’s cracks and flaws. The things we thought could be worked with or overlooked, can become irritating or frustrating. Their imperfections can get under our skin. We may move into the varying degrees of the 'Knowledge without Love' phase.
Here’s the thing: all of this is totally normal. All relationships are constantly moving between harmony, disharmony, and repair.
The skill, the art in relationship is to move into the 'Love with knowledge' phase.
I’m here to give you tools that I’m confident will help you transform your life, individually and in your relationship.
The sessions are designed to
New skills need to be learned and for a start they can seem to flow against the grain, to be 'unnatural' or contrived. But let me ask you, how is what you're doing now working for you? Once the new skills are learned, they provide you and your partner with a structure for understanding and connection that over time you trust because it supports emotional safety. Not the sort of safety that never takes a risk and is quite frankly boring, but the safety that enables you both to repair and come back to a home-base connection when there's been a rupture in the relationship. What was unnatural becomes natural because it feels good to connect and naturally we move in that direction when it's emotionally safe.
My goal is not only for you to use me to get better tools and skills to transform your relationship, but to educate you and integrate this in such a way that you no longer need me. My role is as a coach and a fellow traveller in relationship himself, not an expert who never makes mistakes, (I wish!). The change happens by equipping you to live a relational life and move from a sense of 'me' consciousness, to 'we' consciousness. I've done it, so I know it works.
This work is designed for ALL couples in a committed relationship regardless of sexual preference. You do not need to be married to benefit. If you have a strong relationship, this work will provide you with insights and tools to foster further closeness, friendship, and trust. If your relationship is rocky, this work will provide you with a greater understanding of your relationship and a road map for repair.
Timing is an essential element in couples therapy. Unfortunately, most couples wait way too long to reach out for help repairing their relationship. One researcher found that couples go through an average of six years being unhappy before getting help. Think about this statistic for a few minutes. Couples have six years to build up resentment before they begin the important work of learning to resolve differences in effective ways.
The overall message is to invest in your relationship as early as possible to reap the rewards of relational harmony.
A common question is when do we need to seek help? Simply, it's this: when you can't work it out on your own, you need help. Acknowledging that there's a problem and asking for help is the first step towards a different life.
Face to Face sessions - Fairfield, Victoria (the address will be provided when you book)
Online - Details will be sent once you have booked.
All couples sessions are 90 minutes long and $200.
The 90 minute session is important as it gives us more time to dive into what's happening for you and not rush over it.
If paying by card, a 1.9% transaction fee applies. This is what I'm charged by the payment processing company.
Starting therapy can feel a bit daunting. There's nothing worse than going to someone and feeling like that was a big waste of time and money! I get it. We want to know this will work for sure first and then commit. But the challenge is, without doing something, you'll never know what it's really like for yourself.
Whatever you choose, I encourage a sense of making what you learn from each step, be part of the journey to having a better relationship.
If you'd like to have a chat before we start sessions, please follow the link below to book a free 15 minute call
Click here to book a 15 minute intro call
fill out the form below if you are happy to book a session straight away.
If you are overseas then it's super helpful if you can include where you live, your timezone & dates/times for when you are available.