Couples and Relationship Counselling
Counselling in Victoria BC
Relationship Counselling is the process of counselling two or more parties in a relationship. The relationship involved may be between friends or roommates, members of a family or a couple, employees or employers in a workplace, between a professional and a client, or members of a team or an association. Many relationships at times can become strained, resulting in disagreements, problems, breakdowns in communication or negative interaction cycles. When things are not functioning optimally having a trained relationship therapist who is impartial can really be of benefit to both or all parties.
Couples Therapy and Counselling , Marital Therapy or Marriage Counselling all mean the same thing and is a related but different process. This type of therapy addresses the problems arising from adult sexual or intimate relationships. The relationship, as well as the two individuals, is the ‘client’.
Our very closest relationship: a marriage; co-habitation or civil partnership, is based on intimacy and trust. When it is having difficulties we can be deeply affected and our health and happiness suffer. Our sense of identity and self-worth may also be affected. Pressures from work, family, money, health and misunderstandings, can all take their toll. Suddenly the relationship that once recharged us leaves us arguing, in isolation or often disappointed.
Some symptoms to look for:
- Communication breaks down
- Sex has ended or causes problems
- Arguments continue without resolution
- Violence erupts
- Depression or other health problems occur
- The bond of trust is eroded or broken
It is normal for relationships to at times become strained as the pressure and stresses of everyday life mount. Love may seem to disappear and may be replaced by resentment and anger. Each partner can view this differently depending on their own experience of family life. One may despair, while the other may view it as a temporary blip.
Where a couple has attached hastily – in response to a passion, pregnancy or other need, disappointments can surface and fester when the excitement subsides. Renegotiating, with a skilled couples therapist, can help build a more realistic and deeper relationship.
When is the right time for Couples Counselling or Marital Therapy?
Anytime a couple wants to understand each other better or develop better communication skills or even before getting married to nip any concerns in the bud, as in pre-marital therapy. Most often though people will wait until they are in a crisis and you certainly are in need of therapy if:
- There has been a betrayal of trust; an affair, debt or secret
- Talking causes confusion or unbearable anger and conflict
- Separation or Divorce seem like the only option
- One of you is threatening divorce
- Desire has gone or sex is no fun or non-existent
- Arguments and bickering go on and on…or are often repetitive
- Sex can be a source of great enjoyment within a long-term relationship and any problems it poses can leave one partner feeling rejected, unloved or angry. Loss of desire is often an early sign of issues.
Communication and being able to manage conflict, arguments and rows is a foundation stone of a good relationship. It is unrealistic to hope that arguments can be avoided.
Two people come with their own values and beliefs and both must feel heard in order to thrive. This may mean developing new skills.
Differences need to be acknowledged; otherwise we merge or one partner is unheard. Then one partner may dominate and the other ‘disappears’.
Arguments are a healthy and essential part of any relationship and can energize it if carried out in an appropriate and skillful way. Indirect anger and domestic violence are destructive and demeaning.
Counselling can help with understanding the messages about conflict that we may have inherited from our family and offer new skills and perspectives.
Some Causes of Distress:
- Lack of negotiation can shatter expectations
- Stress can fracture a relationship
- Illness can deplete both partners
- Birth of a child can leave a partner feeling abandoned
- Depression can leave a partner feeling deserted
- External pressures can damage the couples bond
- Disappointment can lead to anger and hostility
- Life changes can be hard to cope with
- Children leaving home can allow resentments to resurface
Relationships need solid foundations; two unhappy people with unresolved issues rarely make a long-term happy relationship. It may be tempting to feel that our partner can compensate for earlier pain and loss, but this hope often leads to further disappointment.
If one can, entering a relationship as healthy as possible is best for the chance of long-term happiness. The pleasure is in wanting to be with someone rather than the tension of feeling needy and dependent.
Self-respect and liking oneself are the important ingredients for a good relationship. If they are in short supply the individual counselling sessions can address them.
Individual work focused on bereavement counselling can help you move on following a separation or death of a loved one.
How can Couples Therapy and Counselling help?
- Understanding each other and your differences/similarities
- Destructive patterns of relating can be recognised and addressed
- Conflict and communication can be improved
- New relationship skills can be learned
- The impact of change and loss can be examined
- Relationships can be more successful
- Abusive relationships and domestic violence can be acknowledged and changed
- Intimacy can be restored
About the Counsellor:
Nadine Hanchar has been Counselling in Private Practice since 1986 and has been in Victoria since 1989. She specializes in relationship issues, abuse, trauma and phobias and has assisted thousands of clients to get on with a quality of life that is no longer affected by their issues or trauma. As a Counsellor, Consultant and Facilitator for over 25 years, Nadine has also taught most of the therapies and techniques she uses. Proficient in a wide range of modalities and disciplines, Nadine works with each person as an individual and because she has a large “tool box” to draw upon she designs the counselling therapy around the individual person.
Nadine is also the developer of a “PEP Personality Process”© based on how a person processes information. It offers incredible insights into ourselves and others and how the way we process affects our personalities, communication, relationships and life.
With her Results Oriented Counselling approach, utilizing many non-traditional therapies, Nadine is focused on healing the root causes of the issues presented.
Nadine uses a combination of alternative non – traditional methods such as Neuro Linguistic Psychology™ (NLP), Timelinked Release Therapy™ (TRT), Ericksonian Hypnosis and others to assist the client in their healing process. She has found that these methodologies are the most effective, efficient and the easiest on the client.
Nadine has created a truly unique holistic approach, because along with all of her psychological and communication expertise, her depth of knowledge also includes training in: physical disciplines like Iridology and nutrition; energy healing therapies like Hawaiian Huna and Reiki; and a wide range of training in spiritual philosophies and meditations.
Everything Nadine does with people is designed to assist them in dealing with the root causes of their issues. This allows the person, couple, family or organization to go forward with a better quality of life.