Couples and Family Therapy

Couples seeking help are no different to those who do not seek help, neither are their problems unusual. In fact, most couples will experience a period of difficulty as they grow together, and this is a natural part of a couple’s relationship. Sometimes, this is because of a buildup of frustration and disappointment over time, sometimes because there is some other issue or meaning underlying the conflict. Other couples seek help as a result of a crisis in the relationship, such as an affair or apparent loss of affection and caring, or a traumatic event, such as an illness or loss in the family.

Families can struggle too and they seek help for a number of reasons. These reasons can include poor communication, frequent arguing, unfulfilled emotional needs, financial concerns and conflicts about how to parent children. Problems often occur at key transition points, i.e. when children are emerging into adolescence, when one member has suffered a significant injury or sickness, or any change in routine or situation that sends the family into a state of destabilization.

In these instances, we may recommend family therapy. This type of therapy focuses on the relationships between all members of the family and as such, all members would need to commit to attending therapy. At some points however, the focus may shift to the parental couple for a period of time. If parents are wondering whether their children should be involved in the sessions, they should discuss this with the practitioner.

Our practitioners use an approach to couples and family therapy called ‘Emotionally Focused Therapy’ or EFT. EFT is an empirically tested model that has shown excellent outcomes with many different kinds of couples and families.

For more information on EFT, please visit our EFT treatment page

Belleville Psychologist
Belleville Psychologist
Belleville Psychologist

The goal of this type of therapy is to help couples repair, enhance and continually grow their love relationship.

Couples will:

  • Better understand their own and their partner’s emotional responses and needs.
  • Be able to describe and control negative interactions that create and maintain pain and distance.
  • Be able to shape the positive moments of reaching and responding that creates a secure bond and gives a map to follow to ward against future crises in their relationship.

EFT is a model that prizes the couple and their innate need to be loved and supported and to do the same for their partner.  An EFT therapist does not teach ‘skills’ as these are already naturally available in everyone when we feel safe and supported in a loving relationship.  In this way, EFT helps couples reconstruct their relationship into a robust trusting and loving safe haven.

The goal of this type of therapy is to help dissolve the blocks to a parent or caregiver’s wired-in capacity to provide protection and nurturance.  It also frees up the child to more safely reach to their parent or caregiver more easily when they require support or nurturance.

Families will:

  • Better understand what makes secure family connections and the key moves that define the level of closeness or distance between members.
  • Better understand one’s own and other family member’s emotional responses and needs.
  • Be able to recognise and then reduce negative interactions that create a sense of isolation and lack of support.
  • Be able to shape more positive moments of reaching and responding to create a more secure bond. This allows for the family to change adaptively as children grow into adulthood and beyond.