"If you start to feel that you have given up too many parts of yourself to be with your partner, then one day you will end up looking for another person in order to reconnect with those lost parts"
~ Ester Perel
Having a disagreement with your significant other is common, but if you are always walking on egg shells around your partner – it could be time to think about Couples Therapy. There is nothing wrong or any shame in wanting to seek out help to improve your relationship. This is a sign that you recognise and care enough about your partner to be pro-active in trying to fix what is happening. Talk to your partner about your feelings and why you want to start therapy. You might have heard the statistic that over half of marriages end in divorce – however, there is the help to assist you in a successful, meaningful marriage or partnership.
Couples Therapy offers a Safe Space
Our close relationships can be a source of great happiness and satisfaction in our lives, and yet also of great anxiety and isolation if they start to go wrong. If our relationship is in difficulty or crisis, it can be distressing and disappointing, leaving us feeling guilty, rejected or lonely. Very often, couples will seek counselling as a means of enhancing or rescuing their relationship. Couples therapy offers a safe supportive space in which couples have the opportunity to explore their relationship difficulties. This can help you rebuild your relationship and stay together. However, if you expressly wish to separate, then couples therapy can also help you to do that more amicably. This option can be particularly invaluable if you have children together, and want to co-parent to be as amicable as possible.
Couples Therapy can help you communicate more effectively
Sometimes relationship issues include continued arguments and bickering without a resolution in sight due to a complete breakdown in communication. Perhaps trust has diminished or has been broken through betrayal (affairs, lies or secrets) or maybe a partner is struggling with depression, tension or other health problems which have contributed and exacerbated the issues in the relationship. Learning and developing the art of communication is a fundamental part of couples therapy and a way forward in beginning to unknot, understand and repair the existing issues. However, couples therapy does require a level of commitment - time and effort from both partners and an acceptance that sometimes it can be a challenging process.
We offer an integrated approach to couples therapy which allows flexibility to work with couples specific needs and with varying levels of complex relational issues. The approach is informed by humanistic and relational theories and perspectives including techniques and skills from the Encountered-centered Couples Therapy Model(EcCT) Program developed and presented by Hedy Schleifer.
In addition, we offer a stand-alone 6 week Couples Connection Program incorporating some of the EcCT approaches which ultimately aims to enhance relational maturity and the quality of the relational space in which the couple lives.
A Collaborative Process by Couples Therapist Cemaliye Deran
My aim and commitment when working with couples is to create real and positive change; to identify the issues and work together on the problems by supporting and developing effective communication. I very much see any work we do together as a collaborative process and as a humanistic and integrative couples therapist (with a holistic approach), I will tailor a programme specific and diverse to couples needs. Through the work, I will be encouraging empathy with each other, creating a movement towards re-connection and intimacy. You are given the opportunity to understand and appreciate each other's needs, build on strengths and ultimately make useful changes in your lives and your relationship. You can leave couples therapy having developed relational growth and the ability to create a safe space where honest open dialogue is possible between you. Indeed, with some care and commitment to your relationship, these changes can be maintained long after therapy has ended.
Many people have a conscious list of what they are looking for in a spouse or partner e.g. tall, handsome, ambitious, responsible etc. However, it may be that all of us have an unconscious list - one that is outside of our awareness. We look for someone who has parts of us that we have not developed (or been allowed to express). Our unconscious looks for love that feels familiar enough. It may not be an exact replica of mom and dad, but it is close enough; someone who for example can be fun, but is also just a little emotionally unavailable. Love that might be strong, but also a little critical.
Sessions are usually weekly and can be between one and two hours in duration. This is negotiated, agreed and reviewed by 'us' throughout the therapeutic work and is also dependent on your needs as a couple and availability. I am often able to offer a degree of flexibility for working couples by offering early morning and late evening appointments. If you would like to know more about whether couples therapy is the next step for your relationship, then please do not hesitate to contact me to discuss your needs or to book an initial session.