“Success is not final, failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.”
Therapy and counselling can be the bridge from pain and distress to healing; from isolation and self-doubt to confidence and self-assertion; from a sense of loss and aloneness to feelings of hope and connection.
It can break down the barriers and limiting beliefs that stunt our growth and stifle creativity. It can be the magic key that dissolves negativity and obstacles, and unlocks potential. It clears the path and illuminates the way to fresh perspectives, new choices and infinite possibilities.
Therapy deepens understanding, promotes awareness, fosters acceptance and activates consideration and appreciation. It can lead to profound insight and positive change. It enhances interpersonal skills and communication and betters relationships. It stimulates creativity and helps in the creation of a meaningful and rewarding life.
Albert Einstein said ”we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” Therapy helps us find alternative ways to reduce the negativity in our mind, so we can approach others and respond to challenges in a more positive and effective way. We begin to see things in a different light and from a different point of view, and this enables growth and positive change in all aspects of life.
Couples therapy provides a space for honest communication between partners and the chance to develop awareness within a relationship, often focussing on issues around giving, receiving and closeness. Each partner is able to describe and reflect on their experiences, to help develop a deeper understanding of the way they both relate and respond to each other.
Developing and fostering empathy
Realising that a couple is not two individuals living a practical arrangement but a lively and interactive joint system is the first step in fostering togetherness and compassion; with this awareness each partner can become more sensitive, develop empathy for the other and accept diversity. Differences become opportunities for unique and creative solutions; the couple learn ways to avoid destructive arguing, and engage instead in constructively working through conflict.
Importantly, when a couple learns to ask for help and support the relationship often becomes a safe haven, where each can express their wishes, have needs met, grow and mature. This promotes intimacy, connection, respect, trust and security.
The individual as a part of the couple
The therapeutic process involved in couples therapy also enables each partner to talk about themselves as an individual, and to observe and examine their individual behaviour and responses as part of the couple. They can explore attitudes, expectations and beliefs, and identify strengths and weaknesses.
Through this process each partner becomes motivated and empowered to take responsibility for the relationship, instead of attributing any negative parts to the other partner - and expecting them to make changes. This development of empathy fosters compassion and the ability to “stand in the other’s shoes”. It is a shift; from blaming the other to realising that we co-create our reality and all have to be responsible for making positive change.
Relived experiences in the relationship
Childhood trauma, fear, painful feelings and repressed or forgotten experiences can sometimes find themselves being re-enacted as part of a relationship; despite feeling as if they are motivated by and determine behaviour in the present, they belong to the past. It is vital for each partner to recognise this and work towards understanding that these responses do not belong to the here and now. This awareness alone can take a heavy load off the shoulders of a relationship, and help clear misunderstandings that are creating tension in a couple’s everyday life.
Therapy also provides a space where we can gain insight into how we approach mounting tensions (crises, on-going arguments or disputes) and the other challenges that life sends us. We learn how to work through those challenges and exist together in a more functional and healthier way; to resolve conflict and acquire wisdom from failure.
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