Also called couple counselling, relationship therapy or relationship coaching
Could your relationship benefit from professional marriage counselling here on the Gold Coast? If you want a private, confidential counselling session with an experienced professional, call today for a no-obligation discussion about how counselling may be beneficial for you, your partner or family.
How does the DREAM turn into a SCREAM?
Why do we end up in conflict with the one we love?
How can something that started out so good end up so bad?
What is marriage counselling?
Marriage counselling is a form of therapy that helps couples-married or not-understand and resolve conflicts and improve their relationships.
Effective marriage counselling gives couples the tools to;
- Communicate better,
- Negotiate differences and problem solve
- And even argue in a healthier way.
- Sometimes marriage counselling is about helping a couple work out whether they should stay together or separate.
Marriage and Relationship Counselling: What You Should Know
Marriage and relationship counselling is a specialised area and to be a good marriage and relationship counsellor requires extensive training and years of experience in the field.
Professional Marriage and Relationship Counselling at Innercalm Counselling
Jiselle Saraghi began her career as a relationship counsellor many years ago when she undertook specialised training at Relationships Australia in Victoria. She has worked in the field of personal growth and counselling for more than 18 years both in private practice and within organisations. She is highly qualified to assist you with any relationship issues you may be experiencing.
Jiselle is committed to helping individuals and couples recognise their patterns, heal their wounds, move towards growth and embrace joyful, meaningful lives.
Jiselle continues to immerse herself in training and professional development in the field of relational theory and therapy. She is a certified Imago Relationship Therapist and works from Imago Relationship Therapy model.
Why Do People Seek Marriage Counselling or Relationship Therapy?
- Communication And Miscommunication– Sometimes couples and partners in relationship find they don’t feel they can say what they really want to express, and often feel they just are not being listened to.
- Conflict Resolution– Differences in dealing with issues and disagreements when they arise can spiral into silence, shouting and behaviour that make the situation worse rather than better. Genuine attempts to resolve issues sometimes sink couples into further conflict and fears for the future of their relationship.
- Lack Of Intimacy– Sex may be infrequent or not at all. There may be a lack of affection between them and the couple may have stopped reaching out with tenderness and love.
- Sexual Issues– These come is various guises and forms. By addressing intimacy and trust through relationship counselling, these sexual problems are often resolved and overcome leading to a deeper feeling of intimacy than either partner imagined to be possible.
- A Partner Having An Affair– This happens when one or other partner looks for intimacy with someone else. Both partners are encouraged to engage in the process of healing deep wounds, restoring trust, and altering old patterns in the relationship prior to having the affair. It can be difficult, requires courage and taking risks, but it can be done.
- Personal Issues That Affect Both Partners– sometimes when one partner has problems like depression, addiction, grief, trauma, and other deep-seated issues, it can affect both partners and affect the relationship. It is possible for these issues to be healed within the relationship
- Love each other but not “in love anymore”. The relationship has lost its spark-, they may take each other for granted and be feeling bored with the relationship– After many years together couples can feel like they are just friends rather than intimate partners, they may be feeling stuck or even lonely.
- Navigating second or third marriages and blended families. Step parenting and blended families can be very challenging and can put a lot of pressure on a new relationship. Couples often need help to define their role with each other’s children.
- Relationship in transition, moving to next stage such as:
11.Making sense of a relationship breakdown. Many individuals seek counselling at the end of a relationship. They want to understand their patterns and triggers and learn from the past so that they can let go of it and create a different future for themselves.
12.Broken Heart Recovery- At this painful time counselling will support the individual as they recover and heal and assist them to move forward .
13.Support to leave an abusive or dysfunctional relationship. It can be difficult to leave a dysfunctional or abusive relationship. You can feel stuck and disempowered. Reaching out and getting the necessary support is crucial if you are in such a situation. Counselling is about empowering the individual to make positive decisions for their future At these difficult times it is easy to forget what a healthy loving relationship should feel like. It is essential to re establish your boundaries and clarify your values so that you can reconnect to what is important in life.
14. Learning to be successfully single. Coming out of a long-term relationship can be scary, counselling can help us face our fears and limiting beliefs and embrace the next phase of lives with optimism and courage.
15. Should I stay or should I go? Considering divorce or separation.
Couples or individuals will often go to a marriage and relationship counsellor as a last resort, when they are at the very brink of divorce. Marriage counselling can help with exploring all the options so that you have more clarity about what is the best outcome for you, your family and the relationship. It can be about closure, letting go and separating amicably or it may be about making sure all stones have been unturned before making such a major life changing decision.
*** It is more beneficial and much more effective, if couples would consider seeing a relationship or marriage counsellor when the cracks first begin to show, and before the damaging patterns become habit and harder to untangle and change.
***Not all marriages or relationships are meant to go on and marriage counselling can provide closure, support and understanding to both partners.
***However if two people are willing to explore openly the issues that brought them to this point reconciliation is always possible.
Who is marriage and relationship counselling for?
- Couples and Individuals who want a better relationship with their partners and or themselves.
- Counselling and therapy is about personal growth, gaining insight and increasing self-awareness.
Innercalm counselling’s approach to marriage and relationship Counselling
The main model of therapy utilised by Jiselle is Imago Relationship Therapy (IRT), which was developed over 25 years ago by Dr. Harville Hendrix and Dr. Helen LaKelly Hunt.
Jiselle also draws upon her many years of experience working in the field and is influenced by the work of John Gottman, ACT (acceptance and commitment therapy) and Susan Johnson’s emotion focused model.
Mindfulness provides the framework for all Jiselle’s counselling work. As mindfulness teaches us how to transform our lives by learning to live in the ‘here and now’, Imago Relationship Therapy transforms our relationships in the same way by teaching us to how to become more conscious in our relationships.
What is Imago Therapy?
Imago Relationship Therapy (IRT) is a transformational method of therapy that uses concepts from a range of psychological theories and therapeutic practices.
The word Imago comes from the Latin word image and it is implying that we all carry within us an unconscious image of our mate that we have been forming since birth. We construct this image from both the positive and negative traits of our primary care givers. This is why we often recognise traits of our mothers or fathers in our partners.
Imago Relationship Therapy engages the couple in a structured process where they learn how to heal one another, remove negativity and appreciate each other for the person they are.
Harville Hendrix the founder of IRT has a famous quote –
“Conflict in our relationships is our growth trying to happen”.
Viewed this way the conflict or the inevitable power struggle that you may be currently experiencing in your relationship becomes something to be welcomed. Reframing your current difficulties as growth opportunities for your own personal and mutual development means that your relationship becomes a place of healing and growth rather than a battlefield.
IRT is a highly effective form of relationship and couples therapy that has positively affected thousands of couples around the world.
If you would like to experience how an Imago Relationship Therapy session will benefit your relationship call………
If you would like more information about Imago Relationship Therapy click here.
Or read Harville Hendrix’s book “Getting the Love You Want”
What happens in a marriage or couple therapy session?
Effective marriage and relationship counselling creates a safe space to have difficult conversations.
1/ Safety First
What does safety mean?
The primary focus of the counselling initially is to establish safety both in the counselling space and in the relationship. Without a foundation of safety it is not possible to fully explore the issues that brought you to counselling in the first place.
Safety means that you both feel free to express yourself and be vulnerable with each other. It means you are able to relax and you don’t feel you have to pretend, worry or fear revealing aspects of who you are or that you have to monitor what you say to each other. Its feeling fully accepted for who you are ‘warts and all’.
You can’t have a great relationship unless it’s emotionally safe: it has to be predictable and reliable.
Learning to be respectful and to listen and hear each other in a deep way are the steps needed to create this safety as are learning to replace criticism and negativity with curiosity. Learning these skills has the potential to transform a troubled relationship.
Safety in a relationship is exactly like laying the foundations for a house. Without solid foundations the house will most certainly at some point topple over as will your relationship.
It is the structure of Imago Relationship Therapy that creates the solid foundation of safety.
Once there is a solid foundation in the relationship- connection, passion, romance and fun all become the possible.
2/ Re-connection, passion and fun
What is next?
An Imago Relationship Therapy session might feel more like a coaching session as it very different to the more traditional forms of counselling. You will be seated facing each other rather than the therapist.
The focus in Imago Relationship Therapy is on the relationship and what is going on between the two of you. How you communicate and interact with each other is of vital importance.
In the first session you will be asked what you hope to get from the therapy and what you believe needs to be different as well as giving you the opportunity to share what you believe are the frustrations and issues that have brought you to counselling.
Coaching you how to communicate with each other in a new way where you will experience feeling heard and valued begins in the initial session. This is paramount if you are to re establish connection with each and rebuild your relationship.
The magic of Imago is that it provides a safe structure while at that same time it teaches new skills. It is from this structure it becomes possible to explore the past, gain insight and moves us to a state of being where mature love exists and where healing and growth become possible.
Not all relationships are meant to be saved. Imago is as equally powerful in helping couples separate with dignity and compassion as it is in bringing them together.
All of us deserve to be in great relationships and investing in your relationship is one of the wisest investments you will ever make. When our relationships are working it ripples down and positively impacts all areas of our life.
If you would like a more detailed description of what happens in the first session
How many sessions will we need?
Each case is different but in Jiselle’s experience most couples will need a minimum of three to five sessions to see any lasting change. She recommends you have the initial sessions weekly or fortnightly and then spread them out as you begin to make progress.
There is a range of options to make counselling affordable.
Money invested in your relationship is money wisely spent. The financial toll alone in a break down can be devastating.
Cars need regular maintenance or they will breakdown and so will your relationship without regular health checks. Many of Jiselle’s clients come back for their relationship health check every three to six months.
Your relationship does need to be in trouble to benefit from a marriage or relationship counselling session. Imago Relationship Therapy can take your relationship to a level you may never have dreamed possible.
After the honeymoon, comes the power struggle with all its conflicts, frustrations and challenges. Awaiting you if you are brave enough is your DREAM relationship where real, mature love reside.
What to expect from Marriage and Relationship Counselling at Innercalm Counselling:
- Reconnection and healing are possible from the very first session.
- A safe non judgemental environment to explore the issues that brought you to counselling
- An emphasis placed on re-establishing safety and connection.
- The learning of tools and skills that will help you more effectively communicate with each other.
- Mastery of techniques that will repair your relationship and deepen your connection to each other.
- A rekindling of romance and renewed passion
- Personal growth
- Healing from childhood wounds
- Increased good will towards each other
- Improvement in all your relationships especially your children and family members
- Increase in overall sense of well being, happiness and life satisfaction
- Renewed creativity and energy for all facets of your life
Contact us now to learn how you can transform your current relationship into the relationship of your dreams!
All relationship counselling is equally suitable for same-sex or heterosexual couples.