Lisa Shouldice MA, RP, CCP, Psychotherapist
I offer both couple and family counselling to help you learn to better navigate healthy relationships and experience the intimacy you need in your life. I am able to offer both short-term skill-building, activity-based couple counselling as well as a longer-term, dynamic approach that generally lasts 5-8 months, depending on the couple and scheduling. I see heterosexual, gay and lesbian couples, as well partnerships involving people with non-binary gender presentations. I also see couples in open and polyamorous relationships.
Couples sometimes present to me feeling disconnected. They also tend to feel when they fight it is repetitive and does not seem to reach a resolution. I am able to talk to you about healthy communication and guide you through activities to help you reconnect and enjoy each other again.
Some couples find they are stuck in difficult pursue-withdrawal dynamics and have deep resentments towards each other that affect all of their interactions. A longer-term process may be warranted in which we will talk about your specific couple dynamic and slowly reshape it into a healthier one. We will use emotion-focused techniques to help you connect and learn to take care of each other again in a loving way. While this is a longer-term investment it is amazing to fall in love all over again and reach out for each other without feeling past hurts are in the way.
I find couple counselling can be hard for couples as they come in and talk to me about really difficult things in our sessions. These may be issues that you try to give very little space to in your relationship. However, this is no longer working for you, which is why you want help. I want couples to understand that we are bringing these issues up to heal them so they can reconnect. It is a process that takes time, but is well worth it. I prefer couples to leave these topics to our sessions and not discuss them at home, especially in the beginning. We need the safe space created in session to discuss challenges and difficult feelings in a healthy way. In between sessions please focus on taking care of each other and spending time together instead.
Dr. Sue Johnson- Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love
John M. Gottman & Nan Silver- The Seven Principles of Making Marriage Work