Couples seek therapy for a wide range of reasons that are unique to the culture of each relationship. Every therapy session works within a framework that considers the couple's needs in the moment, goals for therapy, and vision for the relationship. Reasons for seeking therapy are wide-ranging. Sometimes high levels of discord and conflict are plaguing the relationship and couples feel stuck in cycles that they can't seem to get out of: this often happens when criticism, blame, contempt and various forms of avoidance have become pervasive in the relationship. Some couples are trying to recover from serious attachment wounds or betrayals, such as deceit or affairs. Some couples feel stuck and need support in making life decisions on which they do not agree. Sometimes a couple wants to improve their intimacy and sexual connection. Some couples are undergoing relational transitions that they need support navigating, and at times one or both are considering ending then relationship. Many couples cite communication problems as needing attention. For some couples, therapy is a place to support a relationship that is undergoing strain for reasons both internal and external to the relationship, and they want to find ways to strengthen their couple bond. For many couples, therapy often feels like a supportive checkin point where they can make active plans to support themselves, one another, and the relationship. These are just some of the reasons couples seek therapy.
Valhalla therapy offers an attachment-based approach to couples therapy. Attachment theory is explained briefly here. The intention of attachment-based couples therapy is to create a safe haven relationship wherein a couples bond can be strengthened. Structurally, the therapeutic hour changes depending upon the stage of the therapy and the needs of the couple during the session.* Stage one and its various substages are often a time when the therapist gets a clear understanding of the couples' needs and difficulties and when a de-escalation of negative cycles begins. During this time, couples may complete a formal assessment. The first stage is essential not only for de-escalation, but assessment is supportive in helping the therapist and couple peer into the unhelpful patterns, for the therapist to support the couple with skills and strategies to shift the pattern, and for the couple create goals for therapy and a vision for their relationship that establishes a new way of being together. Stage two involves numerous sub-stages and strategies for deepening a couples’ engagement with one another. Stage three is generally shorter, and is concerned with the consolidation of the previous stages. Stage three signals that therapy is near completion.
Therapy can flow generally through the stages or at times cycle through a stage or substage again dependent upon a couples’ needs. Stages may be shorter or longer depending on the complexity of issues a couple brings, and whether there has been trauma in one or both of the partners’ lives before or during the relationship. Sometimes there may also be grief or complicated grief present in the relationship.
Whatever stage the couple is in, a skilled therapist is always tracking a couples’ needs and is responsive to those needs in the moment. For therapy to be effective, it contains many elements, including a data-based and science-driven road map, a strong therapeutic relationship between clients and the therapist, therapist attunement, responsiveness, and engagement; therapeutic creativity and fluidity, and numerous other common factors shown to be important irregardless of the particular type of therapeutic approach a therapist uses.
*When a couple begins therapy in the midst of a crisis, these stages do not flow in this manner. Rather, the crisis is worked with immediately and specifically.
At Valhalla Therapy you can choose to work online on a secure platform or in-person in the Nelson BC counselling office. Choosing what works for you depends upon a variety of factors: your location, schedule, comfort, technological availability, and personal preferences. To discuss what works best for you, contact Valhalla Therapy for a free consult.
*Google now requires that websites contain certain key search terms within the text of the site. Your search to find the right counselling support with Valhalla Therapy may have brought you here by googling a online therapist, online counsellor, counsellor near me, counsellor, attachment therapist, counsellor Nelson BC, counsellor Trail BC, or counsellor Nelson.
Carla Duda, M.C. (Couns. Psych.), R.C.C. Copyright © 2021 Valhalla Therapy - All Rights Reserved.