For better or for worse, the only way forward is together. Every committed relationship is rooted in love deepened through a partnership that lasts through the years, but even the strongest relationships struggle with ups and downs.
Many couples struggle with remaining committed to the life they built together due to a communication breakdown. This does not happen overnight but over years of raising a family, fulfilling career aspirations, and facing the challenges of growing together. While some couples think they are past the point of no return, it’s important to remember that help is always available through couples counselling.
At the Cognitive & Interpersonal Therapy Centre, we know that the biggest barrier to couples seeking the help they need in counselling is the stigma of “airing out their dirty laundry”. Many couples don’t get the help they need and refuse interventions because they are weighed down by beliefs and expectations of what a perfect relationship should be, which arise from various cultural and social norms, and family of origin models.
Couples therapy is a choice: two conscious, mature adults decide that they have a relationship worth fighting for. This means taking a positive step to protect their mutual love, trust, and commitment.
Our couples therapists are here to help to strengthen relationships by creating a safe space for couples to examine the quality of their life together, learn new ways of communicating, and grow closer in emotional and physical intimacy. The road to repairing a relationship may not be easy, but remember that couples counselling exists to help you do exactly that in a safe and productive space.
Going to couples therapy needs to be a mutual decision. It starts with recognizing your equal status as partners — two people committed to each other and working together to build a life. Before going to therapy, you need to ask each other: how can you repair your relationship and restore mutual love and trust? Couples counselling is recommended for couples who:
Remember that couples therapy is an investment in the long-term health of your relationship. To benefit from it, you and your partner must first recognize the need for it. Start by examining the state of your relationship: do you feel disconnected from each other? The success of couples counselling stems from honesty — an honest desire to work on your relationship by breaking unhealthy patterns of interactions that breed years of unhappiness.
At the Cognitive & Interpersonal Therapy Centre, we offer emotionally focused therapy (EFT) as the primary mode of couples counselling. EFT promotes healthy change in thoughts, feelings, and behaviours to improve relationship dynamics and help couples grow together.
Our therapists use EFT to create a safe space for couples to communicate openly and honestly to identify unhealthy behaviours and harmful actions. In this space, couples can establish mutual goals in rebuilding their relationship to undo the damage of years of resentment. To do this, your couples therapist will help you practice techniques for improved emotional communication to implement positive changes in your marriage.
Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples (EFT) is an attachment based approach developed by Dr. Sue Johnson that conceptualizes relationship problems in terms of emotional disconnection and insecure attachment. Using this approach, the therapist will work with you and your partner to identify problematic interaction patterns that are causing interpersonal problems
In EFT, relationship issues are usually understood within a pursuer/withdrawer pattern that often happens between distressed partners. These patterns in relating persist in couples who have lost emotional connection. The pursuer in the relationship is often seen as the blamer or the critic, whereas the withdrawer is often seen as defensive, silent or inaccessible.
During couples counselling, a therapist helps each of you understand how your own behaviour may be feeding into a negative pursuer/withdrawer interactional pattern. The therapist will help each of you explore your emotional needs and teach you ways to be more attentive to one another. The goal of EFT is to help you and your partner re-establish a secure connection. By focusing on your own attachment needs and learning how to express your needs to your partner, you will learn how to break maladaptive patterns and form healthier and happier relationships.
It’s important to remember that couples therapy is here to help you. Our therapists at the CITC work with couples to empower them to make healthy, positive changes in their relationships. Our goal is to ensure that each partner meets their needs in an environment of mutual trust and lasting commitment.
We welcome you and your partner to a safe, judgment-free space where you can work on your relationship in a healthy manner. We offer various exercises, dialogues, and therapy modes to help couples rediscover their respect and love of each other, and find new ways to communicate and relate as they decide on the best possible future for their relationship. Trust our professional therapists to help you through this process and empower you to make healthy changes in your relationship.
To learn more about cognitive behavioural and emotionally focused couples therapy in Ontario, call the Cognitive & Interpersonal Therapy Centre at 416-570-5050, or contact us here to book your appointment.