Photo by @Romankraft

No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent.

In 1624, when John Donne wrote these immortal words, he was saying that human beings exist in relationship with one another. We're social creatures and we need one another not just for survival, but to be happy and healthy. Since then, biology, neuroscience and psychology have all provided strong evidence to support this idea, so it seems John was on to something.

But relationships, be they with partners, family members, or other loved ones, are complex and often run into difficulties. In couple and family therapy, I help people to work through these problems with the aim of restoring and healing their relationships.

Among many other things, couple and family therapy can help with issues such as:

Families adjusting to divorce, separation, and becoming 'blended'

Life changes such as job loss, ill health, bereavement, moving to a new area etc.

The arrival of children, and the challenges involved in raising them

The effects of heterosexism on LGBTQIAP+ couples

Challenging adolescent behaviour

Coping with infidelity, insecurity, jealousy

Difficulty communicating with one another

My role in family and couple therapy involves:

  • Helping couple/family members to explore the problem(s) from each person’s point of view, with understanding, non-judgement and acceptance of each person present.

  • Helping members to move away from blaming, towards understanding one another.

  • Identifying common goals, and finding compromise for goals that are not shared among members.

  • Facilitating members to express what is important to them, and to really listen to one another.

  • Slowing everyone down, so that there is space and time to reflect on what is really happening in the relationship(s).

  • Encouraging everyone to step outside of their own point of view, and to look at the couple/family as a whole.

  • Importantly, finding and highlighting the strengths of the couple/family, and building upon these as part of the solution.