In my work with couples I draw on number of approaches including: psychological ideas, Systemic Couple Therapy, latests developments in neuroscience, Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT), Intimacy from an Inside Out (IFIO - the Internal Family Systems approach to couple work) .
From the systemic and EFT perspective, I’m interested in relational strengths and unhelpful patterns of relating that couples get stuck in such as 'attack-withdraw' or 'blame-defend'. Those hurtful behaviours are often driven by unexpressed vulnerable emotions and unmet attachment needs. The therapeutic process aims at helping couples accessing those emotions and needs to nurture connection and strengthen relational bonds by facilitating new ways of talking and responding that redefine the relationship as safe and secure.
IFIO is based on similar principles but uses a language of “parts" which include aspects of the individual that protect and that are vulnerable. Communication roadblocks and disconnecting patters come when couples are not consciously aware of their vulnerabilities or needs and communicate from their protective parts.
In the process of therapy , we aim to slow down and help each partner to make those internal connections and begin to differentiate from your protectors, understand your vulnerability and your emotional needs.
This promotes self soothing, staying regulated and from that place learning new ways of communicating and to co-regulating as a couple.
In our work together I will also invite you to develop skills to learn to pay attention to your own nervous systems, noticing when dysregulation happens and with time developing skills to work back toward optimal nervous system regulation and ultimately co-regulation. So you can be there for each other ("Are you there for me?") and see one another fully and accurately with vulnerabilities, strengths and limitations (“Can I be fully myself and still be loved by you?”)