Couples Counselling Calgary

Are you feeling unheard and unseen by your partner in your relationship?

Have the intimacy and harmony you once experienced together been replaced by conflict and resentment?

Are you looking for premarital counselling in the Calgary area?

Couples Counselling Calgary

Feeling lonely, in relationship?

Tired of feeling lonely in your relationship?

If you’re seeking to restore the joy and closeness you once experienced within your relationship, couples therapy can help. Research shows that couples counselling has a very high rate of success.

According to a study done by the American Psychological Association, the rate of success is in the range of 75%.

Based in Southern Alberta our team at Couples Counselling Calgary works with couples in our office as well as online. We employ proven techniques that empower each individual within the couple, effectively supporting the relationship's continuation, and restoring intimacy and joy. Besides regular couples therapy, we also offer premarital counselling (counselling before marriage) to help build a solid foundation for your relationship.

Whether you have struggled for months or even years, it is possible to experience a passionate and supportive relationship with your partner again. Our team of registered psychologists is here to help you create the kind of satisfying and intimate relationship that couples are meant to experience. Call today to explore the many ways we can support you!

Why Couples Counselling?

If you and your partner are experiencing challenges in your relationship, you’re not alone. And if you’re on the fence about pursuing therapy to resolve the conflict you are facing, you’re in good company. Research shows that most couples wait years before seeking therapy. Part of the resistance to finding a couple's counsellor is because most of us believe we can find solutions on our own. In other cases, we are afraid that therapists will ‘take sides’ in conflict situations and cause shame. This is unfortunate, because research shows that couples counselling has a very high rate of success. Additionally, therapy can be profoundly affirming and healing to each partner on an individual level.

Facing the future, together.

Couples therapy is a powerful support to any kind of intimate relationship at any stage of growth.

According to research, couples counselling that teaches skills through such techniques as Emotion Focused Therapy can improve marital/relational satisfaction in up to 90% of couples. Whether a relationship is new, becoming perminant or if you have been experiencing conflict for years, couples counselling can dramatically improve relational satisfaction, communication, intimacy, and connection.

More specifically, couples counselling can help in the following ways:

  • Recover from infidelity
  • Release anger and resentment
  • Improve communication
  • Restore passion and intimacy
  • Learn healthy ways to communicate needs, fears and hurts
  • Hear and understand each other with empathy

The goal of couples therapy is not to just prevent divorce, but for the relationship to have the opportunity to heal deeply. As couples learn new, effective communication methods and rebuild trust, respect, and intimacy through counselling, healing begins. Couples counselling will teach you proven strategies to achieve these goals, so your relationship can thrive. You’ll also receive tools to grow individually. We welcome you to contact us at Couples Counselling Calgary to get started on your journey towards healing.

Our Approach to Couples Therapy:

Our approach at Couples Counselling Calgary is an integrated, eclectic approach. We view the relationship between a couple as a system dependent upon the health of the two individuals. The same is true in reverse, which is why couples therapy addresses both the relationship itself, and both partners.

From our many years of experience in the field of couples therapy, we have time and again observed the following to be true:

• There cannot exist a healthy, functioning system (intimate relationship) without two healthy individuals

• The individuals themselves cannot experience true health within a system that is unhealthy. 

Therapist-induced marital suicide?

In every case, each individual brings skills, knowledge, and challenges to the system and has contributed to its damaged state. Likewise, each partner will be needed to help restore harmony. In the context of this symbiotic understanding of relationships, our team of couples counsellors works to support our clients in their growth and healing individually and as a couple.

This collaborative view of both the individual and the couples relationship system is markedly different from the postmodern viewpoint of relationships. In the latter perspective, the happiness of the individual is pitted against the continuation of the relationship. This view is based on the belief that the couples' relationship is less important than the client's self-actualization and happiness. Many therapists, consciously or unconsciously, are dismantling marriages through this type of approach. This detrimental approach has become so pronounced that therapist and professor Dr. William J Doherty has coined the term ‘therapist-induced marital suicide.’

While not all relationships can or should be saved, our team respectfully challenges the assumption of the approach mentioned above. We believe that the health of the individuals and their relationship don’t have to be at odds with each other in most cases. Rather, they are dependent upon one another and can serve to enhance rather than take away from the individual. By improving and healing one, you synchronically work to heal the other.

At Couples Counselling Calgary, our team of therapists believe in restoring relationships so that you and your partner can experience intimacy in a healthy and beneficial way for everyone involved. Our goal and mission are to support couples to thrive so that each partner can be refreshed and nourished by the relationship.

Our southern Alberta based team of counsellors offer a wide variety of support services in addition to traditional counselling sessions. Please contact us to learn more about how we can help.

What to Expect in Couples Counselling:

Collaborative, compassionate, nonjudgmental and blame-free!

Couples counselling is always performed in a collaborative, compassionate manner. Sessions and supports are nonjudgmental and blame-free. Our therapists take an active, present role and disallow any unhealthy communication patterns or control from dominating the counselling sessions. We ensure that both parties are heard, seen, validated and supported. Our counsellors work with you in an egalitarian manner to understand both partners' perspectives and needs. Learn more

At Couples Counselling Calgary, we will help you grow individually and as a couple in the following ways:

Implementing and strengthening relational skills

Beyond basic compatibility, making an intimate relationship work is primarily about a skillset. Many of these skills have to do with emotional self-awareness (why do I feel this way?) and healthy conflict resolution. If we lack emotional awareness, we don’t have an entry point into our partner's emotional intimacy. If we have emotional awareness but do not know how to approach conflict in a healthy way, we will run into issues. 

Assessing areas of conflict and concern

Your counsellor will seek to identify and understand your relational concerns. Through intentionally structured sessions, your therapist will listen and assess the challenges you face as a couple. We want to understand the goals you each bring to couples therapy and what you hope to achieve.

Understanding your relational history and perspective

Through compassionate, non-judgemental listening, we will seek to understand the history that brought you to this point, as well as the unique perspective each partner holds.

Addressing areas of anger and resentment

Once both parties have shared their perspective, history, desires, and goals, we begin to address hurt and resentment areas. Common issues are infidelity, poor communication, lack of sex/sexual issues, isolation and loneliness within the relationship, and a lack of intimacy.

What we address in Calgary Couples Counselling:

The bulk of couples counselling will be devoted to developing these crucial relational components in light of the conflict you are experiencing. Some of the areas you will learn skills in addressing include:

• Healthy communication
• Rituals that restore your relationship
• Appreciation, affection, affirmation, and acknowledgement

Supporting and stabilizing as needed:

Couples counselling will allow you and your partner to begin to process your hurt and conflict.

You will learn how to effectively utilize and implement the healing relational skills your counsellor will practice with you. Gradually, you will begin to find new rhythms and positive patterns of relating in your relationship. As this progress stabilizes over time, we will adjust our sessions' frequency accordingly and make any necessary adjustments to your counselling goals. The work you do with us at Couples Counselling Calgary will give you the skills you need to maintain a healthy way of relating. That means you will be able to look forward to enjoying things like intimacy, trust and affection as your sessions move forward to completion.

Considering life together?

Couples Counselling Before Marriage:

Some of the couples we see at Couples Counselling Calgary are in a marital relationship or just about to enter into the bond of marriage. For those who are on their way towards becoming married, we offer premarital counselling. This form of counselling is a wonderful way to prepare for marriage intentionally. Research shows that couples who received premarital therapy decreased their risk of divorce and increased their marital satisfaction level by 30%.

Premarital counselling is an effective way to identify and address potential areas of conflict. It also serves to affirm areas of strength that will help to lay a solid foundation for a healthy marriage.

When you meet with a counsellor at Couples Counselling Calgary, we’ll help you improve your relational communication skills, explore areas of strength and potential conflict, and resolve existing conflict and resentment. In the process, you and your partner will gain a deeper understanding of each others’ needs, fears, and desires.

Our southern Alberta based team is ready to meet with you in person or online to help you and your partner prepare for this next big step in your relationship. Please feel free to contact us today.

When Couples Counselling Doesn’t Work:

At Couples Counselling Calgary, we have observed that couples counselling, when approached correctly, has a high success rate. Conversely, we have found that some approaches do more harm than good, and we do not employ or endorse them. These approaches are characterized by the following:

Short-sighted Counselling Goals:

Counselling that proceeds like individual psychotherapy:

This includes taking a passive role and letting the couples’ dynamic play out with no intervention. At Couples Counselling Calgary, we believe that therapists should take an active, assertive role. Our counsellors will lead the session in a structured way that promotes constructive dialogue and a safe environment for both parties.

Counselling that presents as neutral on the issue of marriage:

For couples who are married, we understand the importance of that commitment. However, there exists an approach to couples counselling where the therapist takes a neutral view, approaching things from the viewpoint of a consumer assessing the cost/benefit analysis. We believe this is harmful because it undermines the marriage vows you and your spouse have made to each other. It will also affect your desire to work on the relationship.

Keeping love together, for ALL concerned!

If you have come to couples counselling instead of to the divorce lawyer, we are assuming you are committed to the continuation of the marriage. In this scenario, a neutral stance on the part of your therapist is not appropriate.

Our team of therapists will take a positive approach to your relationship and will support its continuance. We also apply these same principles to unmarried committed couples who come to see us for couples counselling.

Counselling that pathologizing the relationship:

In some cases, a couple's counsellor will pathologize the relationship. This is particularly harmful in couples counselling because it creates hopelessness. It also escalates ordinary marital conflicts into extreme situations. An inexperienced therapist might pathologize the individuals themselves or create a victim/offender dynamic within the relationship. (Note: if there is a true victim/offender dynamic present, your therapist will take note of this and intervene accordingly.)

In ordinary marital conflict, a therapist who pathologizes the individuals within the marriage rather than identifying the system's issues will end up creating blame, shame, and anger. At Couples Counselling Calgary, we have a highly-skilled team of experienced psychologists who will not pathologize you or your relationship. Our sessions and myriad forms of support are all shame-free and blame-free.

Counselling that overtly undermines the relationship:

This looks like painting the couple’s relationship as a zero-sum situation. The happiness of the individual is assumed to be at odds with the continuation of the relationship. Our therapists work to support your relationship, not undermine it. We don’t treat divorce's pain and damage lightly for married couples, nor do we regard the disintegration of any committed relationship lightly. Our stance is one of pro-commitment.

Restoring broken relationships and healing hearts

Within all of the counselling and various educational supports we offer, we refrain from pathologizing you/your relationship, taking sides, or undermining your relationship and commitment. Instead, our couples counsellors create a highly-structured and supportive environment, lead sessions with assertiveness and grace, and advocate for the continuation of your relationship. In all of these respects, our framework stands out as being fundamentally different from many others.

Not every relationship can or should be saved, but we believe that couples therapy is about preventing unnecessary relationship disintegration. At Couples Counselling Calgary, we work hard to support both individuals' improved health and the relationship itself.

Contact Us Today to Restore the Intimacy, Affection and Trust in your Relationship!

Our team of registered psychologists at Couples Counselling Calgary have years of experience in couples therapy and premarital counselling. We would love to support you in regaining all of the joy and passion that you and your partner once knew, and to acquire the skills that will restore your relationship to last a lifetime.

At Couples Counselling Calgary, we see clients in the southern Alberta area and also offer sessions to long-distance clients online. To explore the many ways we can help support you and bring healing to your relationship, please contact us today.

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