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Couples Therapy: Building Better Relationships

What is the key to a great relationship? Join us as we journey into the makings of Great Relationships and how to build them with your partner.

We all hear the stories that bring a tear of joy to our eyes; of Uncle Jack and Aunty Mary and their 60+ year relationship. But more and more we're hearing stories of breakups, broken homes and striking out in the relationship arena. So just what is the secret to building the best relationship of your life and still being in love after 60 years together? LSC dives deep into the Couples Therapy world to guide you in building a better relationship that will last the test of time.

Who is Couples Therapy for?

LSC leans into the Gottman learning of Couples Therapy as this is the strongest evidence based (meaning: tried, tested and true) guidebook for building better relationships. The Gottman Method is based on decades of observation and research of all types of couples, and because of this heavy research background across a wide rang of couple dynamics and makeups, can be applied to almost every couple!

Happy couples, not only ailing relationships.

LGBTQ+ couples, not only heterosexual.

Domestic Violence past occurrences

Transition to Parenthood

Lower income households, not just high wealth couples.

I say almost every couple, as there are a few instances where couples therapy is not appropriate, and individual therapy or eliminating these issues should be considered first. These include:

Ongoing Affairs

Ongoing Domestic Violence

Untreated high risk mental illness such as schizophrenia, bipolar.

And that's OK! Part of knowing what works well, is knowing when it doesn't work well. If you're relationship is one of the above, chat to LSC about how we can support you in other ways.

What is our Focus?

The heart of the couple is emotions. How each partner relates, interprets and projects their emotions. Our main focus in therapy is to refine these emotional communications so that each partner can have their emotions felt and heard in a productive way.

Once this emotional foundation is laid, our second focus is to build skills in each partner, to manage conflict and enhance friendship. Most couples come to therapy when they notice something is wrong and want to "fix" it but don't know how or where to start. But did you know, couples therapy is also great for enhancing "good" relationships too?? You don't have to wait until there's a problem to work on building your best relationship. Be proactive and learn how to manage conflict so that when conflict inevitably arises, you're ready to fight and repair the right way.

The last stop on this train is support couples in creating shared meaning in their relationship, with a view towards their future together. When you have a shared life vision or meaning to what you're building together, couples are able to weather conflicts much easier. Do you know what you're working for?

What is the First Step?

The first week of couples therapy is the most intense and most significant. Before starting actual "Therapy" for the couple, there are 3 steps to take together first.

Session 1 - Conjoint session: 1 hour with your LSC therapist together as a couple to meet and discuss your main concerns. A opportunity to have a conflict in session to understand your conflict style, for the therapist to build your roadmap forwards.

Session 2 - Individual session: 1 hour for each partner with your LSC therapist to get to know who you are, outside of your relationship, and what's important to you. This helps to inform the therapist on how you engage in your relationship with understanding of the personal insights for each partner.

Session 3 - Feedback & Contracting session: 1 hour together with your LSC therapist. After the Individual session, each partner is sent a Relationship Questionnaire that supports the therapist in identifying key strengths and opportunities for the relationships. The answers to this questionnaire are not provided, but your outcomes are. Together, we agree to continue working for the health of your relationship, and each partner makes a commitment to engaging in therapy skills both in and outside the counselling appointment.

What happens next?

Our sessions following the First Steps is where we get into the real therapeutic transformation for the relationship. We pull from a wide range of intervention techniques specifically designed to facilitate conflict conversations and friendship enhancement between the couple. We want you to talk to each other, not the therapist, and so we guide these conversations in the counselling room that you can model "in the real world".

Our first Goal is to work on Conflict: Understand the partner's point of view.

We give space to the Speaker to state their feelings, ensure no blame is being positioned, and ask for what they need. The Listener's job is to take notes on what the Speaker is saying, summarize and validate their position, and ask questions to find out more.

Out next Goal is to Eliminate the Four Horsemen: Interrupt and Replace with Antidotes.

You might have heard this term before, the Four Horsemen refers to the 4 key markers of the "Relationship Apocalypse" and are triggers for leading a relationship to breakdown, if not addressed. We help you identify each of these when they might come up in conflict and provide the antidote.

Goal three is to Move from Gridlock to Dialogue: Helping the Partner to Understand the Hidden Dreams within Conflict.

We only fight because at the root of this conflict, is something really important to us. Otherwise it wouldn't be worth the argument. We help the Speaker and Listener to dive into the depth of conflict and uncover what that Hidden Dream might be, why this fight is important.

From here there are a few more conflict goals we can resolve together before we move into the Building Friendship skills. It's important to understand, it's hard to be friends with someone you're still fighting with. This is why the emphasis for a good chunk of therapy is to do with resolving conflict.

The Last Word.

With Couples Therapy, there is always something to do to enhance the relationship, whether it's working on conflict or bringing closeness in the relationship. When each partner can fight fair, repair conflict and build closeness through friendship, you're on the pathway to Building Great Relationships. LSC would love to guide you on your journey to the best relationship you've ever had.

Book in for your Free Consult to start your pathway to your Great Relationship now.

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