Are you in Calgary and seeking couples counselling services or Christian Marriage Counselling?
Are you seeking ways to resolve conflict or longing to feel closer to each other?
Has infidelity left you desperate for healing?
Then Henze and Associates: Counselling and Care can help. For over nineteen years, helping couples become closer, more connected and masterful at resolving anger and conflict has been our focus and our specialty!
Read on for more information on the marriage counselling services we offer or follow this link to request a Couples Therapy Calgary appointment today.
First steps of Marriage Counselling: Assessment
The first session is always about exploration. We take the time to talk through both the good and the difficult areas of your relationship with a special focus on the perspectives you each bring and the steps you have taken in the past to try and address the concerns you are facing.
Often we start with a review of your family background and the beginnings of your journey together: Your personal love story, your attraction to each other and the positive memories you built as your relationship blossomed!
We take the time to understand your communication styles, to clarify your areas of strength and understand how you attach, show affection, demonstrate intimacy, support, trust and spend time together as a couple.
The purpose of the Calgary Couples Counselling assessment phase is gathering information and understanding the patterns and themes of your relationship. We're looking to understand what you would define as successful marriage counselling.
Ultimately, we want to identify your goals and catch your vision for your marriage as we together begin to work towards the stable and satisfying relationship you both desire.
Next steps of Marriage Counselling: Understanding and Connection.
Let's face it, it's far too easy to focus on annoying differences or get caught up in only seeing the negative parts of our relationships, such that we neglect each other's needs and grow further and further apart. We usually know what we should be doing, we just hurt too bad to do it.
The best couples therapy Calgary has to offer will always be focused on helping you to become more connected in love and friendship. Often we have to ask couples to temporarily put aside some of their hot-button issues while we work to restore an emotional climate of connection in the relationship. Rebuilding patterns of connection that create security, love and belonging helps each of you to associate your spouse with good and positive feelings.
Marriage is primarily about being there for our spouse and regularly meeting his or her needs for security, love, and belonging. But, sometimes it's difficult to even know what those needs are, much less understand how to meet them. We use a combination of teaching sessions and in session practical skills training that include communication exercises, practical conflict resolution skills, sex therapy exercises and so much more!
It becomes so much easier to work through difficult issues once the emotional climate of the marriage starts to improve. That's why the Calgary couples counselling we offer always starts with restoring and then nurturing love before we go to work on identifying and changing the behaviors that steal love away from your relationship.
Conflict Resolution/Marriage Mediation Calgary
Long before the wedding day, couples begin to form their own interconnected family system. They develop patterns of communication, unwritten rules of conflict, perceptions of each other and react to each other out of beliefs likely held since childhood. Some of those patterns are positive and draw the couple together, while others result in vicious cycles of conflict that can take on a life of their own.
The best marriage counselling Calgary can offer to those trapped in those constant cycles of vicious conflict will always start with helping each person take responsibility for their own part in both making the pattern and replacing it with much more life giving options.
There is no such thing as a, "Perfect marriage," and some problems may never be fully solved. Accepting imperfection in some areas while learning skills of negotiation and creativity in problem solving in others create much happier marriages than a demand for perfection ever will. Healthy marriages are places where people accept each other, focus on positives, build upon their strengths and take responsibility for their perceptions and belief systems. And, learning a more gentle style of communication with each other is an essential element of effective couples therapy.
Marriage Counselling Calgary: Preventing relapse and solidifying change
If you've read this far, we know you take your marriage seriously, you're looking for the best Psychologist in Calgary and you're looking for change that lasts. We're here to help you achieve that!
In the latter stages of couples counselling, we walk with you as you solidify the gains made in warmth, respect, trust, intimacy and supportive time spent together. Real and lasting change grows as the focus shifts to the strengths the couple enjoys and the positive solutions they have developed together.
Once both spouses feel they have made and maintained the progress they hoped for, we usually suggest spacing out the couples therapy sessions from weekly to monthly and then quarterly to help you ensure the permanence of all you have already accomplished.
This is a time of fine tuning the change that has already occurred and troubleshooting any issues that may still arise. It's also a time of planning and following through on strategies to prevent relapse. While there are always bumps and potholes on the road of marital change, together we can make the journey as smooth as possible.
Couples Therapy Calgary: Our approach
In his now world famous studies of marital satisfaction and stability, Dr. John Gottman found that it isn't the presence or absence of conflict that determines if a marriage will succeed or fail. Rather, it is how couples choose to deal with their conflict that predicts the stability of a marriage.
John Gottman teaches that, when a couple learns to turn towards each other in love, friendship and mutual respect and then handles disagreements in a respectful manner that maintains connection and positive feelings for each other, conflict can be incredibly safe and even beneficial to a marriage.
While John Gottman's decade spanning research offers us many down to earth and practical strategies for developing strong and healthy marriages, it was really one of his chief students - Dr. Sue Johnson - who took his principles and integrated them into a school of therapy called Emotion Focused Therapy for Couples and an even more advanced skill set called Emotion Focused Therapy for Couples with Trauma. (Both of which are integral to our approach.)
Sue Johnson's Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is all about learning to express deep feelings and needs in a way that both creates emotional safety and compassion and leads to productive conversation about solutions. It's about recognizing that if we co-create negative patterns of relationship, then we can be equally powerful in creating positive ones that build marriages of love, acceptance and passion!
Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is one of the most well researched and proven effective forms of couples therapy. Calgary marriage counselling clients we see experience an eclectic blend of Emotionally Focused Therapy and psycho-educational teaching combined with exercise based skill learning so positive interaction patterns flow naturally into ever greater feelings of security, closeness and attachment.
Calgary Couples Counselling: Book now!
Too many couples fail to take smaller problems seriously and wait until their marriages are in dire straits before they seek help. Even those marriages can heal - but the extra pain is so unnecessary. The earlier a couple reaches out for help, the quicker and and easier it is for the closeness and harmony to be restored.
We believe that if a couple walks down the aisle and stands before a minister or a Justice of the Peace and vows to remain together and cherish each other, "As long as they both shall live," then we need to take that vow very seriously and do everything we can both to keep that marriage together and also make it a fantastic place to be!
Book your first Marriage Counselling Calgary appointment today!