Intimate relationships are central to our human experience. There is no other more powerful emotionally challenging experience than being in close relation to another human being. Although relationships can bring about many positive benefits and fulfill many deep emotional needs, relationships can also bring about conflict, pain, disharmony and a high degree of emotionality. In many ways, relationship difficulties can serve as an opportunity for profound individual and couple growth.
Once you and your partner recognize that there is a problem in the relationship, you are invited to participate together in a growth process. In a non-judgmental, safe and compassionate setting, the therapeutic process begins. An initial assessment of the couple allows the psychologist to better understand the root of your difficulties and set out a customized intervention or treatment plan. The therapy is based on the models of emotion-focused therapy (Johnson & Greenberg) and Imago relationship therapy (Hendrix). The approach is brief and solution-oriented. To facilitate the therapy, homework assignments are given between weekly sessions.
- Realize the importance of commitment and learn ways to engage yourself and your partner in the process.
- Learn how to relate to each other with respect, acceptance and without judging. The blaming, criticizing and power struggles that may have characterized your relationship will be replaced by understanding, acceptance and compassion. The healing process begins once you both feel safe with each other.
- Learn how a powerful communication technique called the dialogue can create a feeling of safety within the couple, and allow both of you to express whatever is on your mind, without ever feeling judged or interrupted. Being heard and respected is known to be an essential component of bringing a couple closer together.
- Identify your and your partner’s basic needs and find direct ways to meet those needs.
- Discover and understand each other’s emotional triggers. This enables you both to cease viewing the other as an antagonist who intentionally seeks to hurt, but rather as a person whose inner wounds are making him or her react in fear. This will generate compassion towards each other.
- Learn to use fair fighting strategies when conflict arises.
- Develop key techniques to build on the strengths of your relationship and enhance the intimate connection within the couple.
- Create quality time together and build on success through activity structuring, time management and priority setting.
- Learn to be fond of each other and fall in love again.
- Prevent relapses of conflict by developing successful strategies to use on your own.
The aim is for the couple to move from an “unconscious marriage” to a “conscious marriage”: a state of enlightenment and greater awareness. As the reasons you attracted each other in life become clear, you learn to work as team mates to support the growth of the couple and of the individual within the couple. Finally, the expectation is that you will rekindle the passion of being together as the feelings of love, support and respect become predominant.
Stéphane Bensoussan specializes in helping individuals and couples who are experiencing the following conditions:
- General Marital Dissatisfaction and Conflict
- Emotional and Psychological Abuse
- Communication Difficulties
- Anger and Resentment
- Jealousy and Insecurity
- Handling Stressful Life Events
- Preparation for Separation/Divorce
- Interference from Extended Family
- Reconstituted Marriages
- Sexual Difficulties
- Preparation for Marriage
- Family Planning