“One day you finally knew what you had to do, and began…”
- From Mary Oliver’s, The Journey
Pain is real. The pain and confusion that come with broken relationships, death of a loved one are real. The pain from abuse, trauma, and addictions is real. When we find ourselves ‘yet again’ in a self-destructive pattern, the pain is real.
What I believe central to the healing process is to know that we are not alone. The other piece is that sometimes we need a safe place to figure out what we need… Maybe the insight into what we need is really vague, but there is a part of us that knows that we need something to be different… In the midst of the clamor and confusion, there may be a ‘still, small voice’ within that yearns for wholeness…
“The greatest gift to others is our own best selves.” - James Hollis
The best of who we are and the most hurt aspects of ourselves show up in our relationships. What can also “show up” in our relationships are destructive and painful patterns of communication and behavior. A familiar ‘dance’ (and not the good kind) between partners can emerge. Maybe it’s that ‘one’ argument that erupts over and over again… maybe it’s a consistent defensiveness that leaves the partners hurt, misunderstood, angry, fearful, distant… maybe it’s emotional land-mines littered just below the surface to be avoided at all costs… maybe it’s the presence of addictions or past trauma that wreak havoc in the relationship… In couple’s counselling we discover ‘the dance’ that keeps the partners stuck (concept from Sue Johnson’s EFT Model).
The goal of course is to create new dance steps! To do so, we look beneath the defences to better understand what else is being communicated – what are those deeper feelings, thoughts, hurts, hopes, needs that are not typically spoken to each other… New dance steps can be created when we look at our own patterns in relationships – realizing that we have learned a lot about dancing long before our partners were in the picture!
Fundamentally, my intention is to create a safe, compassionate, and respectful environment for the couple to do this healing work with each other.