We are not the same person this year as last, nor are those we love.
It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person. (Somerset Maugham)
Please note: I am currently fully booked, but do maintain a wait list for couples. You might also search Psychology Today or CounsellingBC for therapists accepting new clients.
Couples therapy encompasses work with any two people wishing to begin, enhance, repair, or dismantle an intimate relationship. Sometimes one or both people in a couple do not know whether they wish to work toward increased connection and intimacy, or to break up. I may need to spend some time with each person to explore individual perspectives before proposing a plan of action.
I provide in-person services in my Burnaby office as well as tele-therapy within B.C. I am flexible regarding how to proceed with couples therapy; the following are some possibilities:
This program is suitable for couples in mild to moderate distress, as well as those simply wanting to enhance their relationship. We meet every two weeks for sixteen weeks for a total of eight meetings, and each meeting we focus on one or two chapters of either The New Rules of Marriage (print book) or Fierce Intimacy (audio book). You choose whether you prefer to go with the printed book or the audio book. We devise homework assignments based on the material in the books and discuss those assignments when we meet. This program can be done in either an individual couple format or a group format.
This program is for couples who are struggling with particularly stressful times (e.g. early career development, young children, illness, etc.) and want skills to manage so that they can hold their relationship together until they have more time and energy to work on relationship enhancement. The initial meeting is 1.5 hours, followed by six one hour sessions to discuss specific non-time consuming homework exercises. This program has more focus on education and coaching than on deep therapeutic changes, and can be done in a small group format or individual couple format.
This workshop, called Living in Connection, is co-facilitated with Mandy Shewfelt, RSW, and covers the most up-to-date information in the field of relationship research and therapy. It’s a great way to enhance your knowledge about relationships, and to generate ideas for ways to reconnect with your partner. This workshop is not being offered during Covid-19, but we hope to bring it back soon.
This is the workshop designed by Terry Real that covers all the essentials of Relational Life Therapy. It offers a very powerful introduction to the model, and participants typically come away feeling inspired and motivated. While I am not offering this workshop during Covid-19 there are on-line options that can be accessed through this link: Bootcamp
This 4 hour format is recommended for couples wanting to get a good grip on where they are going wrong in their relationship. The longer format allows us to time to really understand the kind of ‘dance’ that is problematic within the relationship and to practice ways to make the dance healthier. It can be especially helpful for couples who have developed ‘therapy fatigue’ from a long course of more sporadic therapy.
This is a 6 hour format where I meet with three couples who come with a sincere desire to enhance their relationships. These couples must have participated previously in either the Structured Program for Relationship Enhancement or the Essential Skills for Relationships workshop. I spend about 1.5 hours with each couple, and in between there is time for questions and sharing. People have to be willing to be vulnerable to participate in this format; it’s not for everyone. But couples who attend experientials find they learn a lot from observing other couples, and there can be both comfort and motivation in realizing how universal some relationship difficulties are.
Regular private couples therapy is available in 1, 1.5, and 2 hour sessions. (When possible, initial assessments are 1.5 or 2 hours, after which I am flexible regarding length and frequency of sessions)