Couples/Relationship Counselling

Do you feel a lack of connection/intimacy/trust in your relationship?

Are you constantly arguing or have you stopped communicating?

Perhaps you feel that you are both leading separate lives?

Has a betrayal or an addiction affected your relationship?

Or maybe you are in a good relationship but want to make it better?

Couples counselling can help.

How couples counselling can help

If you feel that something in your relationship could improve then couples counselling may give you the skills and tools you need to re-iginite passion, communication, connection and trust into your relationship. I believe that romantic partnerships are the most precious relationships we have and should get regular nourishment and cherishment to thrive and flourish. I love seeing people break free of negative conflict, repair trust, improve communication and find renewed passion with couples counselling. I have trained in specific Gottman, EFT and Imago Relationship therapy modalities to ensure you get the best professional help possible. I regularly engage in training and supervision to ensure that I am up-to-date with the most recently developments and techniques in couples counselling and relationship therapy.

Common reasons client seek couples relationship counselling are:

  • On-going conflict and unresolved resentments
  • Lack of connection
  • Pornography/sex addiction
  • Infidelity/recovery after an affair
  • Sexual issues
  • Differences in core values/beliefs
  • Traumatic events
  • Jealously
  • Blended family issues
  • Anger management
  • Work related stress/anxiety
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Lack of/poor communication
  • Conflict regarding parenting styles/in-laws/house-work/friends/work
  • Blended families
  • Addictions
  • Transitioning/ending a relationship

Research indicates that conflict is essential to a healthy relationship. 69% of couples problems are unsolvable (Gottman, 1999) however what counts is how people manage conflict. Conflict can actually be an opportunity to enhance relationships. Skills such as emotional regulation are taught as each partner should be emotionally calm when speaking. Learning to communicate with a couples counsellor ensure that both peoples needs are represented in a fair, positive and respectful way.

After lack of communication, infidelity is the next biggest reason that couples come for couples counselling. Research and experience indicate that if a couple can overcome an affair, then their relationship can be better than it was previously. There are several reasons for an affair and whether a couple decides to break-up or stay together, it is beneficial to have open and honest communication.

How is couples therapy different to individual counselling?

Relationship therapy is different to individual therapy as the focus in couples counselling is on how two individuals interact rather than individuals issues. Couples counselling can work in tandem with individual counselling however for some issues, it is important that an individual also sees their own counsellor. This is to ensure that there is no bias towards any one individual. As a couples therapist, my client is the relationship, not any one individual. Often, couple counsellors will not treat an individual separately as this may unconsciously result in the therapist taking sides. It is imperative that the counsellor gives both individuals equal time, attention, empathy, understanding and unconditional positive regard.

It is not uncommon that one person in the coupleship will initiate counselling and the other person will need to be coerced or given an ultimatum into attending a counselling session. Research has shown that a relationship is often in trouble for long period of time before professional therapy is sought. Frequently, once couples attend the first counselling session, relief is often immediate. In the first session, individuals learn invaluable communication skills that not only benefit them in the coupledom but also within their working life, friends and family situations.

In conjoint couples therapy, the patterns of interaction can be much easier to see. Through psycho-education and self-reflection, each partner can identify with their coping strategies. This brings couples much closer and healing can happen at a much faster rate than individual therapy.

Will individual counselling build a better relationship with my partner?

Research has shown that individual therapy rather than couples relationship counselling (for a communication/connection/conflict issue) can make the situation worse and even result in divorce. In couples therapy, when each partner is emotionally honest it creates the foundation for intimacy and conflict repairs. Relationship and Couples counsellors are skilled in helping people find the right words to talk about difficult problems.

Gottman relationship therapy is a form of couples therapy whose counselling interventions are based on CBT interventions. Couples learn to recognise their negative conflict patterns and introduce positive, open, honest communication and by doing so, increase respect, intimacy, and affection.

Imago relationship therapy is a form of couples relationship counselling that is based on communication dialogues between the couple. Imago relationship therapy has a more psychotherapeutic emphasis than Gottman relationship therapy as it often explores acknowledging how childhood triggers affect current day to day behavior.

About Margo

Margo is a Certified Imago Relationship Therapist, Registered Counsellor with MZAC, Senior Consultant Sex Therapist with STNZ and Clinical Hypnotherapist, specialising in relationships, addiction, anxiety, work stress, depression, sexual dysfunction/enhancement. Margo has trained with world-renowned teachers specialised in their chosen field and has worked in international world-leading addiction residential treatment centres, assisted facilitating relationship workshops, intensives and retreats and has run corporate stop smoking programmes. She has also run workshops for singles wanting to find love and/or recover from relationship break-ups as well as appearing on national radio and tv.

TV3 The Project Tips on Food & Control Impulse

Newstalk ZB – Health Hub Weekend Collective Cutting down Alcohol

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Radio New Zealand Interview on Dating and Relationships

TV Three Now The Project Interview on Relationships for Break-Up Week


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