Couples Counselling Calgary
Takeaway: All relationships hit bumps in the road. However, sometimes these bumps feel more like mountains that are impossible to climb. With the help of a Calgary couples therapist, you and your partner can navigate whatever life throws at you and come out stronger.
Maybe you're feeling stressed in your relationship, perhaps you're worried you're headed towards separation or divorce.
When you chose to make a commitment to your significant other, you likely knew the road ahead would not always be smooth. But perhaps you never anticipated the serious issues you and your partner are experiencing. And maybe you don’t feel you know how to "fix" the problems you have.
Some relationships face challenges ranging from the common issues and niggling irritations of sharing your space and life, navigating parenthood, and living with another other couples may face very serious issues that can threaten the future of the marriage.
When you are struggling to resolve common issues, understand your partner, address trust and communication concerns, relationship therapy can provide a safe, supportive, and impartial space to explore your challenges and develop strategies to build a strong, sustainable, and healthy partnership.
Our Calgary couples counselling at Shelly Qualtieri & Associates provides a non-judgmental, safe, and open space supported by a wide variety of psychological approaches.
Some of the common issues our counsellors can help with include communication, trust issues, infidelity, family dynamics, co-parenting, financial issues, and divorce or separation.
Reach out today to find out more; we are currently accepting new clients.
Does this sound like you?
You might feel upset and distressed because you and your partner feel more like roommates than loving, romantic partners and wonder if you even matter to them anymore.
Every couple goes through challenging times, and to be perfectly honest, it’s inevitable. We all handle conflicts and disagreements differently, so it can help to know when you need extra help resolving an issue.
Possible challenges and issues:
Needing to rebuild trust
Enhance physical or emotional intimacy/No intimacy
Career or job pressure
Anger issues resulting in restricted resolution
Fear of communicating with each other
His life and her life
You remember how happy and close you felt at the start of your relationship, the "honeymoon" phase. For many, this early love feels like a distant memory, and are unsure how to get back to the time when things were "easier." The truth is, the attraction stage, where falling in love was easy and thinking your partner was perfect was normal, is unfortunately not a permanent stage.
Calgary couples therapy can help.
Maybe you feel betrayed. Perhaps you or your partner had an emotional and/or physical affair, and you don't know if you can ever repair or trust them again.
Romantic relationships have the potential to be one of the most fulfilling parts of life. But similarly, they can also be challenging and require hard work. Life’s uncertainties mean even the most loving and healthy relationships can get rocky. While some couples struggle with communication and trust issues, others struggle with infidelity and lack a fulfilling connection, none of these road bumps have to mean the end.
Healthy communication is necessary. When individuals are unable to express themselves and discuss their grievances, the marriage is jeopardized. Some of the signs of a breakdown in communication include: feeling misunderstood, unheard, or silenced. Problems with communication may be due to childhood circumstances, cultural background, and/or newfound stress, among other things. Counselling helps open up the lines of communication through active listening, empathy, and respect.
Like communication, trust is the foundation of any successful marriage. Without trust, partners cannot be vulnerable with each other, which causes them to feel distant and resentful. Unresolved trust issues may lead to the deterioration of the marriage. Symptoms of trust issues include: one or both partners being overly suspicious, exhibiting self-sabotaging behaviour, and/or acting distant. Counselling helps both individuals who have trust issues due to previous trauma, and partners who are working on repairing broken trust.
Infidelity can rock even the most stable relationships to their core. Affairs can be either emotional, physical, or both, but regardless of the nature of the affair, it can destroy many years’ worth of trust in a moment. With counselling and hard work, individuals can learn to process, accept, and possibly even forgive infidelity.
From emotional support, words of affirmation, and a deep connection to cuddling and getting frisky, healthy couples enjoy a rich diversity of intimate situations. When intimacy is missing for extended periods of time, it may be difficult to bring back the spark and connect on a deeper level, which may lead to resentment, irritability, and withdrawal. Counselling can help rekindle the spark by addressing underlying concerns such as performance anxiety, low self-esteem, depression, erectile dysfunction, previous trauma, and sexuality, among others.
Other relationships in our lives, especially familial ones, can have a great impact on our romantic relationships. Children from previous relationships, co-parenting/joint custody agreements, blended families, and other circumstances all affect the vitality of a relationship. While these various family circumstances can enrich a couple, they can also cause difficulties. For instance, one partner can feel as though their spouse’s co-parenting arrangement is taking too much time away. On the other hand, the co-parenting spouse may feel as though their partner isn’t being supportive enough.
Divorce or Separation
Regardless of how long it has been in the making, divorce, breakups, and separations from marriage are all very difficult life events to process for everyone involved. Studies have shown that grieving a connection triggers some of the same mechanisms as mourning the loss of a loved one. Aside from affecting the couple involved, problems impact the children, the finances, the living arrangements, family celebrations, and more. Counselling provides sessions to openly discuss these issues, listen to each other, and discover and cooperate to resolve the differences for the betterment of everyone involved.
Connect for a free 30-minute call with a marriage counselling therapist.
Our approach to marriage counselling in Calgary
Our team of counsellors and psychologists are passionate about helping couples find healing and build strong and lasting relationships.
Whether you come alone or with your spouse, an experienced counsellor can help you get to the root of the issues and better communicate with your loved one so you can get back to feeling good about yourself and your relationship.
Couples seeking online marriage counselling or in-person couples therapy often do so because there has been a breakdown in trust and communication. These sessions offer the same therapeutic approach and provide effective techniques that will help strengthen and build a fulfilling relationship.
Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)
Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a research-proven method that helps individuals, couples, and families heal and connect. It places the focus on emotion, which, while you might assume is not unique in therapy, is actually what makes EFT quite unique. EFT takes the approach that emotions are strongly linked to identity and therefore guide us in our decision-making, preferences, and communication styles. Sue Johnson, a clinical psychologist developed EFT in 1982.
The Gottman Method is another common and effective method used in couples counselling, with about 40 years of research behind it. Based on the work of Dr. John Gottman, couples counsellors and therapists use the Gottman Method to help couples decrease arguments and relationship struggles while optimizing their time spent together, and cultivate meaningful bonds.
Dr. Carl Rogers, a renowned psychotherapist and creator of client-centred therapy, developed the technique of reflective listening. It is also known as active listening because it requires one to be reactive to another’s concerns, thoughts, feelings, and opinions.
Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFCT)
EFCT supports by assessing the interaction styles of a couple, acknowledging fears and negative emotions related to the behaviours, and developing new skills and strategies to change interactions and connections.
The challenges each couple faces and their journey towards resolution and the ultimate goal of a healthy, sustainable, and fulfilling life are unique.
Our psychologists at Shelly Qualtieri & Associates understand the intricacies of a committed partnership and will work with you to create a personalized plan to help build a loving and supportive framework.
Who our couples therapy services are for
Our couples counselling Calgary support services are for couples of all ages, backgrounds, and sexual orientations who are seeking support to improve and strengthen their connection.
At its core, couples therapy is meant to help understand and resolve conflicts to improve the relationship. It's intended to provide couples with the tools to communicate with more compassion and less fear while learning how to problem-solve in a healthy manner. If you are struggling to communicate effectively, resolve conflicts, or navigate major life changes, marriage counselling may be able to help with these relationship struggles.
If you are feeling disconnected, unhappy, or stuck in negative patterns of behaviour, our couples therapy services can provide a safe and supportive environment to help rebuild trust and create a more fulfilling relationship.
Whether you have been together for a few months or several decades, our therapists are trained to address your concerns and develop a personalized plan for a fulfilling relationship, book here.
FAQs about working with a Calgary couples counsellor
What can we expect in couples counselling Calgary?
How are couples sessions structured?
How long can we expect to attend?
What if my partner does not want to attend a couples therapy process?
When is couples and family counselling not recommended?
We will happily answer any other questions, we encourage you to connect with us as a first step.
What are the benefits of couples therapy?
You are two people with different needs, skills, goals, and love languages. Conflict is inevitable; succumbing to it is not. Couples counselling helps mediate conflicts and allows you both understand each other in a more thorough, profound way.
Overcome a lack of sexual intimacy
A factor like this is more common than you think, but it is usually a complicated issue that ties into all other aspects of a relationship in varying degrees. Relationship therapy is a way to trace those threads back to discover the primary source and unlock these feelings.
Spend more time together
Life gets busy and, at times, very stressful. Our partners may be so wrapped up in their own lives that meaningful quality time is suffering. Avoiding that discussion with your partner and harbouring anger about it won’t solve the problem, but approaching it proactively with marriage counselling can make a big difference.
Forgive someone after infidelity or betrayal
Humans are complex and, unfortunately, prone to making mistakes. If you and your spouse have experienced infidelity or another lapse in trust, relationship therapy can help resolve it and move forward in your relationship. It can help you let go of resentment and eventually rebuild a foundation of mutual trust and respect.
Gain a sounding board
Sometimes, you just need someone to talk to. This is especially important with issues between partners. An experienced couples counsellor also serves as a sounding board to bounce ideas off of. When you do come up with potential solutions to issues or other compromises, the counsellor can help understand if this path is a good move for preserving the relationship.
Better understand relationship dynamics
Another important benefit of relationship therapy is helping clients gain a better understanding of the underlying relationship dynamics. Partners each bring something different and unique to a relationship. Especially those who base their view of the current dynamic on past relationships, it can be difficult to understand how each person truly fits.
With relationship counselling, both parties can better understand the underlying factors that affect relationship dynamics. This may include how each party communicates, any ongoing resentments or concerns, or mismatched motivations.
See other perspectives
We tend to view our relationships through a single lens, and it can be difficult to take other viewpoints into account. This only exacerbates the arguments. Disagreements on an issue only grow worse when we fail to take the other person’s perspective into account.
Therapists are helpful in shedding light on miscommunications. This way, both parties can get to the root of the issue, learn to see each other’s viewpoints in future disagreements, and achieve change.
A safe space
One factor that cements the importance of relationship therapy is its ability to provide safety for clients with no particular loyalties to either side.
This is contrary to turning to friends or family members, who may tend to take a side on marital issues. Instead, marriage counselling will provide a protective space where both sides are welcome to let their feelings out. Oftentimes, this becomes difficult in everyday life. One individual may be afraid of hurting the other or saying something to make matters worse.
By addressing issues within a therapist’s office, it presents a safe bubble for both parties to truly say what they feel.
Learn coping mechanisms
Even the most stable relationships can be stressful at times. When traumatic events or particular stressors are involved, these issues can become even larger if not properly handled. This can also be exacerbated by different ways of dealing with stress. When these strategies conflict, issues can get even worse.
Relationship therapy helps introduce healthy coping mechanisms that will benefit both parties. This way, new issues can be quickly handled before they grow larger and more damaging.
Restore lost trust
This is a common issue seen with infidelity or other major lies that damage one of the most important foundations of a solid relationship: trust. Seeking marriage or relationship counselling often works towards regaining trust in a positive way. This will keep the relationship moving forward, even after an incident where trust was broken. The relationship can truly grow and move forward—something very difficult to do without the help of a trained counsellor.
With these key benefits and techniques in mind, it’s important to carefully weigh your options. For more information or to determine if marriage counselling is for you, contact us today.
Strengthen your relationship with the help of a couples therapist in Calgary
It can be hard to admit that sometimes real love can take real work. It doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with you or even your relationship. It means you are humans who need guidance in an emotional situation.
Nearly half of all couples have attended some form of counselling. It’s more common than you may think, and relationship counselling benefits can go a long way in preventing the full breakdown of a marriage. Rather than being a sign of trouble, emotionally focused couples therapy is a sign that you are both invested in creating a better, more fulfilling bond together.
If you are struggling with issues of trust, infidelity, respect, communication, or conflict with your significant other, Calgary couples counselling is the first step and can provide a safe and supportive environment to begin anew. Using research-based and proven techniques, our team of therapists can help your relationship evolve to be healthier and more resilient for many years to come.
Our complimentary consultation may help you find the therapist who will be the best fit for your journey to a loving and compassionate relationship. We are accepting new clients.