Dr. Hugo Stevenson’s work with couples focuses on helping partners solve distressing situations and conflicts, understanding and modifying maladaptive patterns of communication, and learning the types of behaviours that can make a relationship blossom. When considering couple therapy, it is important to act quickly so as to avoid the establishment of chronic Persistent Negative Relationship Circularities (PNRC) and to ask for the type of help that refocuses your relationship around healthy communication and negotiation. Dr. Stevenson works with gay, lesbian, and heterosexual couples, as well as with partners who are already committed or who are considering a fully committed relationship. Some of the things that couples therapy will do:
- Address the nonverbal aspects of couples interactions, such as emotional attunement, affect matching, joining-in, mirroring, behavioural cuing, and “entering the circle”.
- Teach you to express a wide range of feelings, both negative and positive. Focusing on the negative without celebrating what is positive in your relationship, or believing that only your partner (or you) must change for the relationship to improve, often leads to stagnation. Additionally, when anger, hurt, and frustration are suppressed they often result in unhealthy behaviours such as emotional withdrawal and lack of sexual desire that, if left untreated, will impair the quality of your relationship and perpetuate a vicious circle of negative feedback.
- Teach you to discuss differences without hurting each other. You will learn how to avoid negative communication strategies such as contempt, sarcasm, withdrawal, name calling, etc., and substitute them with emotionally-grounded problem-solving strategies.
- Teach you how to cope and recover from break ups without falling prey to chronic states of depression and other mental health problems.
- Teach you how to address infidelity in a safe manner.
Our Approach to Couples Counselling: When working with couples, we employ a hands-on, active method geared at turning things around in the shortest period possible. Couple counselling is premised upon a friendly and cooperative environment where live modification techniques, therapeutic coaching, active homework, non-verbal analysis and training will be learned. In our experience, therapeutic work with couples is tremendously rewarding. Partners can expect to see positive results in:
- crisis-recovery strategies
- sense of emotional and physical intimacy
- recovering from infidelity
- management of third parties (for example in-laws, friends, ex-partners, extended family)
- a sense of compassion and attachment, and
- empathic responsiveness to the partner’s needs and situation.
If you have developed a concern about a pattern in your relationships; if you suffer from loneliness or find yourself unable to connect and create a successful bond; if you have become unable to establish close relationships with others in general, and have realized that social avoidance is taking the better part of you, Dr. Hugo Stevenson can help.