M.A., M.Th., E.C.P., U.K.C.P.
Systemic and Family Psychotherapist
EMDR Therapist (for trauma)
When families or couples have problems they can fall into repetitive patterns of interaction that are destructive and hurtful. When you have a row, how often is it the same old row you have had a thousand times before? Normally, members of a family have pretty fixed views of each other that have been established on the basis of past behaviour but are often out-of-date and an obstacle to change. Do you really listen to each other anymore or do you think you know what the other is going to say before he or she says it?
Couples are often “intimate strangers”; they know each other so well that they have ceased really noticing what the other is like now. Over time, they have changed so much that their image of the other is obsolete. They are living with a stranger whose actions and words they can predict but whom they no longer understand. Something similar happens in families. Often realising this and learning to attend to each other with a curious and expectant attitude can make all the difference.
Of course, getting to know who your partner or children have become can be challenging, even scary, because you do not know where it will lead. But the exploration can also be exciting and liberating. If individuals get to know each other anew and learn to listen properly to each other, destructive patterns can be interrupted and constructive change can occur.
Nowadays couples and families come in many different shapes and sizes. Some couples are married or in civil partnerships, others are not; some have children, others do not. Some are made up of a man, a woman and their children. Others comprise a single parent and children, or partners, whether heterosexual, lesbian or gay, each with their own children. Others are multigenerational or unconventional households. Whatever your circumstances, I seek to provide a non-judgemental, accepting atmosphere in which you can learn to talk to each other creatively again.