M.A., M.Th., E.C.P., U.K.C.P.
Systemic and Family Psychotherapist
EMDR Therapist (for trauma)
Not every troubled couple is able to mend their relationship. Often only one partner wants to try again and, even when both are willing to make the effort, there may be differences which lead to separation. The legacy is usually much hurt and there may be long-term problems in communication about children and finances. At worst, there is a bitter legal dispute involving frequent court hearings and children may be caught between warring parents in emotionally damaging ways.
One role for therapy is to help a couple who have decided to split, achieve the “good divorce”, the best separation or divorce they can possibly manage. The idea of a “good divorce” is something of a contradiction, but it makes a huge difference to the future prospects of the partners and their children if their parting can be arranged as co-operatively and constructively as possible.
This is especially important for children. Parents living together have two distinct but connected relationships: that of a couple and that of parents. When the couple relationship ends, the parental relationship continues. But often the destructive dynamics which ended their relationship continue and create obstacles to the effective functioning of the parental relationship .
I offer couples the opportunity to develop a new style of co-parenting, even as they learn to adjust to the end of their relationship. I can also see children with their parents to help them adjust to these major changes, or help sort out problems connected with contact visits.
In 2004 I qualified as a Family Mediator with the Family Mediators Association. A Family Mediator works with a separating couple to help them negotiate a formal legal divorce settlement, including arrangements for children, as well as financial and property matters. Mediators do not undertake psychotherapy; their role is limited to facilitating negotiation. I no longer undertake formal mediations because I have decided to concentrate on therapy. However, my combined experience as a mediator and a couples therapist means I am particularly well-placed to offer separating couples therapeutic support as they go through the process of sorting out their future practical arrangements.
If appropriate, I can work individually with either partner. This can be purely therapeutically or as an adjunct to the legal process for couples involved in Collaborative Law.