Blog Items

Past terrors affect our ability to manage present relationship challenges

Couples where one or both partners have experienced terror as the result of abuse or neglect earlier in life face unique challenges in their relationship. The following scenarios reflect some of the difficulties these couples may face.

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"No Drama Discipline" by Tina Payne Bryson and Daniel Siegel

I highly recommend this terrific book, written by the pioneering experts behind The Whole-Brain Child—Tina Payne Bryson and Daniel J. Siegel, the author of Brainstorm—who now explore the ultimate child-raising challenge: discipline. Highlighting the fascinating link between a child’s neurological development and the way a parent reacts to misbehavior, No-Drama Discipline provides an effective, compassionate road map for dealing with tantrums, tensions, and tears—without causing a scene.


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How can discrepancies in sexual desire be resolved?

An all-too-common cause of relational distress happens because one partner wants sex more often than the other. Both feel guilty for different reasons. 

The person with a higher level of sexual desire may wonder "What's wrong with me?" "What's wrong with our relationship that I want sex so much more than my partner?" Or even "What's wrong with my partner - why can s/he meet my needs for more sex?"

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What makes change so hard in intimate relationships?

Many of us are in situations where we know change is needed in our relationship - either I need to change, and/or I feel my partner needs to change.

We may have tried all sorts of ways to make changes - perhaps even managed to achieve change for a while, before things fell back to how they used to be. Very discouraging!

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How may unresolved trauma affect my responses to my partner?

We all know what it's like to have our buttons pushed by our partner - s/he says something designed to get a reaction, I let it rip... If we're honest, we know just how to push our partner's buttons too when we feel so inclined. After all, we know them so well! 

Most of the time this is fairly harmless - part of what is normally an harmonious relationship. We may feel a little hurt or upset, but are able to let our partner know in a reasonably calm way and to accept their apology.

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How do we recover intimacy in our relationship?

One of the most painful things we can experience in our relationship with our partner is a loss of intimacy - this may mean we don't have sex anymore, or when we do it feels like we're 'just going through the motions'. It can also mean we don't feel emotionally intimate anymore - when we talk it's about routine things, the kids, what has to be done etc. Not about our hopes and dreams, our innermost feelings and longings. 

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Beyond words- using music to create new patterns of relating

Are you and your partner or child struggling to communicate? 

Have you ever had the experience of trying hard to express your love and concern, or alternatively your frustration and despair - but instead of understanding, your loved one reacts to the way you have expressed your pain, rather than being able to get the underlying message you are trying to get across?

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Why's my partner behaving so badly - 'what lies beneath'?

Many couples come to counselling with the question "Why is my partner behaving so badly?" S/He used to be thoughtful, respectful, loving - now, for reasons I don't understand, s/he has changed, and become this clingy/distant/angry/nasty person! 

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How can I tune into my children's feelings, thoughts and needs?

One of the most important jobs a parent has is to assist our children to 'regulate' or cope with strong feelings and emotions. This becomes even more important when children have been through difficult or traumatic experiences, such as parental separation, or family violence for example. Children can be left feeling they are not special or loved, and this may lead them to become easily overwhelmed with feelings of fear, anger and shame. Some children may work hard to avoid connecting to difficult feelings.

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What can you expect when coming to see a counsellor or therapist?

Being a therapist can be an amazing profession full of challenges, heartaches, and celebration. We see you at your worst and see you at your best, but there is no better reward to see you succeed. Here are 10 aspects of the therapeutic relationship that are either unknowns or common misconceptions. I hope this clarifies what you can expect from working with a therapist.

1. I don’t think you’re crazy.

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