Archive for coupleworks

Being Yourself.

Being yourself.

Being in a functioning, learning, exploring and interested couple is all part of intimacy. Some of the experience of getting there can feel like a rollercoaster of misunderstanding and helplessness. Having paid for the ride, the couples who learn from it and don’t jump off, can reach a safe and peaceful place when coming into land.

Part of what two people discover from living in close proximity over many years, is that true love comes from balancing their own and each other’s different selves. This ambiguous acceptance allows for the loveable bits and the difficult bits in self and other to create adult and realistic respect, tolerance and understanding.

Counselling and analysis is rooted in trying to establish who the person or people really are and how much they are acting out under an umbrella of other peoples’ selves and voices. Their complex self can become a jigsaw of internalised ‘shoulds’, ‘ought to’ and ‘musts’.

Religion, politics, culture, families, employment and other structures are often the foundation bricks from which a person’s original self and learnt self grows and becomes their thought process.

Extracting blended self from defended self can take a lifetime of gradual awareness. The learning process can take time and trust to establish two whole selves within a couple. More than two people are present in the dialogue. On the first encounter a couple may only see the blended self in the other and that is often a part of the seduction. What follows, however, over the years can be that the original self becomes smothered by the outside persona and the balanced self is incomplete. Therefore the seductive bit at the outset becomes the difficulty which brings people into Coupleworks.

Far from being on the brink of disaster, it can with skillful counselling become the brink of positive change. So the early glimpse becomes the bit which develops into a true, balanced and containing self in each other. Completing the rollercoaster ride takes patience and acceptance of the disappointment of unrealistic expectations at the outset, but the reward is coming into a safe and loving landing.

Clare Ireland

Skype and Face to Face Therapy

Coupleworks therapists use both forms of counselling to help couples and individuals to talk with an objective third person present. The therapist can interpret what they hear into less confrontational dialogue enabling each person to hear what is really being said. From that point they can begin to manage confrontation, resentment, hurt a sense of unfairness, insults, humiliation, guilt, shame and a host of other painful feelings. It also helps to locate the root of those feelings which is often many years before the couple met.
Using Skype or face to face contact is, in part, down to location, time, babysitting costs, work hours, privacy, confidentiality and other day to day reasons. Face to face work, if all those reasons do not present a problem for a couple, is the original tried and tested arena for what is very sensitive work. Skype has been introduced as a way to communicate when some or all of those problems are stopping a couple from seeking help.
Face to face communication of any kind is a social skill which is changing and many people are preferring a less immediate response to difficult emotional issues. Skype is one more way of using technology to work for us in a helpful way.
Over time, since Skype was introduced within the Coupleworks framework, it has been found to have some of its own advantages. Not least that the pauses during a session when a picture becomes pixilated or the sound starts to echo, rather than causing alarm, produces a breathing space to think and rephrase something said in anger or used as a moment to reflect.
There is really no way to compare the two, but to use both or either if it aids and advances the healing process can only be a good thing.

Clare Ireland