Areas of Special Interest
I do relationship and couple counselling with couples who want to 'save', improve or deepen their relationship - where connection and closeness have eroded over time, or have been damaged by an affair or other relationship injury.
The approach I use is Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) which helps couples
- Stop fighting and disconnecting
- Regain a sense of closeness, love and security in their relationship.
EFT bypasses approaches of teaching problem-solving and communication skills. It focuses on changing behaviour cycles which drive couples apart.
- Couples in distressed relationships tend to these negative cycles.
- The most common cycle, called the ‘pursue-withdraw’ pattern, occurs when one partner demands, criticises and gets angry; and the other partner minimises, defends and withdraws.
- EFT helps couples see this negative cycle in a different light. “Pursue’ which looks like ‘attack and blame’ is protest about loss of connection, and wants response and closeness. And ‘withdraw’ which looks like ‘rejection, not caring and pulling away’ is usually an effort to protect self and/or partner from making things worse, and somehow protect the relationship.
- EFT work initially helps couples de-escalate their conflict and find more safety.
- From there they learn to reconnect, ask for what they need, and consolidate new cycles of mutual acceptance, trust, safety, comfort and emotional connection.
I have put a huge focus on developing expertise in 'Emotionally Focused Therapy' (EFT) since 2008. Unlike many other approaches EFT has been developed and refined on much on-going academic and scientific research.
I invite you to watch a powerful 2 min video clip. We know about "separation anxiety" which little children experience when mothers leave the room or they feel neglected and uncared for. The clip is an example of this. Much research supports the view that adults react in similar ways when their partners shut them out, do not respond or shut down emotionally to them. Many are very moved by viewing this clip - and some say "wow, no wonder I react to my partner like I do?" watch the video
Registrations and Professional Memberships
- Member of the NZ Association of Counsellors (MNZAC)
- Member International Centre for Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT)
- Certified Emotionally Focused Couple Therapist
- Master Practitioner Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)
- Masters Degree in Theology - Paris (but I am not a member of any religious group)
Background and Experience
I work with and specialise in 'Emotionally Focused Therapy' (EFT) that I have been studying, training in and working with since 2008.
From the many NZ health professionals (over 300) who have had training in EFT, at October 2016 I was one of less than ten to have reached international Certification level.
I have a wealth of other training and experience – pastoral care, business IT and management, consulting and executive coaching which you can see on my website www.counselling.gen.nz/career-experience