Nancy St. John – Couples Counselling, Training and Consultancy

Couple Walking lovingly

Couples therapy is my passion.

I am trained in five different models of couples therapy and I understand the strengths and unique features of each approach. This provides me with many tools to guide and support couples as they discover ways to develop as individuals and to form loving, healthy and resilient relationships.

It is important for the couples I work with to know that we won’t be focusing on each other’s flaws or on making anyone bad or wrong.

When I meet a couple for the first time I want to learn about each partner’s development and their history as a couple:

  • When and how they got together
  • Whether they were able to establish a secure bond or if the beginning of their relationship was complicated
  • When each partner first began to feel disillusioned and how they handled this
  • If they are able to ask for support and comfort each other
  • Whether their disagreements end in fighting or withdrawal

A big emphasis of my work is supporting each partner’s differentiation; helping them to see that their differences, which many couples see as problems, are really opportunities to develop their own character and to bring intimacy, vitality, and maturity into their relationship. I encourage each person to talk about what is important to them and to get curious about their partner’s perspective – especially when they disagree!

I help couples identify the negative cycle they are caught in and provide each partner with ways to effectively communicate what they think, feel, and desire without resorting to conflict. It is from this place that trust, excitement and intimacy can begin to be nurtured and restored.

Marriage breakdown is a painful process especially when children are involved. If you and your spouse are in very different places: one of you may be unsure if you want to stay married and and doubts that couples therapy can help, then Discernment Counselling is exactly where you belong. Discernment Counselling provides a safe place for you and your spouse to look at your options before making a final decision about divorce.

The initial commitment for the couple is simply the first 2 hour session. During this session, each person decides separately if they would like one more session, up to a maximum of five.  The goals are clarity and confidence in a direction for the marriage, based on a deeper understanding of what has happened to the marriage and each person’s contributions to the problems.  The outcomes are framed in terms of three paths: stay married as it, move towards divorce, or decide to do full-on couples therapy for six months to see if the marriage can be put into a good place, with a clear agenda for personal change and with divorce off the table during this time.  .

As a certified discernment counsellor I help couples to develop a deeper understanding of what happened to their relationship and what each person’s contributions to the problems are so they can make a clear decision about the future of their relationship.

Click here to find out more about how I work.

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Nancy St. John