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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are the most frequently asked questions I have encountered around coming in for counselling, and here are my answers. If you don’t see you question below, please contact me, and I will be happy to answer any questions and concerns you have.

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How do I know if I have a healthy relationship?

Healthy relationships don’t just happen, they are built and both partners must work on improving themselves first as well as the partnership. Here are 10 important characteristics of a healthy relationship:

  • Time Together – The definition of a relationship is: “the way in which two people are connected.” Prioritise and schedule quality time together, so that you are regularly enjoying each other.
  • Time Apart – It’s also healthy to maintain your strong sense of self. Keep up with your interests and friendships, and personal growth.
  • Boundaries – Allow for and honour each other’s needs, differences and personal space – know where you end and your partner begins.
  • Safety – This is essential for a healthy, connected relationship. Stay mindful of how you can show up so that your partner feels safe with you.
  • Trust – This includes being honest, vulnerable, available, and reliable.
  • Communication – Openly share your wants, needs, and feelings with your partner, even when they are difficult.
  • Managing Conflict – Healthy Conflict doesn’t include negativity – blaming, shaming, criticism, and hurting your partner.
  • Teamwork – A couple that works together and supports each other. 
  • Intimacy – Placing importance on having a mutually satisfying physical and emotional connection, which includes your sexual relationship and feeling safe to share thoughts, feelings, and needs with one another. 
  • Commitment – Protect your relationship from outside stressors, such as working too much, poor mental health, stress, addiction, and technology. 

* When you hit a roadblock, work on rebuilding that connection again, which may include seeking therapy *

What’s the real reason you have conflict with your partner?

We are initially attracted to the differences between our partner and ourselves, yet later, the differences often cause conflict. The attraction and the conflict mean you’ve found the right person. Couples disconnect when they get stuck in their own reactivity and wounding, and can no longer hear the other person. When one partner takes the time to deeply understand the other, the conflict shifts into feeling less triggering and more empathetic to heal each other.

We also fall in love because we can unconsciously see that our partner has the power to heal our childhood wounds and help us to grow underdeveloped parts of ourselves. Wow! At the same time, as much as you can feel loved by your partner, you can also feel very hurt by them. And when we feel hurt, we react, sometimes, badly. Reactive behaviour is need driven, so when we get reactive, that is a sign of someone’s unmet need from childhood being activated. That’s a lot to process! And it shows up in all relationships.

You also tend to fall in love with someone with the same amount of baggage as you – everyone has baggage! Our baggage causes relationship conflict, and when worked through, can lead the most powerful combination of growth and healing and an overall healthy, loving, connected relationship!

How do I know if things are “bad enough” to need therapy?

A key reason that individuals and couples put off therapy is that they aren’t sure if they really need it, and that things aren’t bad enough to get help or make changes. In the moment of the conflict or “flare ups” of stress, anxiety or depression it feels urgent to get help. Once this subsides, it no longer feels urgent.

Unfortunately, the inability to manage conflict is still there, and the ruptures and damage is certain to happen again. Repeating these cycles without developing the ability to work through them will entrench the problem and make it even more difficult to resolve.

By coming to counselling you learn how to handle emotionally charged dynamcis more effectively. Counselling helps you to face the issues head on, rather than avoiding them, thus ensuring they don’t become even bigger problems later on. You interrupt the negative cycle of resentment, which is the biggest contributing factor leading to separation.

Couples and individuals who come in when things are mostly okay and address specific issues in their lives or relationships often experience a great deal of benefit from short-term, issue-specific support.

Those who wait too long and don’t address relationship issues run a greater risk even bigger problems arising. Damage in a relationship can be repairable AND the more grooved in the issues are, the more work the repair requires.

Think of counselling like sunscreen – not only does it protect you from immediate sunburn, it dramatically reduces the long term risk of skin cancer. While your relationship will survive the occasional “burn”, constant re-injury can lead to irreversible damage.

The bottom line – When thinking about counselling for yourself or your relationship sooner is always better than later. This is definitely an area where a few simple tools and a bit of awareness early on can save you the time, money and huge amounts of stress that come from avoiding dealing with issues head on.

I really want to do this, we need this, but I need to ask my spouse. What if they won’t come?

If you want to work on your relationship in the best way possible, both people need to be present with two feet into the process. If only one person in the couple attends counselling, you can work on your own personal growth that positively influences the relationship. Using individual therapy to criticise your partner is not an effective way to improve your relationship.

I recommend booking a free initial consultation, so couples can decide together if counselling is a good fit for them.

What is Imago therapy and how can it work for your relationship?

Imago therapy is based on the idea that your partner is your image of love. The imago intentional dialogue is a communication tool that helps couples safely communicate with each other. You learn to listen, validate, and empathise with your partner, and talk in a way that your partner wants to keep listening.

Imago transforms frustrations into growth and healing, and couples making changes together. The dialogue helps couples move away from their fight, flight, freeze response (in the amygdala) and use their prefrontal cortex to access their ability to feel safe, connect, and self-regulate. Imago also invites couples to reflect how you impact your partner and ways you grow yourself into being a better partner.

A couple learns that all people make sense all of the time if we listen long enough.

How much does it cost?

$155 per 60 minute individual session
$195 per 90 minute couple’s session

How can I find the time and money for counselling?

Invest in your relationship! Having a good relationship impacts everything in your life – your own happiness, your job, and your parenting. Counselling is likely to be significantly less expensive and less painful than getting divorced.

Conflicts consume negative time and energy from your life, and block you from putting energy into things that matter. For example, when you have a supportive relationship, you are more likely to follow your dreams and respond in the best way to your kids.

Counselling is like exercising – we have to regularly to experience the benefits.

First Steps

How do I get started?

01

Book Appointment

Once we have done the complimentary session, If we are a good fit, we will schedule our first appointment.

Book your consultation

02

First Session!

We will go over your concerns, goals, and expectations, and you will leave with a sense of hope and connection.

Once you become a client, you get access to lots of FREE clinical and relationship resources to help you at home. Fill out the contact form below to schedule a consultation with Grace.