Couples Therapy, Marriage Counselling and Relationship Skill Building

Sebastian works with couples who want to regain happiness, increase trust and deepen their bond and intimacy. He applies the latest science of attachment theory, psychobiology and neuroscience to improve relationships.

Sebastian’s clients want to work on issues that have built up over longer periods of time or may have occurred as a sudden change. Any crisis in and around a couple puts strain and hurt on partners and spouses. Couples learn evidence-based skills and improve their connection through mutual growth and understanding.

Sebastian’s therapeutic support helps both partners to understand the full magnitude of what happened and to gain insight from various perspectives on any marriage issue and relationship challenges. Furthermore, it brings to light the basis of your being together and the damage caused.

Couples often get in touch with him, when they find themselves …

  • reliving similar fights or difficult conversations over and over
  • communicating badly – including not talking about sexual intimacy
  • facing the loss of connection and intimacy
  • accumulating disappointment, alienation and resentments
  • feeling hurt, betrayed or mistrusted
  • echoing trauma and emotional injuries
  • wanting to rekindle their bond and rediscover their future together
  • transitioning in and out of Hong Kong
  • crossing over changes and phases in life

The target of couples counselling is to build trust, to develop emotional safety and to teach sustainable communication skills that shield and solidify the unity of your relationship. In order to enhance your communication and to reduce stressful arguments and frustrating quarrels, Sebastian will typically guide you through a three stages process.

His ambition is for you to develop the ability to identify where and how you get stuck. In addition, you will learn what to do and not to do in order to overcome your marital or relationship problems and to return quickly to a smooth and healthy living. Ultimately, you will be able to handle challenges together as a couple on a higher level of understanding.

Sebastian’s training in couples therapy approaches is comprehensive and adaptive. He has trained extensively in the latest approaches for couples, based on neuroscience and attachment theory. Scientific evidence has shown that approaches like Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT by Dr. Sue Johnson) and Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT by Dr. Stan Tatkin), which focus on the partners’ experiences, are most successful with sustainable results.


Emotion Focused Therapy – for couples (EFT)

EFT follows a clear process from assessment to solution and leverages decades of research in humanistic approaches and systems theory as well as groundbreaking findings in the psychology of attachment.

Lovers are regulators of each other’s emotional functioning. Intimate relationships have power and influence over mental and physical health. Emotionally Focused Therapy uses proven interventions – empirically validated – which base on attachment theory and the science of love.

EFT is founded on a close and careful analysis of the meanings and contributions of emotion to human experience and change in therapy. … The goals are strengthening the self, regulating affect and creating new meaning (Greenberg L.S. 2011. EFT).

In recent years the role of emotion in marriage distress and couple therapy has become much more accepted. At this point, EFT is the most empirically validated approach to couple therapy, apart from behavioral approaches, and has 30 years of outcome and process research to draw on.

The approach is grounded in a clear theoretical base. This base consists of first a theory of change, which arises from a synthesis of humanistic experiential  therapy and systems theory, and second a theory of adult love, which is viewed as an attachment process. EFT is used for a wide variety of couples and partners, including partners from different cultures, backgrounds and orientations (Johnson S.M. 2004. Practice EFT).


Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT)

The Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT) draws on more than three decades of research on developmental neuroscience, attachment theory, and arousal regulation. Since 2008, the PACT Institute has trained more than 1,000 practitioners across North America, Europe, and Australia and has expanded the training to three levels. PACT has gained a reputation for effectively treating even the most challenging couples. For more information visit www.thepactinstitute.com. Tatkin is the author of three well-received books about relationships—Wired for Dating, Wired for Love, and Your Brain on Love—and is coauthor of Love and War in Intimate Relationships.


Developmental Model of Couples Therapy (The Couples Institute by Dr. Ellyn Bader)

The Developmental Model of Couples Therapy (The Couples Institute by Dr. Ellyn Bader) was developed by Ellyn Bader and Peter Pearson in the 1980s, the developmental model of couples therapy does not focus on pathology but instead emphasises the role of development in relationships. This model compares adulthood development of relationships to childhood procession through typical developmental stages. According to the model, it is natural for relationships to change as partners spend more time together and develop as a team.

Because partners do not always change in the same way or at the same time, potential challenges may develop over the course of the relationship. Conflict may arise when couples are not able to manage a new developmental stage, for example, or when each partner is in a different stage. The integration of attachment theory, differentiation theory and neuroscience has proven to be compatible with audiences throughout North America, Europe, Asia, Australia and South America. The training receives consistent, enthusiastic feedback that it enhances rather than collides with various other approaches.


“Our first year in Hong Kong was challenging for each of us individually, and the stress of dealing with our own challenges left us little energy to work on our relationship. We tried and tried but felt stuck. After trying to deal with these difficulties on our own, the frustration drove us to seek for help. Sebastian helped us learn how to express our emotions clearly to each other, and therefore to find where lies the difficulty. He helped us communicate better and understand each other better.

We both became more aware of each other’s emotional needs, and therefore the communication became gentler and smoother, which left us more time and energy to just enjoy each other. After several sessions with Sebastian in a couple of months’s time, we felt the great change in our relationship. Before, we spent lots of our time and energy to “deal with” or “solve” things in our relationship, now we spend them on loving and enjoying together. 

Thank you so much for helping us learn and improve as partners and lovers – every hour with you had paid off big time.”

Ayana & Nave

 


“Although we all agree in principle that our partners have their own points of view and their own valid perceptions, at the emotional level we are reluctant to accept this simple truth.” H. Hendrix – Getting the love you want.