working with couples

Couples counselling for strong attachment

Safe attachment in a couple provides connection, protection and stress regulation. Unfortunately, attachment can suffer from emotional injuries, distancing and other negative patterns of interaction. Couples therapy enables us to grow together and as individuals.

Couples typically notice …
  • _reliving similar arguments
  • _communicating badly
  • _loss of connection and intimacy
  • _disappointments and resentments
  • _feeling hurt, betrayed or mistrusted
  • _echoing trauma and emotional injuries
  • _transitioning into new phases of life
  • _needing to rekindle their bond

As a counsellor and therapist Sebastian enables couples to tackle challenges as a two-person system. Leading the relationship by asking “what is good for us?”. He applies the latest knowledge of attachment theory, psychobiology and neuroscience.

Better communication, better connection

Couples counselling helps building trust, achieving emotional safety and learning successful communication skills! Couples learn evidence-based skills for better connection, communication and well-being. Sebastian’s therapeutic support guides both partners to solve marital issues and overcome relationship challenges.

“Women are unhappy in their marriages because they want men to be more related than most men know how to be. And men are unhappy in their marriages because their women seem so unhappy with them.”

Terrence Real – How can I get through to you?

The three stages of couples counselling:

  1. Understanding how you get into a “stress cycle”
  2. Improving the way you safely communicate in order to get out of the cycle
  3. Solving your problems at home without Sebastian 😉

Looking eye to eye

You will learn how to identify traps in your communication. Sebastian shows you how and where to change your interaction. Over time you will be able to identify unhelpful patterns yourself. You will learn the dos and don’ts of handling relationship problems. Ultimately, you will be able to manage couples challenges together with a deeper level of understanding.

Couples therapy approaches

Sebastian has trained in several evidence-based couples therapy approaches. These approaches are based on the latest knowledge in neuroscience and attachment theory.

Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) by Dr. Sue Johnson, Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT) by Dr. Stan Tatkin and the developmental model by Dr. Ellyn Bader are the best practices for sustainable success.

Sue Johnson’s couples approach

Emotion Focused Therapy – for couples (EFT)

EFT follows a clear process from assessment to solution. It leverages decades of research in couples therapy and counselling with 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 empirically validated interventions which base on attachment theory and the science of love.

The role of emotion in marriage distress and couple therapy has been established for years. 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.

Counsellors and therapists appreciate the clear theoretical base. This base consists a theory of change, which arises from a synthesis of humanistic experiential therapy and 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.

Stan Tatkin’s couples approach

Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT)

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 4,000 practitioners across North America, Europe, and Australia and has expanded the training to three levels.

“Your therapist will create experiences similar to those troubling your relationship and help you work through them in real time during the session. You will increase awareness of moment-to-moment shifts in your face, body, and voice, and pay close attention to these as a couple.”

PACT has gained a reputation for effectively treating even the most challenging couples. For more information visit http://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.

Ellyn Bader’s couples approach

Developmental Model of Couples Therapy (Ellyn Bader)

This model of couples therapy is a developmental model, It does not focus on what’s wrong, 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 around the world. The therapy receives consistent, enthusiastic feedback that it enhances rather than collides with various other approaches. Developed by Ellyn Bader and Peter Pearson in the 1980s, The Couples Institute by Dr. Ellyn Bader.

Special relationship services

In addition to his standard 80’ consultations for couples, Sebastian offers extra services for couples under special circumstances

Half-day and Full-day COUPLES INTENSIVES Intensives contain a great deal of depth and usually let the couple cover more ground than would be covered with the same amount of hours spent in standard sessions. This is due to my selection of experiential approaches which take into account the attachment history and style of each partner as well as each person’s specific and individual needs. Half-day intensives are 3.5hrs long from 10:00am until 13:30 or from 13:00 until 16:30 Full-day intensives are 7hrs long and include a lunch break from 10:00am until 17:00 Intensives can be arranged on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays. Please get in touch with me for more details. CONTACT FORM
ONLINE THERAPY SESSIONS FOR COUPLES I offer online therapy for couples (LINK). These are videocalls for couples who can’t travel to my office, but still want to get going or continue working. I work with couples with partners in the same location or in separate locations and time-zones.

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