Counselling for Distressed Couples in Melbourne
|When distressed couples get hurt, they protect themselves by reacting in destructive ways.|
Distressed couples constantly face hostile and volatile conflict, and they do not know how to de-escalate on their own. Each partner gets caught in a whirlwind of intense emotions that takes over them. As each partner ends up distressed they defend against the underlying hurt feelings. Often, what underlies angry reactions is an actual longing that gets displaced. When distressed couples react, it is hard to see their underlying need for closeness. When couples can get in touch with what is underneath their anger, they can rebuild a secure foundation together.
Couples counselling for distressed couples offers them an opportunity to understand the underlying experiences behind their reactions, so they can express the more vulnerable feelings. Counselling allows couples to process their responses in a way that creates a more secure holding for them. Therapy allows escalating couples to slow down and process their responses within the therapeutic containment of the session, so each partner can begin to relate from a softer position.
Distressed Couples Conflict
Often, distressed couples do not actually hear what the other is saying. Unconsciously, we all filter what is said through our early relationships, which can distort or magnify the way we see our partner. Partners often misinterpret each other based on these internalised representations. Couples counselling in Melbourne restructures how couples see each other.
Couples who get caught in a rage are often triggered back to earlier painful experiences that then becomes re-experienced with the partner. Couples end up escalating to defend against these hurts, often blame their partner for causing them to feel this way. When volatile couples defensively attack each other, they inevitably end up projecting their wounds onto the partner.
Manage distress with counselling for couples.
Destructive patterns occur when the hurt partner escalates as a protest to get heard for their pain. A female may show her anger to her partner for not being available for her, whereas he pulls away to defend against feeling attacked. He is not able to see the softer side of her that pines for connection. Therefore, he is not able to comfort her the way she would like. He feels she is attacking him, so he removes himself from the fight. She see’s him as rejecting her emotional needs. She does not see that he is afraid of her anger. In couples counselling, this is a common example of how partners escalate in the ‘pursuer – distancer’ dynamic. The lens that each partner uses to see the other causes them to act in ways that reinforce the way they see each other. Couples become stuck in these destructive patterns. Couples who perpetuate these cycles find the relationship very difficult and have constant conflict. They do not know about the lenses they have developed, which prevents them from seeing each other.
Therapy for angry and hostile couples
Couple therapy can dismantle defensive reactions, so each partner can see how they are getting in the way of relating with each other. Therapy services provide partners with a secure holding to explore their emotional experiences, while resolving areas of stuckness. Couples see each other with a clearer lens, so they can accurately respond to each other. These new responses ensure that the couple feels secure, so they can then trust the relationship as a secure place for them to return to.
For couples, call: 0449 861 147 or use the consultation booking form.
All content is copyright Nancy Carbone 2017