You may long for more closeness and appreciation and to feel valued. Perhaps that makes you behave in an angry and critical way and you don’t want it to be like that.
As a couples counsellor, I know that it can be hard to see the bigger picture when you are immersed in your emotional pattern.
Perhaps like a lot of couples, you’ve both tried in the past, but being over emotional at the time, your words just seemed to come out wrong. That may have fuelled a huge reaction that was very distressing for both of you.
This sort of experience can be quite traumatic and leaves a mark on your emotional memory. Choices in the relationship are then made that unintentionally cause more harm. For instance, you may decide that in future it’s really best to say nothing at all as you tell yourself that your effort will just get thrown back in your face anyway. Unfortunately, this only makes things worse, especially if your partner is sensitive to rejection and feels ignored.
What is uniquely useful for you about combining couples counselling with Human Givens Therapy?
It’s surprising how much can change once you see the pattern that is being created and re-created in your relationship. However, you may also need some help reprocessing the stressful experience. As a Human Givens therapist, I am trained to do just that because awareness of your patterns is often not enough on its own.
Some areas may be quite raw for you, because they remind you of painful times in your past. When you feel safe enough to trust, you can show each other that softer feelings lie underneath the hostility or anger that you show when painful memories are triggered. Understanding and compassion for each other develops when you feel able to admit that behind the anger, for instance, you may feel hurt, lonely and scared. So then you can start to experiment and try out new behaviours, such as new ways of communicating your needs.
Strong emotional memories are stored in the emotional part of the brain which means that traumatic experiences from the past are still alive for you.
Very intense or even explosive reactions happen almost instantaneously if our partner inadvertently triggers these memories, without allowing any time for thinking. That is because the brain is wired for fight or flight, which is a response that makes us act irrationally. Emotion hijacks the thinking brain, resulting in negative consequences for relationships.
The good news for you is that I can make a real difference straight away by helping you to get relief from your traumatic memories, so that the fight or flight response is not triggered in the same way anymore.