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Dr Karen Massey Registered Psychologist Emergo Counselling Services
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Couples Therapy

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True hope dwells on the possible, even when life seems to be a plot written by someone who wants to see how much adversity we can overcome True hope responds to the real world, to real life; it is an active effort
Walter Anderson

Communication is one of the most common barriers in achieving a loving, mutually supportive relationship. Lillian Hellman states that "People change and forget to tell each other." As you will discover in couples therapy, communication involves a lot more than just telling each other about what you are thinking. Dr. Karen is trained in three major approaches for couple's counselling, specifically Drs. John and Judy Gottman, Harville Hendrix, and Alison Armstrong (PAX).

Dr. Susan Gamache states that the intact nuclear family has always been a myth. She notes that the average length of marriage in the 1700's was 7 years, with death, rather the divorce usually being the cause of ending the relationship. Currently, the average length of marriage in Canada has doubled to 14.5 years as reported by the Vanier Institute on the Family in 2011. In addition the Institute indicates that 41% of Canadian marriages will end in divorce before their 30th wedding anniversary. Dr. Gamache highlights that society has pathologized divorce, when the reality is that an intact nuclear home does not ensure well-being for family members. What does ensure well-being she says, is the relationship between parents, whether intact or apart. Children exposed to intense and frequent conflict with no resolution between their parents fare more poorly than children not exposed to conflict, regardless of whether their parents are together or apart. Accordingly she encourages people to see divorce as a necessity at times, just like having surgery.

Imago Couples Counselling

As Harville Hendrix suggests "Stop Talking, Start Connecting." Hendrix' Imago Relationships approach is a "New Way to Love." Like Hendrix, I urge couples to examine their negative patterns and find ways to eliminate negativity and then powerfully transform into a loving relationship. We are all searching for Connection-connecting within ourselves, with our loved ones, and with the world. Connecting is by developing a positive, loving intimate relationship.

Have you got a Ruptured Connection--Feel isolated, lonely, disrespected? Find out how you can resolve your anger and draw closer together as a couple.

Gottman Couples Therapy: A New Research-Based Approach

Gottman's 40 years of research indicates that in 69% of couple's conflicts are perpetual-the couple cannot find a resolution. You have a choice of learning how to dialogue with each other or live in perpetual conflictual gridlock. You can learn how to find happiness and joy such as by softening your approach to conflict. This softening includes improving your friendship as a couple and your secure attachment to trusting and loving each other. The major cause of divorce--80% of the time, is partners becoming emotionally distant and drifting apart due to a failure of friendship and intimacy.

Gottman identifies four patterns of behavior that lead to what he calls the Apocalypse. These problematic behaviors are criticizing, defensiveness, contempt and stonewalling. When these behaviors escalate they predict divorce. Are you caught up in some or all of these Apocalytic behaviors that can lead to the collapse of your relationship?

Alison Armstrong "PAX"Approach

The "Passion Adoration Xcstasy" approach is fast gaining popularity in North America because of it's practical, experiential, well articulated ideas on how to understand and celebrate men, and how to satisfy and understand women. PAX offers many courses that Dr. Karen has taken. Their titles represent the essence of each weekend long training experience, namely, Celebrating Men and Marriage; Celebrating Women: Regarding Ecstasy & Power-The Queen Workshop;

Celebrating Men and Sex; Celebrating Men, Satisfying Women; Celebrating Women, Understanding Men. All of the training can be readily applied and understood.

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