Couples Therapy

Improving communication

Being in an intimate relationship can be very rewarding, but it often involves hard work. Fairy tales and Hollywood never show what happens in the "happily ever after". Most often couples seek counselling to improve communication and build more intimacy into their relationship. As long term partners we sometimes make assumptions about how our spouse feels or thinks. Other times we have just lost track of how to talk about anything besides our busy lives and daily chores. But oftentimes couples say they are not communicating anymore and the marriage is in trouble as a result. I help identify the issues that impede good communication and at times act as interpreter to help partners understand each other better.

Who I Help:

  • Married and unmarried couples
  • Same-sex couples
  • Parents

Couples and Parenting

There is so much more to parenting than just having a child. In our busy lives, we are all pressured for time and are not always able to offer our children everything that they need. When you are feeling the pangs that things are not going according to your plan, counselling can help.

Very often when children act out at home, they are releasing the stress they feel in their family. The real issue can be the trouble or unhappiness between parents that is affecting the child's behaviour and emotions.

Other times it takes some readjustment for a couple to move from "couplehood" to parenthood. Many roles and responsibilities need to be renegotiated. Values have to be defined into parenting practices and parents have to get together on discipline to present a united front to their children in order to create a predictable and stable home.

Working with both partners can keep the responsibilities of parenting squarely on both sets of shoulders. Therapy offers an ideal time and place for parents to get together and have meaningful conversations about the family.

Intimacy and Sex Therapy

Most clients would say the three most common areas of conflict are: sex, money, and the division of labour.

Fights about money and labour are often a cloak for deeper issues about love, attachment and respect for differences. I help couples identify what issues are really being triggered so that true and fair negotiations can take place. Then we can help restore those feelings of love that strengthen the bonds between you.

Sometimes it is hard to know if our sex life died because we are unhappy or are we unhappy because we are not having sex. Intimacy and desire can wane in longer term relationships, but sometimes there are other reasons for the lack of sex. It could be anything from low sexual desire and sexual dissatisfaction to orgasm difficulties and past sexual abuse issues. Often couples need help identifying and removing the obstacles that block the path to great sex.

After the affair

Affairs and other infidelities can strain relationships to the breaking point. There are so many questions that need answers:

  • I found out about the affair! Now what, what do I do?
  • Can we heal from this affair?
  • Can our marriage be saved after the affair?

The short answer is yes. BUT passage of time on its own does not make the hurt and anger disappear. The best chances for success are with relationship therapy. I am ready to get down to the nitty-gritty to help couples out of the hurt and anger of betrayal and help them move to a new and happier place.

When separations happen

Unfortunately there are times when separations happen. Even if it is for the best, anger and hurt are common reactions. There is a loss that needs to be grieved. Alone or with your partner, we can explore how to ease the pain and support you through this crazy time.

I'm here to help. For more information or to schedule a counselling appointment, please feel free to call or email me anytime.

©2016 Sheri Betel M.S.W., R.S.W.
Toronto therapist Sheri Betel is located in the GTA, Toronto, Ontario: Leaside Therapy Centre
1395 Bayview Avenue
Toronto, Ontario