For couples and marriage counselling in Vancouver, Diana Kollar, M.A, RCC specializes in Relational Life Therapy to help you and your partner feel connected and emotionally safe while working through the issues in your relationship .
Common issues that brings couples to counselling are:
- arguments go unresolved or each argument becomes entangled with several issues
- a high level of reactivity and misunderstanding when conflict arises
- one of you shuts down when there is conflict and the other wants to deal with it right then and there
- circumstances have been difficult for a while and one of you does not feel “in love” anymore and is thinking of exiting the relationship while the other is holding on (discernment counselling)
- an affair or addiction is tearing you apart
- one of you tries to change the other and the other has a hard time standing up for his/herself in a respectful manner
What to Expect from Couples Counselling and the Relational Life Therapy Approach
Registered Clinical Counsellor and Certified Relational Life Therapist, Diana Kollar will initially help you and your partner understand your dynamic that is getting in the way of the two of you reaching your relationship goals. She will help you clarify what is at stake if you don’t change them. The foundation to Diana’s approach is Relational Life Therapy (RLT). You will be asked to read, “The New Rules of Marriage”, by Terry Real or listen to “Fierce Intimacy” so as to have a manual to much of what you will be learning.
Once you have committed to the change process, the second part of the therapy will focus on becoming aware of what your non-relational behaviours are and understand how they grew out of having emotional unmet needs in your childhood. This is crucial because if you remain unaware of adaptive, non-relational, immature behaviours or parts of ourselves, they can sabotage our best efforts to save the relationship. Once we understand how these behaviours were needed in our childhood we can have compassion for ourselves and realise despite them creating chaos in our life now they helped us get through our childhood in the best way possible.
The final stage of therapy is learning and practicing new, emotionally mature, relational behaviours. This practice is called “relationship recovery”. You will learn to pause instead of acting out your first instinct and instead choose a more relational, emotionally mature response. This stage takes time and it’s important to learn to celebrate each small success. There may also be an amends process and trust building stage depending on how deep the hurt and wounds are of having unwittingly/unknowingly allowed immature, non-relational behaviours to run the relationship in the past.
Typical Outcomes of Relational Life Therapy Approach in Couples Counselling with Diana Kollar
In a healthy, emotionally mature relationship, couples make the relationship a priority. One’s perspective shifts from, “What can my relationship do for me?” to “What is it that I can do for my relationship?”
Another outcome is a strong sense of being on the same team as your partner, instead of feeling like adversaries. You learn to welcome the differences between yourself and your partner. This is in contrast to the common misconception that differences between partners are detrimental to the relationship. You and your partner can accept and honour each other’s reality and way of being in the world, even though it can be very different from yours.
You will learn “loving firmness” to state your boundaries and define consequences. Your self-esteem will strengthen.
Couples counselling will help you to grow together instead of apart by learning:
- Emotionally mature and respectful communication and interaction
- Connection even when discussing difficult topics
- Setting loving firm boundaries with one another and stipulating how you will take care of yourself if the boundary is crossed
- Learning to negotiate instead of compromise
- Trust and a sense of safety with one another
- Understanding, acceptance and compassion for one another
- Passion and intimacy
- A healthy balance between togetherness and separateness
Kollar Counselling Services provides marriage counselling in Vancouver for straight and same-sex couples.
Book an appointment or a free 10-minute phone consultation online or by phone/email today! Kollar Counselling Services offers weekday counselling sessions for couples and for individuals in Vancouver.
“Our time spent under the graceful and empathic guidance of Diana, we have once again begun to flourish, after 20 years of marriage. We’ve emerged from the Imago system with this fantastic sense of empowerment and wonderment of ourselves and each other. The benefits of Imago are not found only in active practice, rather we find that a respect and understanding of each other grows in this wonderful passive and strengthening way. Diana has a brilliant charm, a soft hand, and an inspirational devotion to her craft. We will, in our lifetimes never likely thank her enough.” A&S, 30’s
“Our time with Diana changed the course of our relationship. We had spent years thinking that we could change and fix our relationship ourselves. But time and time again we failed and we got more frustrated with each attempt. Finally, we surrendered and admitted that we needed help outside of ourselves. After our first session with her, we felt like we had made the right decision and were on the path to getting the help we needed. Our sessions helped us learn the skills we needed to communicate effectivley and gave us a greater self awareness. Imago dialogue has given us a way to communicate like we have never been able to in the past. Thank you Diana for helping us save our relationship.” L & B, 30’s
“We were having a lot of trouble communicating. It seemed like we were not ever being heard. It was getting to the point where we felt extremely distant from one another and were growing apart. Diana gave us new techniques to open up better dialogue and communication. Not in how to talk to each other but how to listen to one another. Things are improving. While there is still some work in front of us, we can now work more effectively though our issues, knowing that our point of view have been heard.” R & B, 30’s
“It has only taken a few sessions to learn to communicate with my partner in a way I never dreamed we could!”
“I now feel heard by my partner and we are better able to understand one another.”