Counselling for Relationships & Couples

At Illuminate Counselling, we understand the significant and diverse challenges that couples face, such as communication issues, arguments that spiral out of control, division of labour issues, parenting disagreements, as well as feelings of resentment or disconnection. We recognize that when you don’t feel satisfied in your intimate relationship, it’s hard to be able to enjoy other parts of your life. Our compassionate therapists will work alongside you to interrupt negative cycles, teach you strategies for creating more alignment in your relationship, and foster a deeper connection. 

If you’re seeking a shortcut to better communication, we recommend our downloadable workbook, Fight Less, Fight Fair! It’s a great place to start if you’re not yet sure about couples counselling, or even as a complement to therapy.

Sound familiar?

“We have the same argument over and over!”

“Our communication could really use some work.”

“What’s wrong with us? Are relationships supposed to be this hard?”

“I just don’t know if I can do this anymore… should I stay or go?”

Counselling can help you to understand some of the dynamics going on in your relationship, as well as provide the skills needed to increase your effectiveness as a team. The process of hearing each other in new ways can help offer a mindset shift, to one that is more relational.

There are many issues that may have led you here, including frustrations with communication, sex & intimacy challenges, division-of-labour, finances, infidelity, or even day-to-day personality differences. Messy/tidy. Introvert/extrovert. Talking through problems/processing internally. These are all challenges that come up in the clients we work with.

There are also certain times in life that can be especially stressful and wear on a couple, including the process of trying to start a family, or becoming parents for the first time.

How Can Therapy Help?

Common goals of relationship counselling:

Improve relational communication skills.

Most of us are not taught how to communicate in relational ways. Our experienced counsellors specialize in teaching research-based communication skills and productive ways of working through conflict. Allow us to guide you in effectively expressing your feelings, in a way that your partner can actually hear. This is the first step towards creating the kind of relationship that you long for, and giving you the tools to keep growing as a couple. 

Navigate difficult division-of-labour issues.

Many modern relationships are striving for a greater sense of equity, and so the “who does what” conversation is a one that shows up often. Counselling can help move couples from a place of scorekeeping and resentment, to feeling like responsibilities are more fairly distributed and all contributions are valued. Through this process, you will clarify expectations as well as new finding ways of expressing appreciation and cooperation.

Make sense of repetitive arguments.

Through counselling, you can learn to understand your perpetual problems – which are those relationship problems that will never go away! When you can make sense of what is underneath these fights, you and your partner can begin to talk about the issue in a different way. Counselling can help you to learn strategies to navigate your differences, even coming to view them as strengths that cultivate teamwork and connection.

Clarify your next steps, together or apart.

Deciding whether to move forward together or apart can sometimes be the most significant goal of all, especially for those who come in “on the brink.” Through what is called ‘Discernment Counselling’, you and your partner work to understand how you have come to this place, and what needs to change in order to rebuild. For those who are deep into resentment, counselling can clarify what change is possible to expect of yourselves and each other.

“The quality of your life ultimately depends on the quality of your relationships.”

– Esther Perel 

Ready to Get Started?

Our team of counsellors offer both in-person and virtual sessions to suit your needs.  You can decide whether you are wanting 1:1 support to explore your relationship concerns on your own, or get started with couples therapy. Either way, our counsellors that can help with you and your partner’s relationship issues. If you’re not sure who to book with, we’d be happy to match you with a counsellor that’s the right fit. 

Our Couples Counsellors

Saba Hessamian

Jennifer Wright

Ruth Skutezky