Jim Squire MDiv. Registered Psychotherapist
Nobody sets out to have a failed marriage or relationship but over time we can find the people we seemingly love the most create the strongest negative emotional reactions in us or we can feel like strangers living separate lives. In couples therapy there are often very serious issues such as violence and infidelity however most of the time the complaints that are brought to therapy are what I consider surface issues such as finances, managing the kids or sharing household responsibilities. However the real issues have to do with our emotional connection and whether we feel our partner will be there when we need them and whether they will put us first. I have been extensive trained in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy or EFT which helps couples restore their emotional connection. Research studies have found approximately 90% of couples show significant improvements with EFT. In my work with couples I help them to have the awareness to understand their negative cycles and have the communication skills to effectively communicate their deepest needs.
A reality of human existence is we cannot see ourselves as clearly as others can. There are many reasons for this, mainly it boils down to how hard it is to look at ourselves honestly, after all we cannot distance ourselves from what we see since it is us. From our earliest moments in infancy we form attachments with our caregivers which influences our view of relationships as safe and accepting or unsafe and unpredictable, this understanding is thought to influence all future relationships.
Often through our childhood we have been taught to reject or deny parts of who we are which can manifest in a sense of emptiness and interfere with our ability to bond and connect authentically with others. When this happens we often turn compulsively to substances, sex, gambling or other unhealthy behaviours to cope. Issues from the past even those out of awareness can be worked through effectively over time, provided a person feels safe and accepted. Often individual therapy has to do with discovering who you really are and developing the courage to more authentic.
Our family of origin or the family we were born into influences us through our lifespan, although we generally leave our families physically we rarely leave them emotionally. Our family of origin dynamics have far reaching influences on our thoughts, emotions, behaviours, life satisfaction and psychological wellness. Consequently families can be a tremendous source of joy and support to our well-being but also a place of pain and heartache.
The family systems approach views families as systems and problem formulation as circular rather than linear, in other words a change in one family member's functioning influences other members functioning.
Families must evolve and change to meet new demands and adjust as member’s age, many problems are rooted in a lack of adjustment. Families must also cope and adapt to divorce, remarriage, illness, death and challenges such as addiction/mental health issues, however these challenges are not easy without help from a skilled, caring professional.
Areas of Focus
Infidelity, Restoring Emotional Connection, Communication Skills, Intimacy Issues, Rebuilding Trust
Family Discord, Navigating Family Transitions, Divorce, Parenting Issues
Anxiety, Phobias, Depression
Addictions (Pornography, Substance Abuse, Gambling)
Grief, Coping with Loss
Procrastination, Goal Setting
Spirituality, Existential Crisis