Ph.D. in clinical psychology, Member of the Order of Psychologists of Quebec

Ph.D. in clinical psychology

Member of the Order of Psychologists of Quebec


Understand and overcome relationship challenges

Today's couples are faced with what seems to be endless challenges. Being part of a distressed relationship seems to drain the energy out of individuals, and partners may feel like there is no possible solution to their problems.

Couple therapy helps couples faced with a variety of issues including, sexual intimacy, infertility, interpersonal conflict, raising children, affection, poor communication, financial stresses, commitment issues, and other relational problems.

Before a separation starts to feel like the only option, seek help from a trained professional.

Couple therapy in Montreal
Relationship challenges

How can therapy help?

Talking with a supportive person about what you are thinking and feeling may be an enormous relief in itself. Feeling like someone understands what you are going through may help you feel like a weight has been lifted off your chest. Also, having some input from your therapist may help you find solutions to your current difficulties.

Psychotherapy is a treatment options for mental health issues that is backed by years of rigorous scientific research. The best research evidence, conclusively shows that individual, group and couple/family psychotherapy are effective for a broad range of disorders, symptoms and problems with children, adolescents, adults, and older adults.

How does couple therapy work?

Couple counselling provides a neutral ground for communication to understand the current problematic dynamics. Couples learn to understand and change their emotional response towards each other to enhance their bond rapidly. Couples learn to provide support to each other inside and outside the couple.

Initial assessment

As with any therapeutic process, couple therapy starts with an initial assessment, where the therapist will meet with the couple and perhaps also with both partners individually to define the couple's major challenges. Then the psychologist will provide you with a detailed understanding of the source of your difficulties and will agree with the couple on therapeutic goals.

Therapeutic work

The therapist helps partners understand the emotional responses that maintain marital distress, identify and modify dysfunctional behavior, and decrease emotional disconnection. Your psychologist may also teach you the principles of "fair fighting" and effective communication.

During the therapeutic process, the therapist may give each partner individual or couple "homework" and the couple continues to integrate the skill being taught in therapy at home.

Five myths about relationships

Happy couples don't fight

Each relationship has its own set of strengths and difficulties. Couple fight and argue. Happy couples fight and argue. One of the main differences is that happy couples fight differently than the unhappy ones. They do not abuse, or insult each other during fights, and they are more empathically tuned to each other during discussions. Happy couples have developed the skills required for managing conflict and interpersonal differences, they communicate their feelings in an open and direct manner.

Couples who love each other don't need help

Loving your partner is a great thing and it might be a sign that you are willing to work on your relationship. However, loving someone doesn't mean that your partner is able to read your mind. Each partner needs to learn to express themselves honestly about their feelings and personal needs. Also each partner had his own individual set of experiences and personal issues that may make it hard to "risk" communicating his or her needs.

For your relationship to work, your partner must change

Both partners need to take a look at their conduct in order for the relationship to change. Both partners must be willing to take personal responsibility and own up to their behavior to allow change to occur. In interpersonal relationships, transactions between partners start to create a particular dynamic.

The couple therapist will take sides with one of the partners

Contrary to what some might fear, your couple therapist will not take "sides" with one of the partners, but rather will try to enhance a feeling of empowerment and personal responsibility in both partners. Simply said, the couple therapist takes the side of the couple as a whole, and will bring into light the particular dynamics of the couple to provide a more objective view of the relationship.

If you find the "right" partner you don't have to "work" on the relationship

Even couples who share a lot of similarities and interests go through rough patches. As time goes by, the couple is forced to redefine itself, as couples move through the different stages of the romantic relationships (getting married, moving together, raising children). Negotiation is required in every relationship as the couple involves two different individuals, who no matter how similar, have their own personal stresses, life goals, and needs.

Do we need couple therapy?

Do you feel like your partner is shutting you out?

Do you feel you can't get physically close to your partner anymore?

Do you feel frustrated with your partner?

Does it feel like you can never agree on anything?

Do you feel like one person is taking on more responsibilities in your couple?

Do you feel sad or indifferent when you think about your relationship?

Are you unable to forgive your partner for something that's happened in the past?

Do you feel like you are constantly trapped in the blame game with your partner?

Is your sex life unsatisfactory or inexistent?

Do you feel you can never please your partner?

Do you have different views concerning parenting, finances and daily life?

If you've answered yes to one or many of these questions, then couple therapy may be right for you.