I think it is common to feel that we can sort things out ourselves, or between us in a relationship, and sometimes that is true.
However, when communication becomes difficult, or we are struggling to trust our partner or the relationship, it helps if there is a third party to help mediate and rebuild clarity, honesty, and trust.
Asking for support, especially in a relationship, can feel very exposing and risky. It is important that both people feel comfortable, understood and supported.
In couples work, I aim to support both people to explore their relationship, to look at how they are relating, and explore potential new ways of connecting. When a relationship has a long or complicated history, it can be easy to misinterpret each other. Trust, communication and intimacy can suffer.
I aim to support both parties to begin to listen and hear each other more fully, and to explore what might be getting in the way, be that hurts or successes from previous relationships and situations, or current stresses and struggles.
One of the focuses in Gestalt therapy is to examine how we make contact with each other and how we withdraw. Often a healthy relationship needs both of these. Yet it is easy to get out of balance.
For example, one person might begin making all of the attempts at connecting, while the other does all the withdrawing.
Sometimes just beginning to talk, be heard and listened to, is enough to help rebuild trust in a relationship. But sometimes we need to find new ways of communicating to help break fixed patterns. Experimenting is an essential part of Gestalt. It helps us to tap in to our natural creative capacities. In our work together I aim to use experimentation in the session to help find new and creative ways of connecting that suit both people. Sometimes we need to experiment to find out what helps make us feel more comfortable, supported and safe.
I draw upon my background in Gestalt Psychotherapy, group work, shadow work, conflict resolution, and body work when working with couples.
"Working with Paul was extremely helpful in moving forward with areas of conflict and confusion in our relationship. His sensitivity and skill at quickly and clearly getting to the heart of the matter, whilst simultaneously supporting us both in our truth was remarkable. I felt seen and encouraged to grow into my fuller self and the sessions deeply supported our relationship, increasing understanding, awareness and love for each other."
"My experience of Paul is that he works from a refreshingly real place. He doesn't get lost in the story. There is an immediacy, insight and integrity in the way Paul works that enabled my partner and I to bring our full selves to the process, and increasingly see beyond the defensive and blaming patterns we were stuck in. Be warned: he will take you to the heart of your pain, en route to resolution! But only if you are willing to go there, and with great empathy and care. His presence and skill helped us heal seemingly un-surpassable problems. I am very thankful and recommend him to anyone who wants to change."
- Graham and Sally, from Bristol