Couples Counselling – The Marriage Dr

All marriages face difficulties! When I first began couples counselling training there were two assumptions that seemed to be included, firstly that the good marriages went without problems and secondly that when things went wrong, a counsellor could sort it out!

I remember the early days of my training when faced with a couple. Like most counsellors in those days I found this to be the most stressful form of counselling. Well, these days it’s different! We understand that the issues faced in any marriage are part of the marriage and something everyone goes through. Secondly, we have trained in a form of counselling that supports the couple in communication that helps, rather than continue with the old fashioned idea that we can sort you out with our expertise! The main difference these days is that we understand that what is needed is a re-connection between the couple. There is a fracture in the relationship that needs healing.

When we start this counselling we ask the couple to commit to a weekly session of one hour and a half at our counselling rooms as well as ‘homework’ for an eight week period. Below is the structure of the eight week course

Week One


Assessment from partners

Introduction to the Imago approach 

Turtles and Tigers

The Imago Dialogue

Week Two

The unconscious Marriage

The Imago Dialogue

Changing criticism for frustration

The unconscious Marriage (reading)

The phenomenon of attraction

Week Three

The Imago Dialogue

The Imago Dialogue

The power struggle

The loss of the romantic phase 

Shock – Denial – Anger – Bargaining – Despair

Week Four

The conscious Marriage

Reflection on session three

The Imago Dialogue

Feedback and assessment

The unconscious marriage (Homework)

Week Five

Re connecting

Reflection on session four

The Imago Dialogue

The Conscious Marriage (homework)

Week Six

Re connecting

Reflection on session five

The Imago Dialogue

The Parts dialogue

Week Seven

Re connecting

Opening up the baggage

Unmet needs – Lost parts

Protective behaviours

Week Eight

Re connecting

The Imago dialogue

Feedback – what worked what didn’t

Onward strategies and goals