Most people are never formally taught relationship skills, and end up mirroring their parents or falling back on their natural reactions that got them into trouble in the first place.

Still, anyone can go to countless books or websites and get tips and information about improving relationships. It’s not a bad idea! You can certainly pick up a lot that way – but perhaps you have already found that hasn’t worked well enough.

You may not have the time to sort through vast amounts of information when your relationship needs immediate help. You might have trouble distinguishing the valid and reputable professional approaches from the simplistic advice given by popular gurus, the quick-fix listicles, or edicts from moralistic sources that may be useless or downright wrong

You might have trouble recognizing your exact situation from the general cases presented, seeing the interpersonal patterns, and realizing the hidden motivations. You may not be able to sort out or identify the underlying issues, since they are usually masked by a morass of “maladaptive coping techniques” (cold-shouldering, nastiness, drinking, affairs, or what-have-you).

An even more significant barrier to DIY is the emotional involvement that each person inevitably carries. Partners in conflict are typically not able to allow each other (or even themselves) safe and complete access to their feelings without being swept into a vortex of negative reactivity.

It is very difficult for a couple to consistently and evenhandedly apply what they have read to their own behavior in the heat of the moment. (You might be thinking it’s much easier to apply it to your partner  – but that’s what they are thinking too!) Yes, you might need help in hearing or accepting how your partner perceives the situation. Or your partner might not be able to keep up with you, and you might have trouble putting solutions into place because you are not seen by your partner as neutral.

Even if you can think clearly enough during an emotional storm, it can feel very strange and unnatural, even threatening, to interrupt your existing patterns of interaction, and practice the new methods of communication.

You see, the situation is not like learning to fix your own car. It is more like performing a surgical procedure upon yourself. It is much better to consult a professional who can observe and assess the situation impartially, safely and carefully open up the issues, and help you heal into a much healthier relationship.

Just like surgeons do not operate on themselves, counselling professionals also routinely consult other therapists when we have personal difficulties, to support us, help us see and accept what we can’t see ourselves, and hold us accountable. (Yes, we are human, and problems in life and relationships are inevitable!)

This is where my service makes all the difference. I provide a personalized framework for accomplishing those things that keeps your process of relationship improvement on track, and guides, supports and encourages you when you have doubts or confusion or anxiety about it. I give you the exact tools you need to change your interactions, and monitor, assist and encourage your progress. You get clarity, and a set of customized interventions that incorporate the latest and most sound research from the psychology of interpersonal relationships.