“How do you spell ‘love’?” (Piglet)
“You don’t spell it…you feel it.” (Pooh)
Relationships are rhythmic, dynamic, often difficult, and far from the bed of roses we once believed. Being in relationship is about being together with someone else and in this process, you long for autonomy to explore the new and be yourself and you long for connection and closeness with your partner. Many couples struggle with the challenge of being in partnership with another without losing a sense of self.
As a couple, two people have the task of learning to establish boundaries around their union that will differentiate their relationship from all others. In addition, a couple has the task of finding a balance between security and freedom and managing the uncertainties of this process.
Couples therapy offers you the opportunity to get to know yourself and your partner again in new ways. It involves being open to what is going on now in your relationship. I help you to seek connection with each other from a position of (true) autonomy, to listen to each other, to discover the patterns in the relationship and to restore trust. In this process, you learn to balance your desire to be your own person with your desire to be connected to your partner.
Reasons for Couples Therapy?
There are many different reasons why couples come to therapy, varying from a crisis, such as an affair, to wanting to understand each other better.
Maybe you are unhappy in your relationship right now, or feeling disconnected. Perhaps you have doubts about staying together or about your future together? If you have the feeling that you can no longer talk to each other, can’t communicate on the same wavelength anymore, without the conversation escalating, then perhaps couples therapy can help you. As an outsider, I am able to look at your relationship from a professional distance and can give an impartial perspective
“My husband and I have been working with Andrea for a few years now, and she has showed us why we clash, and where the change and responsibility within ourselves can be found. As people ever evolve, we like to keep on seeing Andrea to keep things smooth. She has been delicate in her approach yet not afraid to confront. Over time, this change we made is subtle, yet important. She is flexible and creative in getting to the core of things. Andrea sometimes shares her own vulnerability during a session, which is enlightening and created a warm connection. And lastly, as my husband and I are a dual-lingual couple, it is great that Andrea speaks both English and Dutch fluently, as in a heated debate emotions are easiest shared in your mother tongue.” (Corinne)
Other relationship themes that can arise:
- Who am I, who is my partner and who are we together?
- You don’t understand each other and talking doesn’t help any more either;
- You don’t feel seen or valued by your partner;
- You’re constantly bickering or arguing over seemingly trivial things; the tension keeps growing;
- The gap between you both is growing and it seems you have nothing in common anymore;
- You recognise your patterns and dynamics but can’t seem to change them;
- You or your partner is in love with another;
- Lack of sex and desire;
- Trust issues (money, infidelity);
- You have doubts about your relationship and are considering ending it but don’t know how;
- You long for more intimacy with your partner. You feel lonely in your relationship.
Stay or leave?
The outcome of therapy is not by definition that a couple stays together. It can become clearer to one or both partners that there is no more future together and that it is better to end the relationship. If this is the case, I can support you in this process.
Couples therapy is helpful for all couples who want to work on, explore or deepen their relationship, regardless of how long they have been together. This applies to couples who are married, unmarried, living together or separately, hetero and homosexual partners.
During the sessions I observe how you interact with each other, how you move between connecting and disconnecting and reconnecting again. Non-verbal behaviours are an essential part of this process, as are the underlying emotions and deep rooted patterns.
It is often the (destructive) patterns in your relationship that cause the arguments, prevent you from understanding each other, communicating effectively and creating the connection you want so much. It is often the same blocks and patterns that prevent you both from growing. Together in therapy, we explore the patterns, how they began, how each partner contributes in perpetuating them and what you both need to do to break these patterns.
My interventions are intended to help couples learn about their dynamics of relating and to develop an awareness of their process. My interventions are intended to help you better connect with yourself, with each other, recognize and express your needs and develop more intimacy. And where necessary, I help you develop more autonomy and distance.
Working with differences is a significant part of therapy. Learning to deal with differences is more important than the difference itself. Frequently the problem for couples is not that a difference exists between them, but that the problem lies in the way the couple deals with the difference.
“Although I had some therapy experience in the past, I was not fully convinced that couples therapy could help my partner and I with our problems. I agreed anyway to start couples therapy with Andrea and already after the first session I had to change my mind. Our sessions are like concerts, where Andrea is the skilled director, the orchestra playing is my partner and I and the music is awareness, personal growth and a better understanding of each other. And this music keeps echoing in my mind in my everyday life. Andrea’s studio is now a safe spot for me where, session after session, I learn to listen and communicate with my partner in a healthier way. My partner and I have grown incredibly as individuals and as a couple”. (Enrico).
We begin with an intake session which lasts 75 to maximum 90 minutes (both partners present). During this meeting, we explore your current relationship situation and what you want to work on. Towards the end, we share our first impressions of each other and whether there is enough basis for a working relationship. You decide as a couple if you would like to continue and I am better able to gauge if I can help you and what is needed for you to work on. Sometimes one partner is committed to the relationship and/or to couples therapy but the other isn’t. If this is the case, I help you explore the doubt and take this into account in my approach.
Couples therapy sessions last 75 minutes. The number of sessions we have depends on the nature and intensity of your relationship problem. After 4-5 sessions, we reflect together if the therapy is useful for your situation, if it meets your expectations and what next steps are needed.
€ 150 for 75 minutes
Prices include V.A.T.
Should you need to cancel a session, I request a cancellation period of 48 hours by telephone.
“Andrea is definitely adept at her specialism as she is much more than merely a therapist. To me she is a gifted teacher facilitator and coach, who taught me how to expose and explore my strengths, move on from past negative experiences, and open up in ways I would not have believed were possible. In working with her together with my wife we have been able to vastly improve how we deal with conflict as a couple. This has brought us even closer together as we continue in the journey of our relationship. Over the time I have been working with Andrea both on a personal and professional level her lessons have been succinct in a manner that can be applied immediately and encourage self- reflection”. (Chris)
“My girlfriend was the one who suggested doing couples therapy. I wasn’t particularly reluctant but left to my own devices I would have been perfectly happy to muddle along.
It was really constructive working with Andrea. She is warm and engaging, a great listener and a born mediator. My girlfriend and I would often be at cross purposes and Andrea would gently step in and “translate” for the other party.
My relationship with my girlfriend improved greatly. We learned to communicate better and more honestly, and become aware of the various dynamics that often sabotaged us. We have since recommended Andrea to another friend of ours.” (R)