A tip to aid connection when working online

Dear colleagues We know the therapeutic relationship is at the heart of our effectiveness. Yet when working via video conference, it can be hard maintaining a strong sense of connection with your clients.  Here’s a tip from my misspent youth that night help… When I was an actor working in theatres I was taught that … Read more


SUPPORTING TRANSFORMATION FROM A SILENT DANCE TO AN HONEST ASK Experienced couple therapists know that “communication problems” are almost never the real problem.  Formulating within the Developmental Model allows us to identify where each partner is held up in their relational development.  People who say “we can’t communicate” are often holding onto lifelong symbiotic fantasies … Read more

The “Big Three” Relationship Skills

The “Big Three” Fundamental Relationship Skills PART 1 Many of our clients have had limited opportunities to experience healthy relating directly as they were growing up.  Their role models were absent, ineffective or abusive.  As a result they are at a genuine loss to know what to do when trying to form or be present … Read more

An iceberg model of consciousness

Explaining how therapy works can be hard Clients who haven’t had much practice at self-exploration or even talking about their feelings often need quite a bit of psychoeducation about the therapy process. I have adapted Freud’s “iceberg” model by getting rid of the confusing notion of the “pre-conscious” and accepting consciousness is a function of … Read more

Finding the Middle Ground between Selfish and Selfless

Lots of couples have one person who is more self-centred and one who is more self-sacrificing.  Often we have learned these ways of operating as a self-protection in our formative years. It can be hard for clients to understand what the alternative is – often they fear that they might become like their partner (whose … Read more

Level Up your clients

Clients often mean ALL kinds of things when they say they have “problems communicating”.  But one thing it can be very useful to help them sort out is; what “level” are they communicating at? I describe 3 levels to my clients: 1. CONTENT level – we are having a discussion about whether we should try … Read more

Using the important difference between “need” & “want”

In talking with clients, have you ever noticed people describing their partner (or themselves) as “needy” or “demanding”?  They complain about pressure for (or a lack of) affection, sex, attention, talk etc. Yet our culture idealises the notion of needing your partner. “I need you” is generally offered up in a movie or book as the … Read more

Defining Infidelity

Esther Perel recently published a new book called “The State of Affairs” which both Paula and I think is great and recommend highly. It’s got both of us thinking about how we work with infidelity and this is the first of a series of blogs on the topic – something of a warmup for our … Read more

How to turn bad therapy into good therapy

Paula is off at the Couple’s Conference this week (see our earlier blog if you don’t know what that is) so I thought it was a good time for me (Nic) to confess.  Sometimes I  do bad therapy  – I make mistakes and do things that are not good for the client.   Yet I am frequently … Read more