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Couples Counselling

Couples counselling is an effective ways to recapture connection in your relationship, finding again the friendship and intimacy you once shared. When your relationship is struggling, life can be very difficult, particularly at home. 

Common Challenges

Couples therapy is a powerful way to rediscover the bond in your relationship and rekindle the camaraderie and closeness you once enjoyed. At times when your relationship faces challenges, it can add to the rigors of everyday life, especially in your home environment.

Many people turn to couples therapy when their intimacy or communication seems to be waning and barely surviving. Oftentimes, the couple is at a crucial turning point, unsure of which direction to go or even doubting their willingness to move forward together.

Consider seeking couples therapy if you identify with the following signs:

  • Struggling with effective communication with your significant other.
  • Feeling bored or indifferent about your relationship.
  • Engaging in recurring arguments without any resolution.
  • Looking to enhance and fortify your relationship.
  • Experiencing feelings of estrangement from your partner.
  • Feeling deprived of your needs, such as time or affection.
  • Navigating a significant life change, like relocating, starting a new job, or making a tough decision.
  • Dealing with recent acts of betrayal, such as infidelity.
  • Moving from independent living to a shared living arrangement.
  • Transitioning into parenthood.
  • Adjusting to an empty nest as children leave home.
  • Handling parenting at varying life stages.
  • Managing expectations from extended family members.
  • Contemplating merging families.
  • Considering separation or divorce and uncertain about concluding the relationship.
  • Struggling with emotional co-regulation and expecting your partner to manage your emotions.
  • Supporting a partner coping with a long-term illness, including mental health conditions.
  • Seeking to establish a robust foundation before marriage (premarital counselling).

"Courage – you develop courage by doing small things like just as if you wouldn’t want to pick up a 100-pound weight without preparing yourself."

- Dr. Maya Angelou​

How Couples Counselling Can Help

Couples counselling can provide a safe space for couples to discuss a variety of concerns, including but not limited to infidelity, sex, communication, money, or major life changes such as getting married or starting a family. Couples counselling can also be beneficial if one partner is coping with an issue that might impact the relationship, such as depression or unemployment.

What to Expect During a Session


You come in as a couple and we go over introductions. We review the Confidentiality Agreement to ensure that you understand the professional and legal limitations. We discuss ‘Ground Rules’ for effective couples counselling – which includes creating as ‘Safe’ a space as possible, regardless of where both of you are on the emotional wellness scale.

Initial Assessment

Then the therapist would like to hear from each of you in your own words about what is happening in your relationship and what brings you to counselling. This is your opportunity to tell your story from your own perspective. Each of you will always be asked to respond to what is being said so that both voices are honoured.

After you both have explained your concerns, we will work together to develop a mutual counselling goal.

Next Steps

Based on the initial assessment session, the therapist might recommend individual counselling, concurrent with couples counselling. Or at times, based on the readiness, willingness and ability of the couple to do the work required to change and improve their relationship together the therapist may also sometimes recommend that the couple focus on working on themselves individually until they are ready to work together. If the couple is not ready for couples counselling, the therapist will provide additional community resources.

The therapist is on ‘both’ sides and encourages you both to unite and take on the view of “the couple versus the problem on the table” – that way, the goal worked on is mutually and not individually motivated. Whereas in individual counselling, the therapist fully supports the client, in couples counselling, the therapist strives to find a balance between each partner’s conflicting needs and goals and identifies the relationship as the client.

Participation is Key

Please note that it will take a few sessions and active work in between sessions before you as a couple begin to see any positive changes in your relationship. There is a high probability that you will leave the first session with a feeling of mental exhaustion and draining. It is therefore highly recommended that you commit to purposeful self-care activities after the session. This may require you both to take the time to do what you need to recharge individually and then do something together as a couple.

Remember that you have a choice – even if the choices are ‘crappy, crappier and crappiest’ – you still get to make a choice. You are encouraged to actively participate in making daily decisions that will improve not only your healing and overall well-being, but that of your partner, family and friends as well.

Make a decision to show up for yourself today!

If you need immediate assistance, please use these resources

  • Crisis Line: 416-408-4357
  • The Canada Suicide Prevention Service 1-833-45-4566 or text 45645 4 pm-midnight ET.
  • Warm line  12pm -8pm 416-323-3721
  • Warmline 8pm to midnight – 416-960-9276 (WARM) or text 647-557-5882
  • Health Link – 811
  • Community Resources – 211 Alberta
  • Crisis Text Line – Text HOME to 686868
  • Addiction Services Helpline: Help for problems with gambling, alcohol, tobacco, and other drugs. 1-866-332-2322 (24 Hours)
  • Alberta Quits Helpline: Tobacco cessation counsellors can help you plan to quit, manage cravings, and stay on track.
    Website or 1-866-710-7848 (8am-8pm)
  • Bullying Helpline: Advice or support on bullying. or 1-888-456-2323 (24 Hours)
  • Child Abuse Hotline: Call if you think a child is being abused or neglected by a parent or guardian.  1-800-387-5437 (24 Hours)
  • Dementia Advice: Advice and support for people who have problems with thinking, reasoning, or remembering (e.g., dementia) or the people who care for them. 811 (24 hours)
  • Family Violence Info Line: Call if you (or someone you know) are going through family violence or abuse if you have questions or want to find out about programs, resources, and services.  310-1818 (24 Hours)
  • First Nations, Inuit and Metís Peoples: Call 1-855-242-3310 if you are in a mental health crisis.  
  • Income Support Contact Centre: Financial help for Albertans who don’t have resources to meet their basic needs (e.g., food, clothing, shelter).
    1-866-644-5135 (24 Hours)
  • Kids Help Phone: Free, anonymous, confidential telephone and web counselling for youth in Canada.) or 1-800-668-6868 (24 Hours)
  • Medication & Herbal Preparation Advice Line: Advice and information about medicines and herbal products from pharmacists and nurses. 1-800-332-1414 (5pm-9am)
  • Mental Health Helpline: Offers help for mental health concerns for Albertans. 1-877-303-2642 (24 Hours)
  • Missing Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQIA+ peoples: 1-844-413-6649 
  • National Indian Residential School Crisis Line: 1-866-925-4419 
  • Poison & Drug Information Service: Confidential advice about poisons, chemicals, medicines, and herbal products. 1-800-332-1414 (24 Hours)
  • Rehabilitation Advice Line: Occupational therapists and physiotherapists give advice and help finding services for people with concerns about pain, movement, and daily activities. Phone line:
    1-833-379-0563 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm)
  • Native Youth Crisis Hot Line: 1-877-209-1266