top of page
  • claudiabehnke

Exciting News: Expanding My Practice to Offer Couples Counselling!

Hello everyone!

I've got some exciting news that I'm so thrilled to share with you all! Over the last several years, my work has predominantly focused on individual therapy based on Psychosynthesis. You might have noticed that I am particularly interested in all issues surrounding relationships including attachment styles, relational trauma, dating etc so it was quite natural that I have been feeling drawn to this area for a number of years now. The soft launch has already happened but I am ready to make it official now by announcing that I am expanding my practice to include Couples Counselling!

The Journey of Continuous Learning: My Approach

Many of you know that my therapeutic approach is rooted in Psychosynthesis—a modality that views the individual as more than the sum of their parts, integrating spiritual and psychological aspects to facilitate holistic healing (Assagioli, 1965). Psychosynthesis is incredibly versatile and aligns well with the complexities and nuances of relationship dynamics. The modality offers couples the ability to explore not only their interpersonal conflicts but also their personal growth within the relationship. It provides practical tools to navigate emotional pitfalls and nurtures the soulful connection that is often yearning for attention in romantic partnerships.

Learning from the Best: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

To give you the best support possible, I've blended my original training in Psychosynthesis with invaluable insights from some experts in couples counselling and relational trauma—Terry Real, Esther Perel, and Janina Fisher. I feel like I'm standing on the shoulders of giants, pulling together their wisdom to offer you a truly unique and holistic approach.

Terry Real

Terry Real’s “Relational Life Therapy” is a groundbreaking approach that transcends traditional therapy methods (Real, 2002). He aims to balance the power dynamics in relationships, encouraging both partners to be 'fully relational,' which means moving from a stance of self-centeredness to one of mutual respect and care. His emphasis on "joining through the truth" helps couples break through the facades and get to the real issues, teaching them to speak openly but non-reactively about even the most emotionally charged topics. What's even more compelling is Real's work on "Grandiosity and Shame," which explores the mechanisms people use to inflate or deflate their self-worth in relationships. By addressing these underlying patterns, couples can cultivate a healthier balance, building self-esteem and relational esteem simultaneously.

Esther Perel

Esther Perel's work has redefined how we think about relationships and intimacy (Perel, 2017). She boldly tackles subjects like infidelity and desire, proposing that they aren't merely disruptive forces but can also be transformative if approached correctly. Perel also introduces the fascinating idea of "erotic intelligence," which goes beyond sexual compatibility to explore how desire and intimacy can be maintained in a long-term relationship.

Janina Fisher

Janina Fisher's contribution to the field of couples counselling is in her intricate understanding of trauma (Fisher, 2017). She brings a unique lens, focusing on how trauma can infiltrate relationships, causing cycles of misunderstandings, conflicts, and even emotional withdrawal. Fisher's methods incorporate neurobiological research, helping couples to understand how their past traumatic experiences may be showing up in their nervous systems and thus affecting their relationships.

A Deeper Dive: Inner Child Work and the Polyvagal Theory

One of the most fulfilling aspects of expanding into couples counselling has been the opportunity to integrate specialized therapeutic approaches like Inner Child Work and the Polyvagal Theory. Inner Child Work allows couples to explore the origins of their emotional reactions and coping mechanisms, tracing them back to early life experiences (John Bradshaw, 1990). This approach provides a compassionate lens to view not just your partner’s actions, but also your own reactions, deepening your understanding of the emotional dynamics at play.

On the flip side, the Polyvagal Theory—pioneered by Dr. Stephen Porges—helps us understand how our nervous system influences our emotional states and responses to stress (Porges, 2011). This becomes vital in couples work where the 'fight or flight' or 'freeze' responses often get triggered during conflicts. Understanding how the nervous system reacts helps couples to not only manage but predict their emotional responses, fostering greater emotional safety for both partners.

Integrating Multiple Modalities for a Well-Rounded Approach

What excites me most about offering Couples Counselling is the ability to combine these various philosophies and methods to customise them to each couple's unique needs. By incorporating the wisdom of Terry Real, Esther Perel, and Janina Fisher into the foundational framework of Psychosynthesis, I can offer a multi-dimensional approach that addresses not just the mind, but the body, spirit, and relational dynamics.

Ready to Embark on this Journey?

If you and your partner are struggling with communication, facing emotional challenges, or simply looking to deepen your relationship, I'm here to help. I invite you to embark on this transformative journey with me.

Feel free to reach out with any questions or to schedule your initial consultation. I look forward to taking this new step in my practice and am excited to see where this journey leads us all.

Thank you for your continued trust and support. Here’s to new beginnings and the endless possibilities that come with them.




Assagioli, R. (1965). Psychosynthesis: A Collection of Basic Writings. Hobbs, Dorman & Co.

Bradshaw, J. (1990). Homecoming: Reclaiming and Championing Your Inner Child. Bantam Books.

Fisher, J. (2017). Healing the Fragmented Selves of Trauma Survivors. Routledge.

Perel, E. (2017). The State of Affairs: Rethinking Infidelity. HarperCollins.

Porges, S. W. (2011). The Polyvagal Theory: Neurophysiological Foundations of Emotions, Attachment, Communication, and Self-regulation. W. W. Norton & Company.

Real, T. (2002). How Can I Get Through to You? Reconnecting Men and Women. Scribner.

Image by Polina Tankilevitch

46 views0 comments


bottom of page