Online Psychotherapy Across Ontario

Open Door Therapist Counselling & Psychotherapy Across Ontario

Relationships affect all aspects of our lives.

When we feel a disconnect in our relationship, it can feel like our whole world is off-balance. You may feel misunderstood by your partner or distance in the relationship. Maybe you and your partner feel like you’ve become roommates or that arguments go around in circles and are set off by the littlest things you can’t even remember afterwards.

You just know that you are hurt and feel alone.

Whether the issues stem from communication break-downs, toxic arguments, or unhealthy habits that hurt one another, reaching out for support can improve the quality of your relationship, enhance intimacy, and help you both move forward with a renewed connection and ease.

What is Couples Therapy?

Couples therapy involves working with a trained therapist who specializes in relationship dynamics and can provide a neutral and supportive environment for both partners.

During couples therapy, the therapist facilitates open and honest communication between partners, helping them identify and address issues that may be causing distress or strain in their relationship. The therapist may use various techniques and interventions to promote understanding, empathy, and problem-solving skills.

At Open Door Therapist, Emotion-Focused Therapy is one of the main therapeutic frameworks we use to help couples heal and strengthen their relationship.

Why Couples Therapy?

Couples therapy can be beneficial for couples dealing with a wide range of challenges, such as:

  • communication problems
  • trust issues
  • conflict resolution difficulties
  • financial disagreements
  • infidelity
  • sexual and intimacy issues
  • parenting conflicts
  • lack of quality time spent together
  • division of household chores
  • differences in values and goals, including cultural and gender expectations
  • major life transitions
  • mental health issues, such as trauma, depression, anxiety, and addictions
  • wanting to strengthen your relationship and understand one another better


The duration and frequency of couples therapy sessions can vary depending on the specific needs of the couple. Therapy may involve joint sessions with both partners present, individual sessions with each partner, or a combination of both.

Couples therapy can provide a safe space for couples to explore their concerns, improve their communication skills, and develop strategies to overcome challenges. It can help partners gain a deeper understanding of each other’s needs and perspectives, ultimately fostering a healthier and more fulfilling relationship.

What is Emotion-Focused Therapy?

Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) is an evidence-based, gold standard approach to couples therapy that focuses on the role of emotions, adult attachment, and the dynamics between the partners in the relationship. It aims to help couples identify and understand their underlying emotional needs and patterns of interaction, and to facilitate emotional healing and connection.

EFT is based on a clear, structured approach to help relationships identify and heal from the distressing, unhealthy patterns that can develop throughout our lives.

The three stages of EFT in couples therapy that help couples move from distress to healing:

  • De-escalation: Couples learn to identify the negative communication, behaviours, and emotions that contribute to conflict. Based in attachment theory, EFT helps couples understand how their insecurities and fears, that often originate from attachment wounds, may be hurting their relationships.
  • Restructuring: Couples are taught to communicate and listen to one another’s vulnerable emotions from a place of compassion, and acceptance, as well as learn how to ask for what they need.
  • Consolidation: Couples practice new, healthy communication and skills that strengthen their bond, and prevent conflict from developing. Change is created and sustained by the continuously healing relationship.

To understand what is contributing to the emotional distress in a relationship, the therapist works with the couple to bring awareness to their emotions, needs, and vulnerabilities in the context of a safe therapeutic relationship.

How Emotion-Focused Therapy Can Help Couples

Emotion Regulation: EFT helps couples develop skills to better manage and regulate their emotions:

  • Identifying and expressing emotions in a healthy way
  • Learning to tolerate emotional distress
  • Finding constructive ways to calm intense emotions and cope with emotional challenges

Attachment Repair: EFT recognizes that attachment bonds play a crucial role in relationships.

  • Attachment patterns are explored and identified for each partner
  • Attachment injuries or ruptures that may have occurred are explored and the couple works towards repairing and strengthening the emotional bond between them


Communication Enhancement: EFT helps couples improve their communication patterns by focusing on the emotions underlying their interactions.

  • Couples learn how to break negative interaction cycles and develop healthier ways of relating to each other
  • Couples learn how to identify and express their deeper feelings so they can develop more effective and empathetic ways to express their needs and concerns

Conflict Resolution: EFT provides couples with tools and strategies to navigate conflicts in a healthier and more productive manner.

  • Couples move beyond surface-level arguments and address the underlying emotions and needs that may be driving the conflict
  • Empathy and understanding for the emotional experience of their partner is made possible by learning how to listen, validate, and witnessing the deeper meaning behind each partner’s emotions

Building Trust and Intimacy: EFT creates a safe and supportive environment where couples can explore vulnerable emotions and experiences.

  • Trust and emotional safety are fostered within the relationship
  • Couples develop a deeper sense of intimacy and connection

Couples therapy can help couples develop a stronger emotional bond, enhance their understanding of each other’s needs, and create a more secure and satisfying relationship.

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Our Team

Therapists Offering Couples Therapy

Stacey Sandrin | Registered Psychotherapist | Open Door Therapist Counselling & Psychotherapy | Across Ontario

Stacey Sandrin

Registered Psychotherapist (Qualifying)

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