Gary is a Certified Imago Relationship Therapist with many years of experience working with couples and individuals.
He delivers the ‘Getting The Love You Want‘ couples workshops as well as the Imago Pre-marital workshops, ‘Start Right, Stay Connected’. Gary has also developed other relationship workshops including the ‘Enhancing Connections’ workshop for married men (or men in partnerships) who are working towards improving their relationships.
Gary is also a certified Integrative Psychotherapist and Cognitive Behavioural Therapist (CBT) having worked for many years on the NHS and in private hospitals, including The Priory Hospital Altrincham.
Gary also supervises other therapists on the NHS as well as in private practice.
We all get ‘stuck’ in a rut sometimes and I believe this is especially true for relationships. It certainly was my personal experience in my relationships. What helped me was to realise that what I was experiencing in my marriage was normal and that there was not something ‘wrong’ with our marriage or with myself.
So firstly coming from a place of acceptance and seeing one’s situation as a normal part of the relationship journey is important. It is from this ‘place’ that we begin the couple sessions.
Having personally benefitted tremendously from the ideas and beliefs of Imago relationship therapy, I want to share this with as many couples as possible to give them the understanding and tools to bring out the innate potential that is just below the surface of their relationship.
As a certified Imago Relationship Therapist and workshop presenter, I am mainly informed by the beautiful ideas and practices of Imago relationship therapy, which as mentioned above, has enriched my own marriage and personal relationships. I have deep appreciation for having come across the Imago Dialogical way of relating to other human beings, especially in my close relationships.
From the very first session, couples feel ‘safe’ and secure as I share the belief that Imago couple therapy is not about anyone being wrong or right. It is about appreciating difference and creating a healthy space for the relationship to thrive.
Couple sessions are about safety, understanding, connection, compassion and joy. My intentions are to help the couple feel relaxed and safe where the sessions involve no shaming, blaming or criticism.
Sessions are about education – understanding what is normal and what is really happening in the relationship. Sessions are also about providing the couple with practical tools and techniques to find more helpful ways of communicating and connecting. This is mainly done through the couple dialogue, a way of sharing and listening that makes it possible to increase the pleasure in the relationship and to decrease the pain.
Sessions are about focusing on the many positives that exist in the relationship as well as helping the couple to work through frustrations (which by the way are a normal part of relationships!). We also focus on increasing caring behaviours, creating a shared relationship vision as well as other helpful ideas and practices. However the sessions are tailor made for each couple depending on where they are up to.
I work with all types of couples whether married or in partnerships. These couples may have been together for many years and are struggling. Sometimes I have the privilege of working with couples at the beginning of their relationship journey.
Couples sometimes attend together equally committed to trying to make their relationship better. However sometimes it is just one partner who is encouraging the other to attend. In cases where a partner refuses to attend then I will work with the individual alone. Sometimes working on the relationship oneself can bring tremendous benefits to the couple relationship.
As mentioned above, having benefitted personally from Imago relationship ideas and practices, I have experienced a major shift in my own marriage where there is an increased awareness, empathy, understanding, connection and joy. I am also aware that relationships can be painful and confusing. When couples first begin the journey together, they are not given s a manual or instruction book so I enjoy sharing information and practices that can make a significant difference fast!
If there are children in the relationship, then I am even more aware of how the couple relationship can impact on their lives. Therefore helping the couple to create a ‘healthy’ space’ between them also impacts positively on the children’s experience.
My culture places a strong emphasis on ‘Shalom Bayis’ (peace in the home) which additionally informs my intentions when working with couples. Seeing couples move towards a more peaceful and harmonious relationship is very inspiring.
I also talk about tigers and tortoises (which I will explain at the first session!) and give helpful handouts so you can have reminders and ideas to help you from the very beginning of the couple therapy.
I look forward to working with you.