Welcome To Couples Counselling


Welcome to couples counselling, my name is Lynn Armstrong, I work as a relationship facilitator.

I work with couples who want to create and sustain loving and meaningful connection with their partners. If a couple are experiencing conflict in their relationship, it means something new is struggling to come forward!

With the right relational tools, we can transform conflict into a deep and meaningful connection!

When our relationships are going well, life feels easier, we feel more secure in ourselves and with life in general.The opposite is also true.. when our relationships are a source of stress and conflict, our emotional and physical health are affected. Stress hormones that are circulating in our bloodstream are a contributing factor to many illnesses.

If we want healthy loving relationships, we have to be willing to talk and listen in a different way…

We need a structure that keeps our communication safe for both partners.The safe communication dialogue is a way of talking and listening that allows for both partners to be truly seen and heard by each other.

Safe communication is created when we use this structured way of talking and listening. Here are 3 of the main elements of safe communication.

1.Listening without judgement (mirroring)

2. Validation (being able to validate the other persons point of view without judgement)

3.Empathising ( Getting a sense of what the other person may be feeling, and communicating that)

Safe communication means we have a zero tolerance on negativity, we learn to turn our complaints into requests.

I offer sessions by telephone, video call and in person. Do get in touch if you would like more information or to book a session. Sessions are 60 mins for couples and individuals. Email couplescounselling.family@gmail.com

Tel 07944921130

Why Do We Need The Safe Communication Dialogue Process?

We all know that when our relationships are going well, everything else in life works better too. The opposite is also true, when our relationships are marked by misunderstanding and conflict, it has a knock on effect in other areas of our lives.

The ‘safe communication dialogue’ is a structured way of having a conversation, it is widely used in every kind of setting, from business, to schools, families and couples.

The safe communication dialogue is part of a relational technology that promotes connection and understanding between people.

The dialogue process eradicates conflict and allows each person to feel really seen, heard and respected..

The diagram below illustrates how the quality of our communication with other people is affected by which brain state we are in.

The ‘safe communication dialogue’ keeps us in our upper brain (brain states 1 and 2) when we are talking and listening to others. The dialogue process prevents us being triggered into an unhelpful emotional response such as anger or anxiety. These negative emotional states come from the lower brain areas(3-5)

The safe communication dialogue helps us to create win wins , rather than competing about who is right and who’s wrong!

The dialogue process teaches us how to self regulate our emotional reactions.

For more information please contact us at couplescounselling family


How Our Emotional Brain Can Sabotage Our Relationships

The brain has 5 different ‘states’ ranging from 1-5. Brain states 1-2 are stress free, it is here where we feel all those natural feel good feelings, endorphins oxytocin and dopamine are readily available. This idyllic picture changes however when the brain perceives a stressor, at this point our brain state descends (3-5).

In brain states 3-5 our system produces the hormones of stress, cortisol, adrenaline etc, this then changes our perception, we feel like we are under threat.

The emotional brain (brain states 3-5) is the storehouse of past emotional experiences that are not fully processed. These emotional experiences get ‘triggered’ in the present, and cause problems in our relationships.

When we are in brain states 3-5 our reactions become more unconscious and primitive.This is the brain area of survival. This is also where our emotional defence system gets activated.

Problems arise with our partner when our emotional reactions to them are dominated by the lower emotional brain.

Our perception of our partner changes when we are in our lower brain. We become reactionary and defensive.

What we need are the conscious tools of change, we need a different way of communicating with each other, a way that will bring us back up into our higher brain( neocortex) brain states 1 and 2. The higher brain can create win wins, and can see the bigger picture.

The structure of the safe communication dialogue keeps us in our higher brain, and keeps our communication safe.

The safe communication dialogue includes:

Listening reflectively, validating your partners experience, showing empathy..

We have to become very aware of our emotional responses to our partner. Many of our emotional responses are more to do with our own emotional history, rather than to do with the reality of our partners prescence in our lives.

It can be surprising for some couples when they realise just how much of their emotional history is sabotaging their present relationship.

The safe communication dialogue creates safety and trust in the relationship, allowing both people to feel truly seen and heard.

For more information or to make an appointment, you can use the contact page on this website, couplescounselling.family@gmail.com

From Conflict To Connection

Couples usually start out with a very positive beginning, then somewhere down the road conflict starts to creep in.

The myth in our culture is that if your relationship is marked by conflict, then this must be a sign that you are with the wrong person.

This belief about conflict is very prevalent, hence the 50 % divorce rate. From my experience as a coach and safe communication facilitator, conflict is a sign that growth is trying to happen!, and not a sign we should give up on the relationship. The safe communication dialogue is a way of communicating with your partner that creates safety in the relationship.

(If the relationship has become abusive, then of course we should take appropriate steps to keep ourselves safe)

Safe communication dialogue is a structured process that involves 3 main steps.1.Mirroring what our partner says.2. Validating their experience. 3.Empathising with their experience.

When we listen to our partner in this way, it creates safety and trust.

For more information please use the contact form.

Lynn Armstrong