That special feeling is gone, communication is strained and there is more conflict. Perhaps there is a lack of intimacy and you hurt one another. Or there are doubts and you find yourself on the verge of breaking up. Whatever it is, your relationship is in trouble.
As couples therapists, we provide a safe environment in which you can explore and strengthen your relationship. We work from a clear vision and take an approach that emphasizes depth and sustainable growth.
The two of us always work together when supporting couples. This enhances their process and allows us to support both partners individually, so that we can heal the wounds that tend to be at the root of most relationship problems. Simulatneously, the four of us work on building a new, stronger relationship.
We aim for the best possible outcome for each couple, but our goal is not to ‘save’ the relationship at any cost. Sometimes partners conclude that it’s better to part ways, in which case we help them to come to a harmonious end. We also work with couples who have already divorced or are in the process of divorcing, but who want to work through things for the sake of their children.
When a couple comes to us, a lot has already happened and tensions are high. However, we seldom intervene at the very start, but first explore the strengths and challenges of your relationship through an intake that comprises four 1.5-hour sessions.
In the first session we discuss what brings you to us, how your relationship has developed over the years and how you engage in conflict. After the first session, you will complete two comprehensive and scientifically validated questionnaires.
Then each of you will talk to one of us in private. We dive more deeply into the relationship and cover your personal history. This gives us an idea of which things from the past, specifically your childhood, could (often unconsciously) affect the relationship.
In the fourth session, we share our findings and recommendations. We share what we see, identify underlying causes, pinpoint your needs and outline how we wish to proceed. We put this in writing, which provides clarity and direction.
You may expect to start the intake within seven days of contacting us.
We design a follow-up process for each couple, in which we alternate between couples sessions and individual sessions.
In the couple sessions we work on solving relationship problems and strengthening your bond. This can involve work around intimacy, meeting needs and clear communication. We also look at issues such as trust, commitment and friendship.
Sometimes it’s necessary to heal old wounds – such as those caused by infidelity – release pent-up feelings and restore trust. Often, we teach couples to have healthy conflict, which can improve intimacy and mutual respect.
Some couples benefit from a one-off session about MBTI and the Enneagram; two approaches to personality type. This increases your understanding of each other’s qualities, needs and coping mechanisms, and provides a common language for talking about issues.
During individual sessions you work separately with one of us. We tackle the cause of difficult feelings and behaviors whose source lies in your personal past. We draw from a wide range of therapeutic approaches and emphasise working with your body and your feelings.
Our approach takes some time, but achieves sustainable results. During the process our clients become calmer, more present, more loving, or more grounded. They also take better care of themselves and communicate more honestly.
Gradually, our clients replace their unhealthy coping mechanisms with healthy alternatives. It also becomes easier for them to act in line with their values, talents and needs, and they discover new ambitions and desires.
We ensure that the couples and individual sessions are aligned. What you learn individually is fed into the couples sessions, while what you do together is fed back into the individual sessions. This is a powerful way to grow together: you become more understanding, gentle, and patient with each other, stop pushing each other’s buttons and find it easier to connect
Do I really need it?
Some couples wonder why they should have individual therapy and couples therapy. After all, everyone has worked on themselves at some point and surely the problems are mainly the fault of the other person anyway?
Our vision is that therapy is a process of growing the emotional and existential foundation of every human being. This makes it the best investment in yourself, your relationship and your family.
As far as we’re concerned, that process is never complete. We are faced with new challenges at different phases of life and during special events (such as birth, illness, death or burnout). And when our partner changes, we are called upon to adjust as well.
Many relationship problems have their source in our past. It is therefore logical to look and work there. In addition, we see that people tolerate discomfort and even pain because they do not know that or how they can do things differently. In doing so, they deny themselves the opportunity to live a better life.
We see that a personal process can add a lot of value, not only by solving problems, but also by making room for growth. We personally live by this and continue to invest in our own development, also through therapy.
Working as a couple with couples
We – Fleur and Ilja – work as a couple with couples. Our clients find this valuable because it gives them more attention, sessions are more balanced and there are no worries about ‘whose side’ the therapist is on.
Working together adds depth, keeps us sharp and helps us find solutions where one of us encounters limitations. While we are both trained in a wide variety of therapeutic disciplines, we have complementary talents, skills and perspectives.
Fleur, for example, has a feminine perspective on relationships and life, for example when it comes to boundaries, sexuality, womanhood, motherhood, stepmotherhood and work. Ilja has a male perspective on matters such as intimacy and emotions, anger, fatherhood, work and sexuality.
We also draw on the strength of our relationship, which has already been tested by life on a number of occasions. The deep respect we have for each other and the pleasure we experience in each other’s presence also forms a safe and inspiring basis for others.
We do not work with health insurers and do not have a waiting list. In general, we can get started quickly, especially in a crisis situation.
Our individual rate (when one of us works with one person) is €150 per hour and our combined rate (when the two of us work with a couple) is €240 per hour. This includes 21% VAT when invoiced privately and excludes 21% VAT when invoiced to a business. We do not work with health insurers and invoice per session afterwards, with a payment term of 14 days.
The intake requires an investment of €1620 including VAT when billed privately and excluding VAT when billed to a business. This investment covers four 1.5-hour conversations, the analysis of two extensive questionnaires and a written report in which we share our observations and recommendations, explain the core of the matter and outline our plan.
After the intake, we continue with our unique combination of couples and individual therapy.
After the intake, we continue with a unique combination of couples and individual therapy. In blocks of five sessions, each of the partners has two individual 2.5-hour sessions, plus a joint 1.5-hour session with the four of us. That’s a total of 11.5 hours. A block requires an investment of €1860, including 21% VAT when billed privately and excluding VAT when billed to a business.
It is difficult to determine the number of blocks required, but experience shows clients find three to seven blocks adequate for a lasting result. There is no need to commit to any number of blocks, however, and the needs of our clients determine the scope of our work.