St. Albert Relationship Counselling Expert ~ Joyce Schafers

Support for Couples

Support for Couples who are

ready for Change.


If you're exploring the need for couple's counselling, I assume things have gotten pretty stressful and you're uncertain about what to do next.  Maybe you're considering separation or divorce or maybe you're ready to get some outside help to better understand the problems and the solutions available to you.  Either way, this is a tough time.  I get it.


I mostly want you to know that it doesn't have to stay this way.  I believe a successful relationship requires two main components: the desire to make the relationship work and the willingness to tweak how we show up in the relationship. If you both have that, then I believe having a deeply connected, intimate, loving and supportive relationship is possible.


If you're like me, you'd love the feeling of knowing exactly what to do when trouble arises in your relationship. Imagine no longer worrying when those topics need to be broached with your partner and instead of feeling stressed, confused and worried, you'd feel calm, self-assured, and confident in your ability to deal with the matter at hand.  Instead of spinning your wheels in the same problems over and over again, you'd have real insight into the dynamic that has been so troubling.  Imagine having new insight and specific, effective tools, to move out of the rut that has kept you stuck and onto a new way of relating to others.  The peace that you get from finally understanding what's beneath the troubling issues is something you've been craving, for a very long time. And, knowing how to move through the problems ~ actually knowing what to do ~ makes you feel empowered, like little else.  



Turning problems into progress.


Let's be honest, when our marriage is in trouble, it's like the foundation from which we launch our entire life is shaky and insecure ~ it makes us feel stressed, worried and it makes enjoying life difficult.  But what if the problems in your relationship helped you deepen your sense of peace, rather than pull you away from it?


What if the tense conversations about money led you directly to your inner power

instead of making you feel powerless and weak?


What if the arguments over household chores was a gateway to self-love

rather than making you feel alone and sad?  


What if the struggles with sex lit a path directly to a deeply loving,

intimate and close relationship, instead of making you feel distant, lonely and disconnected?


The goal of my sessions for couples is to help you shift the focus and dynamic from a divisive/defensive experience to a more connected/supportive one.  We'll move away from seeing your partner as a 'threat' to your happiness, and instead, work toward creating an environment where you and your partner are on each others' side, you care about what each other needs and you both actively work at building a supportive, loving, peaceful, joyful, intimate relationship.  


With your willingness, combined with my experience we achieve that by: 


  • identifying the unmet emotional needs of both you and your partner and work at removing the unachievable 'demands' that may have been placed on each other and the relationship

  • helping you understand how the unresolved emotional issues have created the problematic dynamic that has created a sense of confusion and frustration

  • teaching you how to meet your own emotional needs so the stress and pressure that has been placed on the relationship is reduced

  • identifying the trigger-some topics in the relationship and teach you how to effectively communicate through those topics so you can finally find solutions rather than staying stuck in the problems.


The sessions are structured in a way that, by the time our sessions are complete, you are both equipped with insight, skills and practical tools that will enable you to effectively handle any challenges as they arise.  My goal isn't to have life-long clients; my goal is to have successful ones.  And, by working through the process with your partner, you really set yourself up for success.  You both will be on the same page ~ experiencing similar insights and learning the same skills-set to come at the problems in a new and effective way.  


If you would like to learn more about the counselling model I use, please visit my website page The Cycle of Emotional Pain.


The program includes six sessions over a twelve-week period (one session every two weeks).  I can meet with you in my office in St. Albert, Alberta or on the phone or via Skype.  The sessions are structured as follows:



Session One


In this session, I will meet with both you and your partner at the same time. This session is a bit of a fact-finding mission.  I'll ask you both to express your perspective about the challenges you face, what you believe the problems are and what you have tried in the past, to fix the problems.  I'll explain, in greater detail, how the program works and how it will help you.  My goal is to wrap up this first session knowing we're all committed to finding the solutions we need to help restore a healthy, fulfilling relationship.  This session is 90 minutes long.



Sessions Two through Five


These sessions are solo sessions that are 60 minutes long. I like to schedule these sessions on the same day, back to back. I'll work with one of you in the first hour and the other one in the second hour.  During these four sessions, we will:


  • identify the trauma that created your unmet emotional need,

  • understand how it has been impacting your life and your relationship,

  • help you heal the trauma by teaching you how to meet your unmet emotional need,

  • identify what triggers you in your relationship,

  • learn effective tools to help you manage your triggers, and

  • learn how to effectively communicate with your partner, through your triggers.


Each time we meet we will assess your progress and I'll determine the areas that you may need more support.



Session Six  


In this final session, I will meet with both you and your partner again.   By this time, the goal will be to have equipped you both with the insight, skills and tools needed to work through the challenges as they come up from a loving, supportive and self-aware approach.  It's a great opportunity to touch base and assess what areas may need more clarity or fine-tuning.  



Additional Support


Throughout the program, you will have access to me via email support should a difficulty arise that you need help working through.  I'm very passionate about support because oftentimes it can turn a trying and difficult situation into a lifelong teachable moment.  You will also receive session notes after each session which will include the theory behind the Cycle of Emotional Pain and thought-provoking exercises designed to evoke insights and help you integrate the concepts in a way that will create lasting change. The other reason I send session notes is so that you have information that you can refer to if you need extra support after our sessions come to an end.


This additional support is absolutely FREE.



My rate is $175 for the first session and $75 each time we meet following the initial session, for a total of $925 per couple.  



Are you ready for things to get better?


If you want to learn more, please contact me.  I'd love to arrange a 3-way phone conversation to make sure working with me is exactly what you need and want. It's free and there's absolutely no risk or obligation to proceed if you don't want to.  


To schedule a time to chat, the best way to reach me is via email.  My email address is




Additional Resources


Be sure to check out my FREE Stuff page. I've provided some resources that I hope you find helpful. There you will find:


Audio clips of some of my radio interviews that address a variety of topics.


The Relationship Health Quiz.