Hi! I'm Kat!
I am a passionate psychotherapist on a mission to connect those seeking help with the right support!
From an early age, I knew that I wanted to make helping relationships my life's work. In the widespread absence of community life, my belief is that therapists and coaches simply play the role that relatives, elders and other community members would have played before the advent of modern life.
Our purpose here at Kat Kova Therapy is to deliver excellence in psychotherapy, counselling, and coaching to help you reach optimal mental health and fulfilment in your personal and professional lives. We focus our efforts on helping you to achieve your personal and professional goals by tailoring your treatment and our approaches to ideally suit your individual needs.
We are also passionate about creating a community of therapists and coaches who are attuned to issues of sexuality, race, gender, ability, status, etc., as we believe that the work of healing our relationships (with ourselves and others) can not happen without this awareness. Our trusted team members have demonstrated ability to practice with issues of sexuality and multiculturalism in mind.
I am currently taking a break from the Q&A videos I have loved to create for the general public to focus on research and writing, but feel free to check out past answers to your questions on psychology, mental health, sexuality and relationships here. It may take me a little while to answer new questions, but feel free to submit your questions. Please also visit our resource page for additional help between sessions and beyond.
We are so glad you found us!
There are many terms that get used to describe couple therapy. You will notice that I spelled couple therapy without the "s" at the end. As this is the formal, and arguably gramatically correct term. However, most people say "couples counselling" or "couples therapy" as if it were plural. Because this is much more common I find myself using it more frequently and we use both the plural and singular throughout the website in order that people who are searching for these terms will find our services. Regardless of which terms are used - marital therapy, marriage therapy, marriage counselling, marriage counseling, couple counseling, couple counselling, relationship therapy. All of these terms refer to the same thing - getting help for your relationship.
In some mental health areas the terms counselling and therapy are used to refer to a different depth of work that is done, with counselling more focused on coping with distress and skill building and therapy refering to a deeper kind of therapeutic work that attempts to uncover the roots of the persons challenges. However, within the context of couples counselling - most of these terms are used interchangeably and the use of the terms themselves do not provide meaningful information about the differences in the approaches. The above link provides more information about the differences in counselling, therapy, psychotherapy, and coaching.
It depends. Many couple therapists will only work with couples who are clearly committed to the relationship. Without that commitment there may not be the trust, bond, and hope that can allow for meaningful change. The reality is, however, that many couples do not come to couples therapy or couples counselling until they are in crisis and it isn't uncommon for one or both partners to have questions about the longevity of the relationship.
We are both willing to work with couples who are considering ending their relationship. We think it is a really good idea to seek support at these difficult times. Couples therapy can help you get clarity on what choices you want to make, whether toward renewed commitment, or toward ending the relationship in a respectful and loving way. Too many relationships end prematurely because they lack the support and skills to move through conflict and deepen intimacy. With the support of a good therapist it is often possible to turn things around and reconnect with the beautiful aspects of your relationship that originally brought you together.
Most therapists are trained as individual therapists and take a few courses if they decide they want to do couples therapy and couples counselling. While they may become excellent couples therapists, the training of individual therapists and couples therapists are radically different and it takes a lot of work to become an effective relational therapist.
Unlike the majority of therapists who are trained as individual therapists, Marriage and Family Therapists, or Couple and Family Therapists, as we are often referred to in Canada, are specifically trained over the course of our graduate education to be specialists in couples therapy. As part of this training we must learn multiple models of couples counselling, receive extensive supervision and mentoring by experienced Couple and Family Therapists, and more than half of our case load throughout graduate school training must be relational clients (couples and families). The level of training and understanding that comes from this experience is very different than being trained as an individual therapist and taking a few courses in couples therapy.
Sometimes marriage counselling or marriage therapy can be conducted within a religous or cultural context where individauls are not just getting help for their relationship but are also being mentored on what it means to be a spouse, traditional roles and expectations, religious understandings about sexuality and intimacy, parenting, and traditional ways of resolving disputes. When marriage counselling happens within a specific religious and cultural context it can be very different than what is often presented as couples counselling or couples therapy in non-religious environments.
In our work, regardless of what we call it, committment is an important part of working through relationship problems and sometimes the committment of marriage means that a couple is more committed and has a better chance of working through the pain and fears that are arising in their relationship. However, approximately half of those who get married end up divorced and there are an increasing number of non-married couples who are deeply committed and who are committed for arguably more helpful reasons - because they deeply value their relationship rather than the fear of "failing" in the eyes of their communites and families.