Sandra Elsley

Life Coach
Marriage & Family Therapist

Marriage Counseling Services in Niagara Falls

Marriage is a life-long commitment, and it’s bound to have its ups and downs. If you and your partner are struggling, hiring professional help could make a world of difference, and Sandra Elsley, Individual Marriage & Family Counsel, is here for you.

For years, my business has been helping couples, and individuals navigate challenging personal moments, from substance abuse to infidelity and everything in between.

If you want to invest in your relationship, Sandra Elsley, Individual Marriage & Family Counsel, invites you to contact the office and book a consultation at your earliest convenience.

Dial (905) 356-3335 to reach the Niagara Falls office.

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Find a Marriage Counselor Who Understands Your Unique Situation

Feeling comfortable and safe while sharing your thoughts and feelings with a counselor is essential. A therapist who can understand and relate to your situation can create a supportive and non-judgmental environment where you can openly discuss your concerns and work toward finding solutions suitable for your relationship's specific needs.

During our sessions, I work to create a safe space where you and your spouse feel comfortable talking about your innermost feelings, challenges, desires, and conflicts. To achieve this, I’ll ensure that our sessions are structured in a way that allows both of you to express your feelings and opinions without interruption or criticism. Moreover, I’ll encourage open communication by using active listening techniques and asking questions to clarify any misunderstandings or ambiguities.

My goal is to create a supportive and empathetic environment where you and your partner feel comfortable opening up and sharing and exploring your challenges and strengths individually and as a couple.

What Is the Goal of Couples Therapy?

Couples therapy aims to provide a safe and non-judgmental atmosphere where couples can work through their challenges, improve their communication, and enhance their relationship. Couples therapy aims to help couples identify and address the underlying issues causing distress in their relationship and develop effective strategies to overcome those challenges. Through therapy, couples can learn how to communicate more effectively, resolve conflicts in a healthy way, and rebuild trust and intimacy.

I offer therapy sessions that help partners develop a deeper understanding and appreciation of each other and provide tools that help them cultivate a strong and fulfilling relationship that can stand the test of time.

I believe every couple is unique, and therefore, therapy goals will vary depending on their specific needs and challenges. Some couples may need to work on improving their communication, while others may need to address issues related to trust or intimacy.

Whatever the specific goals may be, the ultimate objective of couples therapy is to help couples build a stronger and more resilient relationship that can withstand the challenges and stresses of life.

What Happens in the First Session of Couples Counseling?

During our first session together, I’ll establish clear boundaries and ground rules to foster a sense of safety and comfort. Then, I’ll explain my role as a therapist and the purpose and objective of each of our future sessions. I aim to welcome you into a safe space where you can share your thoughts and innermost feelings without fear of judgment or retribution.

I’ll use our first counseling session to:

  • Learn more about you and your partner.
  • Gather information about the history of your relationship.
  • Explore current relationship dynamics.
  • Gain insight into some of the challenges you’re facing in your relationship.
  • Establish guidelines for the therapeutic process, including confidentiality and communication expectations.
  • Introduce therapeutic techniques I will use over the course of your sessions.

To ensure your comfort and bolster your sense of trust and security during our sessions, I’ll regularly check in with you and your spouse to gauge your comfort level and address any concerns or issues that may arise.

I’m here to provide guidance on coping mechanisms and communication strategies that can help you overcome any challenges you may face as a couple. Are you ready to learn more about enrolling in couples therapy with your partner? Connect with my office to schedule a risk-free initial consultation appointment at your convenience.

Duration of a First Couples Therapy Session

I recommend booking two hours for the first couples therapy session. We'll use this time to learn more about one another, and I'll answer all your questions about what to expect from future sessions. In this first meeting, we'll work together to identify challenges holding your relationship back. We'll also use this time to learn more about the goals you and your partner would like to work toward in your marriage.

Extending the session to two hours allows for a more in-depth assessment of your relationship dynamics. This additional time is beneficial for delving deeper into your individual perspectives, communication patterns, and the unique circumstances of your relationship. We'll explore your partnership's strengths and areas of concern to gain a holistic view of your relationship.

It's also an opportunity for you to experience my counseling approach and see how comfortable you feel in the therapeutic environment. This extended session aims to build a foundation of trust and understanding that's essential for effective therapy. Together, we'll begin laying the groundwork for positive change and growth in your relationship.

How Marital Counseling Helps Couples

It’s not always easy to honour your partner and cultivate a strong marriage together. Differences in opinion, coming from different backgrounds, and a great number of other types of conflict can arise that may cast your marriage in a different light than what you had expected when you said, “I do.” When your marriage is not going as planned, marital counseling can help to rebalance your focus, understand your partner better, and equip you with the tools you need to tackle life’s tough challenges together.

During marriage counseling sessions, we’ll work together to develop strategies that bolster your connection with one another.

Some of these strategies address the following:

  • Communication: Improving communication skills is often a primary focus of marriage counseling. During your counseling, we’ll explore effective communication techniques, like active listening and using "I" statements.
  • Conflict resolution: Marriage counseling helps couples learn how to resolve conflicts in a healthy and constructive way. This may involve identifying common triggers for arguments and developing strategies to avoid or manage them.
  • Intimacy: Couples may seek marriage counseling to improve their sexual and emotional intimacy. We’ll work to identify any barriers to intimacy and develop ways to overcome them.
  • Trust: If trust has been broken in the relationship, there are proven ways to work on rebuilding it through exercises like sharing vulnerabilities and improving transparency. We’ll explore these strategies and personalize them to your unique situation.
  • Life transitions: Marriage counseling can help couples navigate significant life transitions, including the birth of a child, career changes, or retirement. We’ll work together to identify tools you can use to foster a deeper connection with one another while navigating through these transitionary periods.

Counseling is a Safe and Effective Way for Married Couples to Rebuild Trust in Each Other

Counseling is a safe and effective way for married couples to rebuild trust because it provides a neutral and supportive environment where both partners can express their feelings and concerns. With the help of a skilled therapist like myself, you and your spouse will learn how to communicate more effectively, identify the root causes of your issues, and develop proven strategies to rebuild trust.

What to Expect During Couples Therapy Sessions

You can expect to be treated respectfully when you book your first couples therapy session with me. You should also expect to be welcomed into a safe, professional environment where we can work to uncover the tools you and your partner will need to forge a successful path forward together.

Whether we are meeting for in-person or virtual remote couples therapy sessions, you can look forward to:

  • A non-judgmental and neutral approach to relationship issues.
  • A safe and supportive space to discuss sensitive topics.
  • Active listening and effective communication skills to facilitate dialogue between partners.
  • Assessment and evaluation of your relationship and history to identify underlying issues.
  • Empathy and understanding towards both partners.
  • Expertise in evidence-based approaches to couples therapy, including Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) and the Gottman Method.
  • Ability to provide constructive feedback and guidance on relationship improvement.
  • Skill-building exercises and homework assignments to promote positive change in your relationship.
  • A collaborative approach involving both partners in developing goals and treatment objectives.
  • Ability to identify and address individual issues that may be affecting the relationship.
  • Encouragement to communicate openly and honestly with each other.
  • Confidentiality and privacy regarding all personal information shared during therapy sessions.

Professional Marriage Counseling for Every Couple

No two couples are the same, and the challenges you face will be unique too. I have seen it all, from communication challenges to financial issues and family conflict, no matter the problems you’re facing, there is always an opportunity to better your partnership.

With years of experience in the business, I understand how relationship dynamics work and the best ways to address apparent and underlying issues.

I also know what a toll your relationship can take on your mental health and encourage you to reach me if you’re looking to find relief.

Marriage Counseling that Focuses on Communication

Most relationship problems stem from a lack of communication. When you or your partner cannot communicate needs and frustrations, tensions grow, and conflict quickly arises.

The role of a marriage counselor is to set up and facilitate honest and meaningful communications between the parties so you and your loved one can come to a deeper understanding of each other’s perspectives.

Having a counselor present during these discussions helps to maintain peace and equality. The goal is for both parties to be heard and understood by the other, and that’s what I’ll help you do.

How Communication Therapy for Couples Works

Communication therapy for couples is a vital tool for strengthening marriages.

It works in several impactful ways, including:

  • Improving understanding: Communication therapy helps partners understand each other better. This involves learning to listen actively and empathize with each other's feelings. When mutual understanding is achieved, it's easier to avoid misunderstandings that lead to conflict.
  • Enhancing expressiveness: Many couples struggle because one or both partners have difficulty expressing thoughts and feelings. Therapy sessions focus on improving communication and providing the tools and techniques required for a healthy exchange of ideas and feelings.
  • Breaking negative communication cycles: Many couples fall into negative communication patterns, including criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling. Therapy helps identify and break these cycles, replacing them with positive interactions.
  • Building emotional intimacy: Good communication fosters emotional intimacy. When couples can share their deepest fears, hopes, and dreams without judgment, it strengthens their emotional bond.
  • Setting and respecting boundaries: Communication therapy helps couples set and respect personal boundaries. This is an essential element of building a healthy partnership, and it includes understanding your own limits and being mindful of them in day-to-day interactions.
  • Enhancing teamwork and partnership: Healthy communication is the key to feeling like a team. Engaging in couples counseling sessions helps couples work together toward common goals to strengthen their marriage as they tackle life's challenges side by side.

I have the skills and understanding to help you and your spouse identify and develop tools of communication that support mutual respect, compassion, and efficient problem-solving. Through my experience and expertise, I guide couples in recognizing and addressing unproductive communication habits. This often involves teaching techniques like reflective listening, where partners repeat back what they've heard to ensure understanding, and 'I' statements, which encourage expressing feelings without placing blame.

Addressing Non-Verbal Communication

We'll also explore how non-verbal communication, like body language and tone, plays a significant role in how messages are received and interpreted. I'll also focus on managing emotions during discussions, helping you both stay calm and collected even in the face of disagreements. This approach improves your day-to-day interactions and builds a foundation for long-term relationship health.

I aim to empower you and your partner with the knowledge and skills to communicate in ways that promote harmony, understanding, and mutual respect in your marriage.

Work Closely with a Relationship Therapist

At Sandra Elsley, Individual Marriage & Family Counsel, I take a highly customized approach to couple’s therapy. I will take the time to know you and your partner, your dynamic, background, and issues from the beginning.

Understanding the two of you on a deeper level will allow me to better address the present challenges and move into the future stronger.

When you first contact me about therapy, I’ll schedule a consultation and understand the assistance you’re looking for before we get started.

Overcome Challenges with High-Quality Couple’s Therapy

Life is full of surprises, and different events and challenges can shift your relationship dynamics, for better or worse. I have years of extensive experience in the industry, and I have seen it all. I can help you with various issues, including but not limited to:

  • Infidelity
  • Differences in values and beliefs
  • Sexual differences
  • Traumatic situations
  • Stress
  • Different life stages
  • Jealousy
  • Boredom
  • Financial issues
  • Technology and social media
  • Trust issues
  • Mental health challenges
  • Parenting differences

These are just a few of the dozens of challenges my clients bring to me, so don't worry if your problem doesn’t fit neatly into the category above. I’ll offer customized solutions.

Infidelity Couples Counseling

As a therapist with many years of experience in infidelity couples counseling, my approach is compassionate, non-judgmental, and tailored to the unique circumstances of each couple. I understand that dealing with infidelity is a deeply personal and often painful process. My role is to provide a safe and supportive space where both partners can express their feelings and thoughts openly.

We start by establishing trust and safety in the therapy setting, ensuring both partners feel heard and respected. From there, we explore the underlying issues that may have contributed to the infidelity, including:

  • Communication breakdowns
  • Unmet emotional needs
  • External stressors
  • ...and more

I guide couples through the process of understanding and empathy, helping the injured partner express their hurt and the involved partner to acknowledge their actions and their impact. We work on rebuilding trust, which involves honesty, transparency, and consistent effort. Our sessions also focus on developing new communication skills and strategies for strengthening the relationship.

Healing from infidelity is a gradual process, and I emphasize the importance of taking it at a pace that feels comfortable for both partners, allowing the relationship to rebuild on a foundation of understanding, forgiveness, and renewed commitment.

Couples Counseling for Parents

Parenthood brings a unique dynamic to relationships. Sometimes, the added responsibility and stress associated with the demands placed on parents can lead to a breakdown in relations between you and your spouse. The couples counseling for parents that I offer focuses on addressing these specific challenges.

In our sessions, we work together to navigate the complexities of parenting while maintaining a healthy relationship. We explore strategies for effective communication, even amidst the chaos and uncertainty of family life. You and your spouse can better support each other by learning to express needs and concerns without blame.

We also delve into the importance of carving out time for your relationship, separate from your roles as parents, to ensure your connection as a couple remains strong and nurtured. Balancing parenting and partnership isn't easy, and our sessions provide a space to discuss frustrations and find solutions that work for your unique family situation.

Together, we'll work on rebuilding intimacy, understanding, and teamwork, which are often strained in the whirlwind of parenting. The goal is to help you and your spouse find harmony and joy both in your parenting journey and in your relationship with each other.

Intimacy Counseling for Couples

My approach to intimacy counseling for couples is steeped in empathy and respect. Intimacy problems can be a source of distress and uncertainty in relationships. I aim to create a comfortable and safe environment where you and your partner can openly discuss your feelings and concerns.

We begin by exploring the emotional and psychological factors that may be contributing to a lack of intimacy, including:

  • Stress
  • Communication breakdowns
  • Unresolved conflicts
  • Self-esteem
  • Negative body image
  • Past trauma

Rediscovering your emotional connection is often a vital aspect of reigniting physical intimacy. We'll work together to develop new ways of connecting and expressing affection both inside and outside the bedroom.

Judgement-Free Couple’s Counseling

There is no room for judgement in a counseling office. We all make mistakes and do things we wish we hadn’t – it’s what makes us human. For therapy to work, both parties must be open and honest with the other, and I work to create an environment that is entirely free of judgement so you can feel comfortable doing so.

At my office, I work hard to create a safe environment where we can discuss what is getting in the way of your relationship's success. The purpose of counseling is to uncover and work through things that you might not usually be able to talk about outside of my office. The goal is never to humiliate anyone, win an argument, or place blame for the issues that arise but to explore them holistically and discuss them together.

My office is a judgment-free setting where we can discuss anything that pertains to your marriage or relationship. Anything you wish you could say at home or anywhere else can be said within my office, in a space where it can be heard and handled with boundaries and safe practices in place. I can help couples work through even the most difficult or awkward topics, offering counseling services designed to help you wade through messy but necessary conversations.

Relationship Counselor Will Accommodate Your Schedule

Many of my clients lead busy lives, and coordinating two people is even more complex than just one. However, I have flexible availability, and I can book your session at a time that works for you both. While an hour-long session is recommended, shorter options are available, so please let me know your preference.

If you have to change your appointment or reschedule, please let me know a few days in advance. I work with dozens of individuals and couples who could benefit from the available time I have.

The ideal setup would be to stick to the same weekly times. This way, we can create a routine with our counseling service as an attempt to integrate this kind of activity into your life. Starting counseling can be intimidating, but getting used to the idea through routine and committing to the process will eventually become a painless experience.

It might take you a few sessions to get used to the way they go, but once you do, you'll start to understand what we’re aiming for. To make this service work for you, we’ll work together to find an ideal time for everyone. Even with our busy lives, we’ll be able to find at least an hour in the week where we can all sit down for counseling.

Part of the reason so many clients are comfortable with my services is that I try to accommodate everyone's needs. Coming up with the right schedule can be difficult, but we will work together to find a balance. Get in touch today to see how accommodating our counseling can be to your schedule.

Don't let being busy all the time get in the way of something as important as your marriage. Starting counseling can be frightening, but it’s worth making the time for. Call today to see what I can do for you.

Relationship Therapy in a Comfortable Environment

When you’re discussing issues that are deeply personal, you want to be in a comfortable, private environment. My counseling spaces are equipped with couches, pillows, and tissues and are out of earshot, so your session will be completely confidential. I can also offer you a tea or a glass of water during the appointment, and clean bathrooms are always available.

Rest assured that I prioritize your privacy and will not share sensitive information outside of the session.

In many cases, topics that have never been mentioned before are brought to light during couples counseling, including things that one partner has never heard before. Sometimes these unexpected revelations can result in unforeseen reactions—these are always acceptable too. I repeat, my office is a judgment-free zone, both in terms of discussions and responses.

Relationships are complex, and there should be a place to discuss the difficult parts in peace—my office is that place. Get in touch with Sandra Elsley Individual Marriage & Family Counselling today to learn more about my services. If I don't answer the phone, I'm likely busy with another client and will return your call promptly. If you’re looking to enroll in my couples counseling services, we’ll work hard to find a schedule for sessions that works with your routine.

I hope that you and your loved one feel safe and supported when working with my counseling services.

If you have questions about privacy or any other inquiries, be sure to contact me directly. I’ll be happy to answer your questions and provide you with the information you need to make the right choice for your relationship.

Enjoy Great Rates on Marriage Therapy

I want my marriage counseling services to be available to as many clients as possible, and that’s why I’m happy to offer competitive rates. Investing in your marriage shouldn’t be another financial weight you put on your partnership, and with my excellent pricing, I hope it won’t be.

If you want to receive more detailed pricing information or a quote, contact me. I’ll be transparent about pricing from the get-go.

Honesty is always the best policy in your relationship or with your counselor. Get in touch with me today to find out about my rates, which are always as reasonable as I can make them. I understand that on top of whatever marital disputes you might be having, money could be an issue. I’ll work with you to find the best rates available. I offer my rates based on a few different factors, so if you're curious, please reach out to learn more.

If you've considered relationship counseling and you're turned off because of the thought of spending too much, give me a call anyway. One of my main goals is to make counseling affordable to all who need it, not just the privileged few with excess money. Because your relationship is important to you, it is important to me.

I am an experienced relationship counselor, and regardless of your budget for these services, I am certain I can help you make progress and find connections in your relationship. Get in touch today at (905) 356-3335 to inquire.

Focused and Personalized Couples Therapy

As a marriage and family therapist, I’m dedicated to providing my clients with the best solution for the obstacles they’re facing. I recognize that every couple I work with has their own dynamic and circumstantial factors that make their relationship unique. There’s no single solution that’ll work for every situation and for every couple, which is why I place a lot of emphasis on personalized couples counselling.

During your introductory session, I’ll take the time to get to know you and your partner while also trying to set realistic expectations about how I can help. Once I understand the problems you’re dealing with and your expectations for the counselling process, I’ll get to work on developing the best roadmap for your therapy. This roadmap is a strategic plan that considers your unique situation and your goals for the future.

Put Things in Perspective with Relationship Counselling

When going through a difficult period in your marriage, it can be challenging to remember the initial spark that brought you together. As an unbiased third party, I’ll do everything I can to help you see the bigger picture and gain clarity on the troubles you’re facing. I’ll help you and your partner take a step back and reflect on what’s important in your relationship.

While you may be determined to work it out on your own, don’t underestimate the benefits of working with a qualified marriage therapist. Sometimes all you need is an outside perspective to see what’s right in front of you.

A Marriage Counselor with a History of Success

Throughout my years of practice, I’ve had the privilege of helping many struggling couples rebuild trust and move forward with their relationships. I make sure that all my clients receive my full attention and benefit from my professional resources and expertise. When you book a session with me, you can feel confident that I’ve been able to assist people in similar situations before and will do everything I can to support you through yours.

I’ve been honored to receive a lot of positive feedback from former clients and can therefore assure you that you’re in good company when you choose Sandra Elsley Individual Marriage & Family Counselling for your marriage therapy.

Over 30 Years of Trusted Couples Therapy

I’ve been helping struggling couples overcome issues and build intimacy for over three decades now, which has provided me with in-depth knowledge and an extensive toolkit. I’ve gotten to where I am today through a commitment to my clients and a passion for helping others, so your relationship is in good hands when you seek help at my private practice.

If you’ve tried counselling before without much success, I encourage you to give me a chance and find out what makes my approach to relationship therapy stand out. Sometimes therapy is a matter of finding the right fit, and I’ve been that ideal match for many couples.

A Well-Rounded Approach to Relationship Counselling

As part of my mission to provide effective and personalized therapy, I’ve worked hard to develop an extensive skill set. I’m qualified to offer many different types of therapy suitable for varied situations and personalities. Once I understand the kind of support that your relationship requires, I’ll make sure that you receive accurate information and useful strategies.

Some of the types of therapy that I focus on include:

  • Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT)
  • Gestalt therapy
  • Sound therapy
  • Mediation
  • Trauma work
  • …and others

I would be happy to explain my approach to counselling and the approach that I would recommend for your situation. Please get in touch with my office to book your first session at your convenience.

Dealing with the Root of Your Relationship Troubles

Rather than just putting a Band-Aid on your relationship and trying to ignore the source of the problem, I aim to deal with the core of the issue head-on. My goal is to help my clients build a strong foundation for their future together by providing practical, lasting solutions. If you’re ready to overcome your hurdles and put them behind you for good, please reach out to my office today.

I’ll apply my professional strategies during our conversation, building on the information you tell me about your interpersonal troubles that will help us get to the root of the problem. My process and strategies have helped countless couples reach a better understanding of one another and their relationship, and they can do so with you as well.

The challenge of being in a relationship is often that there are only two people. The saying goes that two minds are better than one. Still, people commonly get stuck in rutted communication pathways with only two perspectives. Regardless of how many times they've been down the same path, they continue to go down it and reach the same destination. These habits result in a lot being left on the table, unsaid.

I’ll ask questions and get you to ask yourself questions that you may never have thought of or haven’t had the chance to bring up and explore. Sometimes, it’s difficult to bring certain topics up because we fear hurting the other's feelings. Being aware of how a subject can impact your partner is important, but a lot can be missed when these topics go unaddressed. I’ll try to pry these tough topics out, and when they're on the table, we can explore them together to find solutions to the problems we've unveiled.

Counselling for All Stages of Marriage

Whether you’re still preparing your vows or have been married for many years, I can be a valuable resource for a healthy, long-lasting marriage. Regardless of the stage you’re at in your marriage, I’m qualified and experienced in working with all types of relationships and can assure you that no marriage is too new or too established to benefit from counselling. If you have questions about my ability to assist with your current situation, don’t hesitate to get in touch for more details.

It doesn't matter how long you've been in a relationship—all relationships are complex. Coming to counseling can help you nip bad relationship habits in the bud early or help you clear away the long-established overgrowth of bad habits. Having help with difficult things is available in every other aspect of life, so why shouldn't we be given help with our relationships? If you've come to that same question, Sandra Elsley Individual Marriage & Family Counselling is here for you.

Give me a call today to learn more about the services I offer. If I don't answer the phone right away, I’ll be sure to respond very soon.

Remote Marriage Counselling Available

I strive to provide my clients with convenient and accommodating relationship counselling, which is why I’m pleased to offer online services. If you have a busy schedule or would prefer to conduct your sessions from the comfort and safety of your own home, then you can take advantage of my online video counseling.

Appointments are available during days, evenings, and weekends, so you can always find a time that works for you and your partner.

Upfront Information on Marriage Counselling

I do everything I can to ensure that there are no surprises or miscommunications with my approach to relationship therapy. If you’re apprehensive about seeking professional counselling, I will gladly address your questions or concerns. My honest approach to counselling has served me very well over the years and has helped diminish the uncertainty and anxiety some individuals and couples feel about receiving therapy. Clear communication both inside and outside of your sessions is what I strive to provide.

Work with a Marriage and Family Therapist

Many people believe they have everything they need to navigate their relationships, but everyone could sometimes use a little advice and guidance from a knowledgeable and trustworthy source. Thanks to my extensive training and experience with all types of relationship issues, I can provide a nuanced approach to the troubles you’re going through. If you’re going through a rough patch, don’t underestimate the value of working with a certified marriage counsellor.

A Marriage Counsellor Invested in Your Success

Marriage counselling is more than just a line of work for me—it’s something that I’m genuinely passionate about. I believe that everyone is capable of positive change, so you can rest assured that I’ll never give up on your situation but do everything I can to find a positive resolution.

You don’t have to face your relationship troubles alone, so feel free to reach out if you believe that you could benefit from my services.

Work with the Area’s Most Trusted Marriage Counselor

While not every relationship is meant to last forever, if you want to invest in yours, and improve it, Sandra Elsley, Individual Marriage & Family Counsel, is here for you. I provide a safe, private environment to facilitate difficult conversations and make meaningful progress with you and your loved one.

I am passionate about helping couples reignite their relationships, overcome challenging periods and become stronger together, and I look forward to working with you closely.

To learn more about what couple’s therapy could do for your partnership, contact me by phone or email today!