Episode 82: Which Relationship Season Are You In? How to Thrive as a Couple During Challenging Times with Psychotherapist Allison Villa

In today’s episode, Dr. Lisa welcomes back Psychotherapist and Relationship Expert Allison Villa to discuss how The 4 Relationship Seasons™ can be used to keep your romantic bond strong during challenging times. Whether you’re coasting or just coping in your relationship with partner, Allison’s tips are simple yet powerful.

“How you love each other today, will live on through your kids, and in generations to come.” – Allison Villa 

Allison Villa is the creator of The 4 Relationship Seasons™, facilitator for the Couple’s Sandbox online membership and host of the Couplehood podcast. She specializes in keeping couples’ thriving throughout parenthood. As a wife and mother, she understands how raising a family affects the romantic relationship and the challenges that modern parents face. With Allison’s virtual therapy practice, and online offerings, this keepin-it-real-mama combines her personal and professional experience to teach busy couples to live with intention & to use simple time-efficient strategies to connect with each other. Allison has been featured on numerous podcasts, blogs, and media outlets, including Breakfast Television & CBC. 

Check out Dr. Lisa’s previous conversation with Allison on Episode 17: Keeping Your Relationship Strong – In Conversation with Allison Villa.

In this episode, we cover:

  • How the pandemic can magnify patterns in your relationship, both positive and negative
  • The importance of normalizing that you can have rocky moments in your relationship, go through challenging times and still be in love – no shame or blame needed!
  • How the 4 Relationship Seasons™ are like the weather and seasons of the year
    • Coping – when an external factor takes up the majority of your time and energy, eg. having a baby, starting a new job, loss of family member, pandemic, moving or renovation
      • Express how you feel 
      • Ask for what you need
      • Don’t assume – be curious about your partner
      • Carve out 5 minutes a day to check in with your partner during a high energy time in your day – keep talking!
      • Recognize that it’s less about the doing and more about being and acknowledging
    • Coasting – when you have come out the the Coping season and reintegrate as a couple, a bit of a danger zone if you’re not putting the time and energy into your relationship eg. empty nest syndrome
      • Carve out 5 minutes a day to check in with your partner – no talking about work, kids or the house!
      • Support each other’s self-care time
    • Connected – when schedule for self-care is set and you are getting clear on your family and relationship vision
      • Dream big!
      • Ask: 
        • What is your community?
        • What are your values?
        • Do you want to travel?
        • What is your spiritual vision?
        • Could you do things a different way?
    • Confident – when you know what vision you are working towards
      • Be more curious about your intimacy vision – intellectual, spiritual, emotional, physical, sexual
  • The importance of being aware how your childhood experience can impact your ability to be uncomfortable and not rush in to fix things
  • The importance of a good night’s sleep for emotional regulation
  • How having your own life allows your kids to realize that your happiness doesn’t solely rely on them and their behaviour
  • The importance of day dates
  • The epigenetic impact of your romantic relationship with your partner on your children – how we love each other lives on genetically in our kids

Connect with Allison on Instagram: @allison__villa

Check out her Quiz: What’s Your Relationship Season? 

Get Allison’s Self-Care Toolkit

Join her VIP community to get free relationship tools and weekly inspiration at: www.allisonvilla.com 

Today’s Mama Must-Have:

Dr. Lisa is a big fan of booking time off on Friday afternoon for time with Pete and checking out online concerts using the app Bands in Town. 

Dr. Toni’s next HypnoBirthing info session for expecting parents looking to trust their instincts and their body during labour and birth is happening soon. Join her at https://www.hypnobirthingcalgary.com/register

Dr. Lisa’s Wild Collective begins again in Fall 2021: get on the waitlist: wildcollectivetoronto.com

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Stay safe and healthy everyone!

Disclaimer: The information provided in this presentation is not meant to replace treatment with a licensed health care practitioner. It is for informational purposes only. Consult with a Naturopathic Doctor or other licensed health care professional to determine which treatments are safe for you.