Why every couple needs counseling

Whether you’re young or old, blissfully happy or throwing plates at each other, here’s why every couple needs to see SA’s relationship queen.

Tracy Ziman Jacobs is not your typical uptight marriage therapist who asks ‘and how does that make you feel?’ while repeatedly throwing you judgmental looks. In fact, Tracy is the complete opposite and her laid-back counseling methods have been saving relationships for years.

Tracy is a therapeutic counselor who works as a specialized intimacy and relationship coach within her consultancy, Totally Me. She is passionate about helping couples and individuals who wish to go beyond their current intimacy level and rekindle the passion they once had for each other and for themselves but don’t be fooled into thinking therapy is only for couples on the brink of splitting. ‘Communication is something that can be worked on continuously, and people should see therapy like gym but for their emotional well being, rather than physical’.

No one gets married assuming the relationship will end in divorce. At least, Tracy Ziman Jacobs didn’t. “When I got married, I thought I’d never get divorced,” says Tracy. “It came as a bit of a shock and after my divorce, I was cynical about marriage,” she admits. But she recognized the hope we as human beings attach to marriage. “It’s the romance that brings us together and after all, people are still getting married,” she muses. So, what’s the recipe for a loving relationship in which both partners are happy?

Tracy’s ethos is ardour: romance is key to the marriage-altering work she does with her clients. “I want to save marriages,” she explains, stating that it’s vital to look at what is lacking and then go back to the basic needs of the relationship. “Look at all those characteristics that drew you to your mate and created that chemistry,” says Tracy, who suggests it is possible to have an affair with your existing partner rather than look outside the marriage for the intimacy and fulfillment you crave. “What’s in an affair? Rather bring it back inside your marriage,” she states.

Tracy’s wealth of knowledge hasn’t come from life experience alone; she has a solid professional background that includes a BA in Social Sciences (UNISA, 1996) as well as practical training through the Family Life Centre (FAMSA). In fact, she went on to be employed by the organisation as an occupational social worker. Apart from being a registered practitioner with Intimacy Coaching SA(ICSA), Tracy’s skills also include individual and couple’s counseling, group and family therapy, trauma counseling, employee assistance programs, divorce mediation and pre-marriage counseling.

Tracy works with marriages at any stage, with couples (both straight and gay), as well as single people in need of intimacy counseling. While Tracy’s work doesn’t simply focus on the notorious “the seven-year itch”, it is a concept she’s very aware of in her practice and among the marriages she works on healing. “There are definitely seven year cycles (seven years, 14 years and so on) where things become a little staid,” she explains.

“Everyone” is a standout word in Tracy’s work: her sessions are for men and women in all stages of their lives. “Women feel validated and heard, and so do men,” she explains. “It’s incredible for me to see the ‘light’ come on when couples are shown a whole new way of connecting.”