Working with Couples
All relationships have ups and downs. Sometimes though, things can bet a bit stuck and it’s hard to find a positive solution. Whether you are feeling things just aren’t right or whether you are encountering serious difficulties I will listen and support you, help you to tell your stories about your relationship and to hopefully make better sense of your relationship and understand yourselves and each other more fully.
I will work with you to understand why things have gone wrong and how problems may be overcome. Relationship or couple counselling is more directive than one - one therapy in the form of exercises given to do between sessions at home. Fulfilling and supportive relationships don’t come automatically, they require good social skills, understanding, acceptance, forgiveness and compassion for each other. I will help you look together at what your needs are and where you want to go in your relationship. You both need to be committed to making realistic and achievable changes to work towards a more fulfilling relationship.
I will give you the tools to understand your partner more clearly allowing you to move forward in a more positive way. We may look at effective communication, dealing with anger, resentments and conflict management, ways to negotiate and compromise with each other. Often the inability to discuss thoughts and feelings can lead to deeper unhappiness and increased resentments and anxiety. People may try to avoid pain in their relationship by denying, ignoring or rationalising it away and diverting themselves with something else. However, once all the hidden issues are made visible and acknowledged and both partners are emotionally honest it often becomes easier to understand each other’s feelings and to engage with difficulties. Fear is often removed and even deeply ingrained issues can become solvable.
Couples therapy offers a safe space to explore and understand what has gone wrong and to work together on problems. Talking to a trained third party can unlock rigid mindsets that each partner may have about the other or the relationship. You will have the chance to look at what has happened in your relationship and the reasons it is in crisis. Understanding stuck patterns and making unconscious behaviour conscious can be transformational to the relationship and toxic patterns can be changed often quite quickly.
Couple Therapy can help with:
- Understanding where and how your relationship problems have arisen.
- Communication problems, resentment and conflict issues.
- Recovering from an affair(s).
- Arguments and criticism.
- Sexual problems
- Recovering intimacy
- Issues around trust
- Meeting each other’s needs.
- Problems arising from a change in life circumstances, such as unemployment or change of job, bereavement, illness or disability, having children or caring for an elderly relative.
- Managing separation, if unavoidable through a collaborative process that is best for all concerned.