Our close relationships can be a source of great happiness and satisfaction in our lives, and yet also of great anxiety and isolation if they start to go wrong. If our relationship is in difficulty or crisis, it can be distressing and disappointing, leaving us feeling guilty, rejected or lonely. Very often, couples will seek counselling as a means of enhancing or rescuing their relationship. Couples therapy offers a safe supportive space in which couples have the opportunity to explore their relationship difficulties. This can help you rebuild your relationship and stay together. However, if you expressly wish to separate, then couples therapy can also help you to do that more amicably.
Relationship issues can include continued arguments and bickering without a resolution in sight; perhaps the trust has diminished or has been broken through betrayal (affairs, lies or secrets). It may be depression, tension or other health problems which have contributed to difficulties in the relationship. Usually, there is a way forward with couples counselling but it does require an effort from both partners and an acceptance that sometimes it can be a long and difficult process.
How is it that we are attracted to a particular partner?
Many people have a conscious list of what they are looking for in a spouse or partner e.g. tall, handsome, ambitious, responsible etc. However, it may be that all of us have an unconscious list - one that is outside of our awareness. We look for someone who has parts of us that we have not developed (or been allowed to express). Our unconscious looks for love that feels familiar enough. It may not be an exact replica of mom and dad, but it is close enough; someone who for example can be fun, but is also just a little emotionally unavailable. Love that might be strong, but also a little critical.
My aim in couples therapy is to identify and work together on the problems by supporting and developing effective communication and encouraging empathy with each other. You are given the opportunity to understand and appreciate each other's needs, build on strengths and ultimately make useful changes in your lives and your relationship. My aim is to create a safe space where honest open dialogue is possible.
How Sessions Work
Sessions are usually weekly and can be between one and two hours in duration. This is negotiated, agreed and reviewed by 'us' throughout the therapeutic work and is also dependent on your needs as a couple and availability. I am often able to offer a degree of flexibility for working couples by offering early morning and late evening appointments.
If you would like to know more about whether couples therapy is the next step for your relationship, then please do not hesitate to contact me to discuss your needs or to book an initial session.