Relationship counselling provides help and support for couples who are experiencing difficulties which are impacting their relationship, whether arising from the relationship itself or from external contributory factors.
Relationship counselling is essentially having a conversation with your partner in a neutral space, enabled by a third person who will not take sides, apportion blame or judge. The counsellor provides the opportunity to explore often complex issues in a safe and confidential setting. Working with a therapist, you will be encouraged to develop understanding, make links, identify themes and meaning, express thoughts and feelings, create and explore new possibilities and perspectives. Counselling allows you to consider how things could be different – the ‘what if…’ and ‘I wonder whether…’ conversations that help to bring about change, and help you and your partner to develop a more fulfilling relationship. If you are parents, your children will have some awareness of your difficulties; your counselling will be beneficial to them as well.
Examples of the relationship issues for which couples counselling might be helpful are
We can’t stop arguing
Our rows are escalating
There have been some violent incidents
We don’t seem to be able to communicate anymore
There has been an affair
I suspect my partner is having an affair
My partner is jealous
Things haven’t been the same since we had children
We are having sexual problems
This doesn’t feel like an equal partnership
We are experiencing problems from our families
Our children have left home
The work/life balance is all wrong
How do we adjust to growing old?
We have decided to separate
External factors which may contribute to problems within a couple relationship might be:
Anxiety, Bereavement, Childhood sexual abuse, Chronic illness, Cultural issues, Depression, Domestic Abuse, Financial problems, Health-related issues, Identity problems, Illness, Infertility, Life stage crises, Loss, Parenting problems, Retirement, Separation, Step family problems, Stress, Work-related issues.
The counselling offered is confidential, flexible, informal and non-judgemental. You would normally meet weekly for 50 minute sessions.
An initial assessment session will allow you to explore whether counselling will be of help to you.