Couples counselling, previously known as marital therapy or marriage guidance, addresses the problems arising from adult sexual or intimate relationships. The relationship, rather than the two individuals, is the 'client'. We also see mothers and daughters, fathers and sons or siblings to help with issues in those relationships.
Our very closest relationship: a marriage; co-habitation or civil partnership, is based on intimacy and trust. When it stops working we are affected deeply and our health and happiness suffer. Our sense of identity and self-worth often rests on the strength of our relationships and we can despair when our prime relationship fails.
Pressures of work, family, money and health all take their toll. Suddenly the relationship that once recharged us leaves us drained and disappointed.
Patterns of behaving that we learned as children often re-emerge in our adult relationship. A childhood 'scapegoat' may start to feel blamed for everything by the partner who once adored them.
Signs you have relationship problems
communication breaks down
sex has ended or causes problems
arguments continue without resolution
depression or other health problems recur
the bond of trust is eroded or broken.
It is normal for relationships to suffer as the pressure and strains of everyday life mount. Love may disappear, replaced by resentment and anger. Each partner can view this differently depending on their own experience of family life. One may despair, while the other may view it as a temporary blip.
Where a couple has attached hastily - in response to a passion, pregnancy or other need, disappointments can surface and fester when the excitement subsides. Renegotiating, with a skilled counsellor, can help build a more realistic and deeper relationship.
When is the right time for couple counselling?
There has been a betrayal of trust; an affair, debt or secret.
Talking causes confusion or unbearable anger.
Separation or Divorce seems like the only option.
Desire has gone or sex is no fun.
Arguments and bickering go on and on.
If possible, attend together unless there is domestic violence or fear. Counselling can be undertaken with one partner if that feels more comfortable.
Being able to manage conflict, arguments and rows is the foundation stone to a good relationship. It is unrealistic to hope that arguments can be avoided.
Two people come with their own values and beliefs and both must feel heard in order to thrive. This may mean developing new skills.
Differences need to be acknowledged; otherwise we merge or one partner is unheard. Then one partner may dominate and the other 'disappears'.
Arguments are a healthy and essential part of any relationship and can energise it if carried out skilfully. Indirect anger and domestic violence are destructive.
Counselling can help with understanding the messages about conflict that we may have inherited from our family and offer new skills.
Mothers and daughter relationship can prove sometimes difficult, as too are fathers and sons. We see you both to explore what is going on in the relationship. Call us for an informal discussion aon how we can help.
Our charges for Couples work varies, on average £70 per session applies, however we require payment made by BACS to secure the session on booking.