Counselling for Couples
For those wanting to improve their communication and understanding of one another.
Most couples have difficult times and many couples go through tough, tough patches in their relationship. Coming for Couples Counselling doesn’t have to be seen as a shameful thing – that “it has come to this point ”
The Value of Couples Counselling
In my experience couples often leave it too late to come along to try relationship counselling. Sadly, it is often considered a last resort. However, relationship counselling can be looked at positively! You can experience time set aside each week especially to explore your difficulties carefully together. It is an opportunity to attune to each other more sensitively. A time to develop a curiosity about your partner and to appreciate them. An opportunity to create something better between you.
A Safe Emotional Space to Appreciate Each Other
Use Couples Counselling to reconnect with the reasons why you got together and decide how you want to be in the future. Do you have to be at the last point in your relationship to want these valuable things together? Furthermore, you can sort out practicalities in the safe emotional environment your counsellor creates.
Talking About Separation
It may be that you come to the decision to separate. Whatever decisions you make, will be heard with acceptance. You are the best judge of what is best for you. These can be discussed in your weekly appointment.
In relationship counselling you will need to sit together for up to 55 minutes and take in turns to listen. It works best when you try to really hear and acknowledge the others experience. In your turn you will have the space to say what you understand from your partner and what that means for you.
Sometimes couples learn surprising information about each other. It can be good news and comes as a relief. Other times it is difficult to take in what you hear because you may feel naturally defensive in your anxiety.
Couples Counselling offers the opportunity to practice patience and respect for the other’s opinion even if it doesn’t match your own opinions.
Sometimes people decide to agree to differ.
Describing the Couples Counselling Process
Sometimes the process feels more like mediation. I aim to carefully recognise and value the emotions behind what you say. On occasions I may hold the session tightly so that it feels safe enough to speak. Other times conversation between you will flow more freely. You will hear your meaning reflected back carefully. You will know if my response feels right for you. Through the dialogue a way forward is becomes clear between you both.
I Value Diversity
I am happy to work with couples of any sexuality, religion, culture or ethnicity. You need to feel at ease with me too. Clients need to feel received, heard and understood. It is important to feel trust towards my impartiality and my willingness to work towards the best outcome for your relationship.
Knowing What Changes you Need
Some couples want improved communication. You can make suggestions for this. Others want deeper understanding of each other. This may require emotional growth, patience, tolerance or insight for example. Some want specifics like to spend more time with each other or to share the housework. So for some this requires compromise and alteration in values.
I Do Not Construct Your Relationship
I sometimes share information I know to be relevant to your discussion. Most importantly, my opinion about your situation is not useful in this therapeutic process. It is your opinion that counts for you. The counsellor remains impartial and accepting of each of you. There are some legal exceptions to accepting certain behaviours. We will discuss these.
Free Choice is Vital
I will not engage in counselling any couple where one or both use force to bully, intimidate or abuse the other. Likewise each person has to come willingly to the session and value the counselling process in order to feel the benefit.
How to Start and End
To begin I offer an initial consultation and assessment. Next, we decide whether we will engage in the work. Often couples only need a few sessions before they are happy to stop. Others want to feel supported for longer. It is healthy to decide when to have a final session in advance. This is good practice for closure. I require a weeks’ notice for the end of the work.
In conclusion, I advise acting sooner than later to improve your chances of achieving success. Find a counsellor who suits you both.
This link will take you to the Relate website where you will find further interesting information about relationships. Relate help with relationships