Couple counselling and relationship counselling are for any two people or couple who are having problems resolving any issues and conflict within their relationship.
Clients often come because one or both of them are feeling that they are not communicating well with each other and not feeling understood and valued. They may have concerns around trust, commitment, intimacy and sex.
Coming to see me at A Time For You for couple or relationship counselling offers you a safe space from where you will both feel enabled to talk about the difficulties that each of you are experiencing. I will facilitate this process so that you can gain a better understanding of yourselves and each other. My role is not to give advice but to help you to gain a new perspective on your relationship and to help you to resolve your difficulties together.
Why come for Relationship or Couple Counselling?
Before embarking on relationship or couple counselling is is really important that both of you are willing to come for counselling sessions and that both of you are committed to talking to each other about your issues.
When each of us enter into any relationship we bring with us our own histories, our unresolved issues, our emotional and behavioural patterns and our expectations. We may be aware of some or all of these - or we may not.
Our past experiences of relationships, especially our early ones, will have a bearing on how we perceive our present ones. This affects how we react to situations and to each other within our relationship and how we we expect them to evolve.
One of the keys to a truly successful relationship lies in our ability to effectively communicate with each other . This can be a real challenge. We are often fearful or unable to talk to each other about how we are truly thinking and feeling and about the difficulties we are facing in our relationship. We may start to "mind read" our partner's thoughts or make negative assumptions about situations which are often influenced by our own past experiences. This usually leads to misunderstandings, conflict and hurt.
With my help, you will both be enabled and encouraged to talk freely and explore what you feel is wrong with your relationship and what you would like to change. I can offer you more insight and understanding into your own and each other's emotional and behavioural patterns that you bring into the relationship. Together we can work out how to go about resolving your difficulties and making the changes needed to improve your relationship or how to draw it to a close.
Ending the Relationship
Sometimes, couples come to see me when one or both parties feel that the relationship is irrevocably damaged and has come to an end. They may feel unable to leave the relationship even if they want to. This could be due to feelings of fear or guilt of the hurt that it will cause to themselves and/or others. Unfortunately, as relationships break up they are emotionally charged with feelings of anger, resentment, contempt, animosity and bitterness.
When a family unit breaks down, it can be especially difficult for any children that are involved. Sadly, children are often the casualties when their parents split up. The damage to them can be minimised, if they are enabled to have healthy and loving relationships with both of their parents after the breakup. Children will also benefit so much more if their parents can salvage a lasting civil and respectful relationship too as they co-parent into the future. I can help you during this difficult process of breaking up to maintain effective communication with each other, to understand the grieving process that is involved, so that both parties can work towards an amicable split.
Benefits of Couple Counselling
● Confidential, professional expertise
● A safe space to both explore thoughts and feelings
● Feel accepted and understood
● Identify destructive emotional and behavioural patterns
● Deepen your understanding of each other
● Identify faulty thinking and negative expectations
● Learn to communicate more effectively
● Tackle difficulties in the relationship
● To turn complaints into wishes.
● Help to split up amicably and limit damage to others
● Intimacy, sexual problems
● Feeling undervalued, unhappy
● Lack of communication
● Parenting issues and problems
● Step families and extended family
● Outside influences affecting the relationship
● Separation & Divorce
What kind of Couple Counselling do I offer?
As a couple counsellor, I have been trained to use the "Decentring" approach, devised at the Maudsley Hospital in London, to work with couples of all types.
During sessions couples are encouraged to "Decentre" which simply means that you are both helped to experience talking directly to each other whilst I mediate and act as a go between.
This "Decentring" approach enables me to gain insights into the way that you relate to each other and to understand the patterns you are bringing into the relationship. It gives me the opportunity to intervene and to help each of you to have a voice in the relationship so that you can to talk about difficult issues.
During this process, with my help, you will be able practice communicating assertively and more effectively whilst feeling validated and encouraged. This not only helps you to understand what is keeping you stuck but builds your confidence to talk to each other and explore how you can get closer in order to solve your problems together.
How does my core training help couples?
My core counselling training integrated three types of therapy into one approach:-
The Person Centred element means that whether I see individuals or couples, I offer you empathy, acceptance, valuing and congruence. These core conditions always foster a safe environment for you to explore and express your thoughts and your feelings.
The Psychodynamic element of my training fosters emotional growth. By looking at your past experiences and significant relationships, any emotional and behavioural patterns and expectations that are damaging to yourself and to your relationships can be identified and bought into your conscious awareness. This self awareness gives you the freedom to consciously make positive changes.
The Cognitive Behavioural Therapy element will help you to understand how your thoughts, emotions, physical feelings and behaviours are all interconnected and impact on each other. CBT helps to identify, evaluate and change dysfunctional negative automatic thinking patterns and behaviours in yourself and each other so that changes can occur.
I am an accredited and registered Counsellor & Psychotherapist with the BACP with over 14 years experience of working with individuals, couples and therapeutic groups in a variety of settings.
Counselling is always at the heart of what I do, but by incorporating other treatments and techniques I can offer my own unique combination of therapies to effectively help clients to feel better on all levels.
A Time For You, Counselling & Reiki Swindon