About Relationship Counselling
Relationship counselling provides a safe space for you and your partner to explore thoughts, emotions, feelings, behaviours and how you interact with each other, so that you can understand better what is happening in your couple and what is causing it. This enables you to make sense of the situation as individuals, to communicate better with each other about it and gain a shared understanding from which you can more easily make decisions and make changes. Quite often clients report that is is a place where they are able to say things they need to say, and feel heard, in ways that somehow can't happen at home. Sometimes very significant events, issues or feelings that have been tacitly "ignored" by both partners for years, can surface for the first time and be thought about and processed together. This is often experienced by both partners as a great relief.
It is important to emphasise that relationship counselling is not
about "making you" speak about things, nor about setting an agenda with a fixed "goal", rather it is about working respectfully and in support of you and your partner on the problems that you bring. The work can focus very much on the present, and un-learning unhelpful ways of interacting and learning new ones, to improve the situation. Alternatively, or in addition, it can draw on past experiences as a way of understanding the causes of the current feelings/ ways of behaving, on the path towards changing them. The methods of working are determined by the nature of the problem and your preferences in your couple. What Situations Can it Help?
It can help the couple cope with/ resolvebreakdown in communications; constant arguing or feelings of gradually growing apart
facing difficult decisions together and the stresses resulting from them (around children, employment, money) stresses of fertility problems; decisions and treatments
the impacts of crises on the couple; bereavements, affairs, sudden changes in circumstances
repeated patterns of problematic relating from past relationships
constructive endings of relationships that are coming to an end
What Benefits can be Expected?
At the end of the counselling you are likely to have a better understanding of the causes of your problems and greater ability to communicate with each other. You may have released yourselves from old relationship "habits" and learned constructive, new ones. You may also have a sense of relief, if you have unburdened secrets or aired long-term unspoken problems and worked on them together in the sessions. With these advances you may have resolved your problems, or be well on the way to resolving them or coping with them, and you are likely to have more skills and more space to develop good strategies for coping with problems in the future.