Alison Clarke
Relationship Counselling & Sex Therapy in North Oxford

About Relationship Counselling 10th August 2022
About Relationship Counselling
About Sex Therapy
About Relationship Counselling

Relationship counselling provides a safe space for you and your partner to explore thoughts, feelings and behaviours between you so that you can understand better what is actually going on/going wrong in your couple. This enables you to make sense of the situation, to talk about it more easily 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. 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 more helpful ones. Alternatively, or in addition, it can draw on past experiences as a way of understanding the causes of the current feelings and behaviours, 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/ resolve

  • breakdown 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.
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