Couples Counselling

Sometimes when we have problems in our relationship we can feel like there is no way out other then finding the way out. This doesn't have to be the case; there is another way – COUPLES COUNSELLING. 

My approach to helping a couple is very structured and simple and is successful regardless of sexual orientation, race or culture. In fact, I am a specialist in working with same sex couples. To help you decide whether couples counselling is for you, I have outlined my approach below.  

Firstly, I establish exactly what the problem, issue or concern is. Sometimes this is very clear, perhaps your partner has had an affair. Other times your distress may not be quite so evident. To assist in exploring the problem, I actively engage you and your partner in open, honest dialogue which I manage and support. It might be helpful to clarify that I never take sides, my role is to remain neutral, and to re-connect you both, not 'fuel the fire' further. At this stage of couples counselling some counsellors' stay silent and observe the interaction between you – I DON'T I am actively involved. I often find couples have spoken in the past but give up as 'nothing changes'; it is my responsibility to ensure that we don't reinforce the 'we have been here before and nothing changes' position. It is important to really feel heard by your partner, this first stage can be very enlightening as the fast pace of the world we live in often means we have disconnected without knowing it. I often find the more time we invest in exploring the problem the less time we spend in couples counselling overall. 

Once we have established the problem, we all need to agree on how to address this. What is the aim? The aims can be broad; but has to be realistic and agreed by both of you. This stage can be complex, and sometimes I have to be direct and ask 'Do you both want to work through this and stay together or would separating with dignity be more appropriate.' It is important to say that my aim is not to keep you together, rather I work towards the aim agreed by both of you, as ultimately this impacts on your personal happiness. If one partner wants to stay together and the other wants to separate I can continue to support you as a couple or we can agree an alternative way of working that maybe helpful. 

I frequently find that the above is enough to 'get you back on track' especially in cases of 'something is wrong but I don't know what.'  

As the couples counselling progresses my philosophy is based on the work of Dr Sue Johnson and Dr Les Greenberg who, in the 1980's developed a pioneering approach to couples counselling called 'Emotionally Focused Therapy'. The underpinning theory of this approach is that relationships are at the core of human experience and that emotionally fulfilling relationships are essential to our well-being. Therefore, emotionally focused interventions have the power to establish and recreate supportive bonds between you and your partner. At this stage, I am committed to understanding, encouraging and promoting a relationship that is fundamentally based on strong emotional bonds and exploring their interpersonal impact. I believe that the establishment of, or the strengthening of the emotional bond between partners is essential for a lasting relationship. I have developed my own specialist collaborative interventions that are aimed at improving the emotional bond between two people (This is equally effective when working with a parent and child). 

The above couples counselling process may sound lengthy; however Emotionally Focused Couples Counselling is generally achieved between 8 and 20 sessions. 

Prior to your first session I send out a questionnaire which draws attention to your relationship. It is important that both partners complete the questionnaire individually and return it to me as this forms the basis of our first session. Please note, that whilst I don't show your questionnaire to your partner, I may summarise aspects to assist you both in seeing the relationship from each others perspective. 

Finally, I offer other bespoke intensive therapeutic options specifically designed to enhance your relationship. For further information please contact me on 01252 598674 or 07876 200559.