THE MAIN AIMS OF COUPLES COUNSELLING ARE:-
- To detach in a balanced way from families of origin
- To build togetherness through intimacy, expanding the sense of self to include the other, whilst maintaining individuality.
- To maintain balance between raising children and nurturing the relationship.
- To communicate and confront the inevitable challenges and unpredictable adversities of life together.
- To find ways to deal with inevitable conflict in an amicable way.
- To establish a pleasurable sex life as desired by both parties.
- To share laughter and humour and to keep interest in the relationship alive.
- To sustain emotional support and encouragement in the relationship.
- To keep the innermost core of the relationship alive with renewal from images of fantasy and courtship.
WHAT HAPPENS IN COUPLES COUNSELLING?
Couples counselling seeks to provide a non-judgment space where each party may be equally heard, supported and validated within the process. For that reason, in order to create that space, we agree at the outset some ground rules. They are as follows:-
- The counsellor will actively seek to understand and show acceptance to each person in the room.
- Each person will speak one at a time.
- Both will get equal time over the sessions.
- If you are not happy with something the counsellor says, then you clearly say so.
- If you feel the counsellor is siding more with one person than another, you say so.
- Respect and listening to each other must exist.
- We facilitate constructive communication, conflict resolution and very difficult conversations in a respectful way.
- We explore primary emotions such as sadness, anger, loneliness and so on, for either or both parties without judgment and with utmost respect.
- We seek to find for each party their own way to understand, express themselves, contribute, connect and sometimes forgive.
- Most of all, we agree that what is said (negatively) by either party within the session stays in the room, whilst we continue to work towards coming to an understanding, which we agree is indeed a process.
HOW I WORK
I work as a person- centred couples counsellor. I extend unconditional positive regard, non-judgment and honesty, equally, to each person in the room. I work towards bringing awareness to what might be troubling in the relationship. We recognise that each person brings their own perspective relative to what that might be. We seek new ways to manage conflict and difference and I endeavour to support you having some difficult conversations.
I may also as therapist, offer or explore through psycho- education some different perspectives, which may assist individual understanding. These will hopefully be put forward with utmost respect, integrity and with no agenda on my part. I believe in empowering you in your unique relationship.
I usually like to meet people together, but I am open to meeting people separately, if the parties wish, or it helps. This is with the proviso that we find a way to bring what is said privately, back into the room, in the interests of the relationship.
I do believe relationships can improve and that whilst couples counselling is challenging, it is also very rewarding, both for the couple, their children and their extended family.