People come to relationship counselling and couples therapy for many different reasons, but generally with an understanding that there is an unacceptable level of distress and/or dissatisfaction within the relationship.
The work of couples counselling (or couples counseling) is to explore and understand what each of you wants, and to identify and understand what changes are needed to bring the relationship to a different place. The approach is collaborative, affirming and supportive, building on what initially drew you to each other and the patterns and ways of communicating you have developed between you.
Emotional connection is crucial to a satisfactory relationship, and the work of couples counselling is to facilitate the process of moving from arguments and towards finding and establishing the emotional connection that works for both of you in the relationship.
When we cannot find love and connection in the relationship emotional distress and chaos is likely to deepen.
Relationship therapy and counselling holds an understanding that each of you brings to the relationship your own ways of relating to another person. This is largely based on early learned patterns of behaviour and relating.
We work together to understand the patterns in your relationship when there are arguments and distancing. We identify the feelings that are often not easy to express and we then explore ways of communicating with each other that are respectful and beneficial for both of you.
Healing is about finding a place that holds some resoloution and the potential to move forwards for each of the couple.
I am experienced in offering relationship counselling to couples that are experiencing difficulties such as:
Issues of trust
Trauma and abuse
Differing values and goals
Differing parenting styles
Life changes (bereavement, illness, empty nest etc.)
Gender role conflict
Following an enquiry we will arrange an initial session at a mutually convenient time.
The initial session is an opportunity for us to meet each other, to think about what has brought you to counselling and therapy, and to identify what each of you are hoping to gain from the couples therapy. We can identify a structure for the work that fits with your hopes and expectations.
Following the initial session I will probably suggest an individual session with each of you, after that we come back together to confirm and clarify the changes in your relationship you would like to see. We then meet weekly for a period of time; this is likely to be for a couple of months.
I offer relationship counselling in Emsworth and across Hampshire and West Sussex.
“Underneath all the distress, partners are asking each other: Can I count on you, depend on you? Are you there for me? Will you respond to me when I need you, when I call? Do I matter to you? Am I valued and accepted by you? Do you need me, rely on me? The anger, criticism and demands are cries to their lovers to stir their hearts and draw them back in emotionally and re-establishing a sense of safe connection” – Dr Sue Johnson
“Essentially, the task of the therapist is to move back and forth slowly exploring each partner’s experience in the relationship and offering an empathic response to the underlying feelings and fears of each person.” – Jim Crawley and Jan Grant