All relationships go through different stages, with some of stages bringing more challenges than others. At times, relationships can feel full of conflict and arguments where there used to be feelings of intimacy and support. Some relationships can get through this stage and return to a more positive experience, but others can get stuck in a place of conflict. When this happens, the relationship gets further damaged as each person feels more frustrated, unsupported and upset, and it becomes harder to come back from this the longer it goes on. Relationship counselling can be very helpful in these cases, allowing both partners to express their concerns and learn to communicate more effectively.
Why Attend Relationship Counselling?
Relationship counselling is a great idea if any of the following describe how you’re feeling:
- your partner doesn’t seem to hear anything you say
- your conversations go round in circles and nothing changes
- the intimacy is gone or your sex life is unfulfilling
- you feel even more frustrated and upset after talking
- there are frequent arguments
- when you try to discuss things you and your partner usually end up shouting at each other
- you avoid certain topics because you’re afraid that things will get even worse
- you feel like you are drifting apart and have nothing left to say to each other
Causes of Relationship Difficulties
Relationship difficulties can have many causes, such as
- work stress
- financial stress
- different parenting styles
- stress caused by either (or both) partners’ families
- mental health problems
- feeling unappreciated
Couples counselling is not there to provide a referee or apportion blame, but to enable each partner to deal more effectively with difficulties as they arise in the future.
The Goal of Relationship Counselling
Whatever the cause, the goal is to listen to and support both partners, and to help each partner to communicate effectively and to listen effectively. Ideally both partners should come to couples counselling, but if one refuses to come it can still be very effective for the other to come alone – there may be changes that you can make alone that will have a positive impact on your relationship.
I work with couples both individually and jointly, so that each person can express their worries and fears in a safe, confidential and non-judgemental space, and be fully listened to and supported.