Couples often delay seeking help for their problems because they fear that openly acknowledging their issues will just hurt their partner and inflate the situation even more. Real honesty between one another might feel like an impossible feat and knowing that there are ‘two sides to the story’ you may worry that the counsellor will take s
Couples often delay seeking help for their problems because they fear that openly acknowledging their issues will just hurt their partner and inflate the situation even more. Real honesty between one another might feel like an impossible feat and knowing that there are ‘two sides to the story’ you may worry that the counsellor will take sides.
Be reassured that your counsellor will have a genuine interest in what is happening in your relationship and will help each partner to engage with one another by giving equal attention and consideration to both so that together you can find new ways of understanding and approaching the differences between you.
When we are in a couple it’s not always easy to see clearly how we interact with one another. Sometimes we struggle to effectively communicate, and in spite of our best efforts to find resolution we get entangled in the same unproductive cycle time and again. This pattern can become entrenched because it is not always easy to get an objective view of how the dialogue unfolds once we are ‘in the moment’.
When an experienced therapist joins the communication cycle, the couple dynamic is shifted in a way that reduces the need to maintain defences, and confidence to speak with greater authenticity increases. Working with a professional also can give you an unbiased ‘external’ perspective that will help you identify the barriers to productive communication and build on the trust so that sensitive topics can be addressed.
It is a normal human tendency to feel that we know the people in our life so well that we lose the curious spirit that we once had at the beginning of the relationship. Making assumptions about one another can lead to misunderstanding and resentment, and frequent inflated arguments over trivial things can be a sign that the real, underlying issue is not being addressed.
The counselling environment provides a safe and contained space where each partner is encouraged to fully explore how the relationship is experienced from their point of view. This process promotes self-awareness and a better appreciation for your partner’s perspective so that you begin to understand what is really going on between you.
Couples don’t always come to counselling to improve their relationship: sometimes one or both make the decision to separate. This step is never an easy one because the necessity to make sound, practical decisions for the future is often accompanied by a range of powerful and overwhelming emotions that can make the transition feel unbearable.
If you have children there can be guilt about the family breakdown but it is important that you work together to make the separation as smooth as possible and lessen the impact on their lives. Counselling can help couples talk through their feelings as well as provide unbiased support while you navigate your way through this difficult time.
It’s not just couples who seek out help with their personal life. Whether you are single or in a relationship but choose to come alone, talking things through with an experienced relationship counsellor can help you move forward.
Our need for love and friendship is often influenced by the attachments we forge in the early stages of our life. These early relational experiences shape our expectations and can influence the relationships that we encounter later in life.
If you are unable to form satisfying relationships I can work with you to identify unhelpful patterns of thought, feeling or behaviour that impact your personal life so that you can begin to build and maintain healthy relationships.
You need help to come to terms with a relationship that has ended through separation, divorce or death. When we experience the loss of a significant person in our life we can experience a range of emotions, some expected and others less so. Counselling can provide support when you most need it and help to make sense of these feelings.
You may be in a relationship but wish to attend the sessions on your own because your partner is unwilling or unable to accompany you. This arrangement can still be useful because changes in the understanding or behaviour of one partner will influence the relationship as a whole.
On the other hand, you may want to attend sessions on your own because there are concerns about yourself or your relationship that you feel more comfortable to openly discuss in confidence with a trusted professional.
I support clients with a range of issues in particular:
Anxiety is the feeling that you are physically, mentally or emotionally overloaded because the demands of life seem greater than your ability to cope.
External sources of stress may include one-off traumatic experiences, general day to day pressures of life or challenging relationships. More common are internal stressors: those private thoughts and feelings that intrude into our daily activities and undermine our ability to function in a healthy, well-balanced manner.
Low self-esteem is often at the root of anxiety and is maintained by the unfavourable way we interpret our role in the experiences and interactions of our life. A negative self-view tends to be automatic and habitual and often we do it without awareness. Ultimately it leads to the adoption of strategies for living that don’t support a healthy self-view or confidence in our abilities.
When early childhood experiences continue to have an adverse impact on our current thoughts, feelings and behaviours it affects our personal wellbeing and our relationships. Acknowledging the influence of past experience on current issues can sometimes be an important part of moving forward.
Sometimes we feel ‘stuck’ in life yet opening ourselves to a different way of approaching our issues can be daunting. While we can’t change who we are we can change how we respond to the world, and with support to identify key areas that require a fresh approach and the strategies to implement and maintain life changes it doesn’t have to feel so overwhelming.