When a couple decide to enter counselling to me it represents that they care about their relationship and that they want something to change. They may have recognised that their problems can no longer be dealt with at home together. Perhaps the couple are arguing about all sorts of things and that these rows are becoming more and more difficult to manage. The rows could be about money, sex, infidelity, infertility, parents/in-laws, children, stresses at work, friendships or you may notice that you are both leading individual lives and that you no longer have the ability to understand or see each other’s perspective any more.
Beginning any form of counselling can be daunting but in couples counselling this can be even more so because your partner is in the room with you. This alone can provide its own challenges because instead of talking openly and honestly about your hopes and fears for the future to a supportive counsellor your partner is sitting in the room beside you and may be ready to disagree or argue with you. This partner may have lived alongside you for years and know so much about you that to bare your soul or personal information/secrets, although in a safe, non-judgemental environment, may leave you feeling vulnerable and alone.
There is also the possibility that whatever you say could hurt or upset your partner making a bad situation feel even worse. The couple may even feel that I may favour one part of the couple over the over thus bringing up old sibling rivalries. This is not the case as my work as a Therapist is to help the relationship between both partners and each person will get equal time, attention and understanding. Couples Counselling tends to work with the presenting problems although my extensive experience as an Integrative Counsellor/Psychotherapist enables me to help the couple have some understanding of how the deep-rooted issues of their past may be impacting their relationship together. By reflecting on these issues together as a couple this may help to alleviate any current issues they may be experiencing.
As a trained Couples Counsellor I do have experience of using the ‘Arts’ to help couples, who sometimes find it difficult to talk to each other, find another way of communicating. I have found this invaluable in enabling hidden depths/thoughts/feelings to emerge in the room and to facilitate the process of change within the relationship of each couple.
Creativity is like freedom: once you taste it, you cannot live without it. It is a transformative force, enhancing self-esteem and self-empowerment.”
– Natalie Rogers
In some cases, Couples Counselling helps couples discover that their differences truly are irreconcilable and that it is best to end the relationship. If this is the case then Couples Therapy could be about helping you to grieve for the loss of your relationship and to make the separation as painless as possible.
Please do contact me if you have any further questions or would like additional information.