Couples counselling (which can also be referred to as marriage guidance) is a form of therapy that seeks to improve communication and resolve issues within an intimate relationship.
It is very common for relationships to experience ups and downs; times of conflict and times of harmony. Stress, having children, financial issues can all contribute to those more challenging times. However it is when the difficult times stretch into longer and longer periods and you find yourself feeling unhappy most of the time that you might benefit from professional guidance. Perhaps you find yourself arguing repeatedly about the same theme without finding resolution. Maybe you have given up arguing and instead experience protracted periods of withdrawal where neither of you talk but hide your anger behind a stony silence. Perhaps one of you has had or is thinking about having an affair. Maybe your relationship feels stale and you spend most of your time working and socialising outside of your couple to avoid boredom. Perhaps you have simply grown apart after having children and want to know if there is future potential for you as a couple. Maybe you want to leave but find yourself in a co-dependent dynamic that you can’t let go of.
A couples therapist is informed by systems theory which means they view the relationship as a unit. Therefore they consider behaviours, feelings and attitudes as giving indications about the healthiness of the system. By healthiness we mean quality of communication, contact and personal and external boundaries within the relationship. Based on this view, a couples therapist will never take sides or form judgements about the individuals within the relationship. Rather they will work to give both partners the chance to express themselves, explore their feelings, communicate with each other, and work to find solutions. The aim by doing this is to get the unit of the couple functioning well again, either in order to set off by themselves on a better footing or to part more amicably.
Ideally a couples therapist works with both individuals. This will mostly be together however it may be that they see the couple for a few individual sessions. However it is also possible to see a relationship counsellor as an individual if your partner is not willing to engage. In this case you might explore the part you play in the relationship dynamic as well as increasing awareness of your needs and wants in a relationship and how to communicate them.
Sessions normally last 60 – 90 minutes and held weekly or fortnightly. Treatment is normally on a short to mid-term basis.
We have selected our couples therapists due to the high calibre of their training and professional experience. Each one is extremely perceptive and passionate about working with couples. Get in touch on 0207 118 0407 and know that you are entrusting your relationship to a safe pair of hands.