Couples Relationship Counselling
Your relationship may be at a stage where you or your partner are finding it difficult to see a way forward together that feels satisfying or fulfilled. Your relationship may no longer provide what one or both of you are looking for, and you may now be wondering if it is possible to make changes in your marriage or relationship that can help improve your life together. Marriage counselling is for all couples, whether you are actually married, or simply in a long-term relationship.
It provides a space where you and your partner can explore the difficulties and issues that have arisen in your relationship, and see if you can work through these to bring change and to have a happier, more contented relationship.
What Happens When A Marriage or Relationship is in Difficulty?
The communication within your relationship may have become difficult or negative, often through the demands of a busy life and the pressures that can come from demands such as work and children. In other cases the behaviour of you or your partner may seem unreasonable to the other, such as not being very interested in each other’s lives, feeling neglected, or excessive drinking, gambling or affairs.
You may be experiencing a lot of rows, conflict, resentment, boredom, feeling misunderstood, or it may feel like there is a lot of distance and withdrawal between you and your partner, as if you are living separate lives. Sexual difficulties may have arisen in the relationship and you may have infrequent or no sexual relationship together. Your relationship may be at a stage where one or both of you find it difficult to communicate easily with each other, leading you to either quickly begin to argue, or simply not say what you need to say to each other.
If your marriage or relationship is no longer providing what you are looking for, now is the time to consider marriage counselling or couples counselling together, and seek help to see if you can improve your relationship.
How can Marriage Counselling Help a Relationship?
The additional help and support of an experienced counsellor can be very beneficial in facilitating you and your partner to clarify the issues and difficulties and see if these may be improved together. Counselling can help to give a better understanding of each other’s family background and personal history. This can be a very important part of this process in order to help understand the dynamic and problematic issues and behaviors that may now exist in the relationship that you have created together.
It is important to know what each of you is bringing into the relationship from your own family history. Some of this may indeed be very healthy and beneficial to your relationship, but some of it may get in the way of you forming a happier relationship with your partner, and it can lead to tension and stress as you struggle with the differences between you. In a long term relationship or marriage, the couple often move towards a model of fusion, where the differences are often smoothed over. This is often seen as a healthy development, whereas in fact one or both of you may feel that you have had to compromise hugely and are not really able to be yourself and express your difference in the relationship in a way that is heard and respected by your partner. Couples counselling allows you to be 2 individuals who are in a relationship together, and yet can be separate in your difference.
How Does Relationship and Marriage Counselling Work?
Your couples therapist will generally work with you as a couple together in sessions, but may also do some separate individual sessions with one or both of you. This will be worked out between you and your therapist so that the process is clear and transparent. Your couples therapist will explain how they will work with you, how many sessions you will contract for initially, and establish what both you and your partner wish to get from the process. In circumstances where either you or your partner do not wish to remain in couple therapy, the other may be encouraged to remain in individual therapy.
What Types of Couples Attend Relationship Counselling ?
The Couple Counsellors at Mind and Body Works have experience of working with many different issues which present for couples and their relationship. Couples in therapy are not necessarily in a marriage, and in many cases they are not. Many couples are simply in a longer-term relationship, or may be considering marriage but experiencing difficulties in their relationship. We also work with couples who are in the process of separating or have separated. The couple may have some other form of status or be in another form of partnership or civil union. Our counsellors also have experience of working with different types of relationships including gay and lesbian couples, couples with and without children, couples of other nationalities, inter-racial couples, and polyamorous relationships.
The additional help and support of an experienced counsellor can be very beneficial in facilitating the couple to clarify the issues of difficulty and see if these can lead to a happier and more fulfilling relationship.