Relationships are central to most of us, so when they aren’t going well, this can impact greatly upon our lives.
Sometimes problems become entrenched in a partnership, and it seems impossible for two people to fix the conflict. Couples present in therapy for several reasons. Some of the common complaints are poor communication, sexual difficulties, infidelity or suspected infidelity, conflicting ideas of how to parent, arguments over money, reduced mental or physical health of one or both partners, a sense of lack of respect in the relationship, problems adjusting to a loss, resentment for past behaviour, feelings of not being prioritised by a partner, jealousy, perceived controlling behaviour, and alcohol or substance misuse. Sometimes there are also concerns around relationships with immediate and extended family.
In some cases, a couple will arrive in therapy as a last resort. Other couples seek support early on, as they want to improve an incipient relational difficulty before it deteriorates.
Regardless of the stage, or age, of your relationship, couple therapy can be useful in beginning to disentangle the conflict.
My approach to couples’ work is to treat the relationship between you as my client. This does not mean I won’t respect your individuality, or try to understand each of you in the context of your history and life experience – rather, it means I will I strive to remove any personal biases towards either party, in order to focus upon the relationship itself.
In couple therapy, we will look for solutions to your struggles, charting the history of your relationship, and looking at your existing communication patterns, as well considering ways of improving these.
One aim of this kind of therapy is to develop, or rekindle, empathy for each other. In part, this might be achieved by listening to, and understanding, the motivations, personal history and internal processes of one another.
If two people have the desire, it is possible to improve a relationship, and therapy can provide the structure and direction to do so; however, this takes willingness and commitment from both parties. As part of this process, you will be invited as a couple to work on exercises between sessions, in order to enhance communication between you.
If you think you might benefit from couple therapy, please contact me to discuss, or to make an initial appointment.