Relationship Counselling is for couples who want to build the strength of their relationship and manage recurring issues in a constructive way.
Developing intimacy and trust are key concerns for many couples. A guided conversation around some of these issues can be productive.
As a result, relationship counselling can lead to new insights and understandings. It paves the way for a more healthy and productive style of communication.
It is important that your Relationship counsellor is a good fit with each of you. Additionally, you must make the decision together to come to Relationship Counselling.
Whilst one person may initiate the process, both need to be willing to work on an agreed outcome. Is the desired outcome to stay together, to separate, or to develop clarity about what you want?
What is Relationship Counselling?
Relationship Counselling aims to develop a positive outlook on the challenges couples face. In contrast to re-hashing the problems in the same old way, we deal with them in a new way. This approach considers the dynamics of the situation and acknowledges that each individual’s perspective is valid.
The aim of Relationship Counselling is for you to be able to understand and validate your partner’s perspective. And, as a team, incorporate both perspectives into your lives together.
Developing an understanding of what makes a healthy relationship is important for individual growth and the growth of your relationship. In a healthy relationship you feel safe, secure, supported, independent and connected.
When your relationship is working at its best, each person has the capacity for individual growth whilst nurturing the relationship.
To identify which stage your relationship is at, we can use a model called Stepping Stones to Intimacy. This model was developed by US therapists and psychologists Ellyn Bader and Peter Pearson.
They identify ‘Symbiotic bonding’ or ‘Love is Blind’ typical stages that relationships go through:
- After each individual re-emerges from this cocoon, the Rose-Coloured Glasses may come off to reveal things you may not like about your partner. There may be disappointment and anxiety about how to manage these differences. As tensions arise, relationships may break or make it, evolving into a more connected partnership.
- Whilst focusing more on your individual pursuits, your relationship may take a back seat at this point, which can be a challenge in a relationship.
- Re-connection and deeper levels of intimacy occur as each person accepts and respects the other’s differences.
- Synergy. There is an easy flow between who you are as an individual and as a couple, and the whole relationship is greater than the parts.
What happens in Relationship Counselling?
Most people who seek Relationship Counselling in order to achieve change in some important aspects of their relationship. Your agenda is what we will be working on, so firstly we will focus on your change agenda.
As your Relationship counsellor, l will help you to clarify what you want to achieve and what prompted the decision to come.
If you’re unclear about what you want from your relationship, or whether you want to stay together, we will explore what each of you needs right now before embarking on the process of Relationship Counselling.
Sometimes it may be beneficial to have an individual session if there is something particular you want to explore and then to share this with your partner.
Couples sessions are 70 minutes. As your Relationship counsellor, I set the scene for our sessions. I explain the process and provide a structure that enables each person to feel listened to and understood.
I give a bit of coaching on the side as well as guiding the session, based around what you want to achieve and our goals for the session. In between sessions there may be some negotiated partner exercises to help you communicate in a different way about some of the recurring issues.
Couples typically come for Relationship Counselling for help with How To:
- Improve the quality of their relationship
- Improve their communication
- Communicate under stress and resolve conflicts
- Feel more connected with their partner
- Improve intimacy
- Manage emotions within themselves and in the other person
- Be themselves as an individual and part of a couple
- Make Decisions
What are the benefits of Relationship Counselling?
The benefits depend on a few factors. Such factors include your commitment to wanting to stay in this relationship, an openness to your partner’s perspective, and a willingness to adopt some new behaviours in service of a more harmonious relationship.
Many couples have reported quick and positive changes in the areas they have sought help with.
Couples also report that they value the new understandings they have about themselves and their partners. As a result, many couples have continued to develop their intimacy and connection well after Relationship counselling has ceased.
On the other hand, some couples return for Relationship tune-ups or to tackle specific issues that have arisen or decisions they need to make as a couple.
How should we prepare for Relationship Counselling?
Before our first session, I will send you a Pre-Consultation Questionnaire to complete individually before our session. I’ll also include a few questions to think about individually, and to share with your partner in our session. My Privacy and Confidentiality Policy will be attached to the email.
We will explore the main reasons for you seeking Relationship Counselling and identify any recurring issues. We identify your strengths as a couple and explore the bigger picture of how you’d ideally like this relationship to be.
I look forward to working with you both soon, Linda
Request a booking for your first online Relationship Counselling session.