Same Sex Relationship Counselling
There are many aspects of Same-Sex Couples Counselling that are similar to counselling for heterosexual couples.
Everyone faces challenges with everyday living and how these impact on their relationships. However, I consider the difference is that same-sex couples may face some different and ongoing challenges around cultural, family, work and social expectations.
Some of these challenges may be managing the assumptions of others about who you are, how you function and how your relationship operates.
As a result, you may be faced with challenges about whether or when to disclose your sexuality and relationship status in new work or social situations.
This range of challenges may create pressures on you as an individual and in relationship with another.
How Can Relationship Counselling Help?
You may be aware of a deficit narrative around being different. Or experience pressure to conform to stereotypes, which may limit your expression of who you are.
We keep on adding letters as a way of embracing the complexity of our community, LGBTQIPA. However, we all want the same thing. That is, to embrace our relationships naturally.
It is important that your Relationship counsellor is a good fit with each of you. And that you make the decision together to come to Relationship Counselling.
Whilst one person may initiate the process, both parties need to be willing to work on an agreed outcome. This may be to stay together, to separate, or to develop clarity about what you want.
Counselling within my supportive environment allows couples to explore and understand these challenges in an open and non-judgemental way.
I provide the opportunity to consider different ways of being in a relationship. All while honouring yourself and your partner and navigating cultural, social and family expectations.
What is Relationship Counselling for same-sex couples?
Relationship Counselling aims to develop a positive outlook on the challenges same-sex couples face in everyday life and in their relationships. Instead of re-hashing the problems in the same old way, we can deal with them in a new way. Which 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. As a team, you can then begin incorporating 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.
In order to identify which stage your relationship is at, we can use a model called Stepping Stones to Intimacy, which has been developed by US therapists and psychologists Ellyn Bader and Peter Pearson.
They identify typical stages that relationships go through:
- ‘Symbiotic bonding’ or ‘Love is Blind’.
- 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. This can result in 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. Resulting in whole relationship being greater than the parts.
Link to new blog on same-sex relationship counselling.
What happens in Relationship Counselling for same-sex couples?
Most people who seek Relationship Counselling want change in some important aspects of their relationship. Therefore, your change agenda is what we will be working on.
As your Relationship counsellor, l will help you to clarify what you want to achieve in addition to 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, explaining the process in order to provide a structure that enables each person to feel listened to and understood.
Additionally, I give a bit of coaching on the side to guiding the session. This is 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
- Manage emotions when hot topics are discussed
- Handle conflict under stress
- Manage any pressures from family, friends or work colleagues
- Feel more connected with their partner
- Improve intimacy
- Be themselves as an individual and as part of a couple
- Make decisions
What are the benefits of Relationship counselling for same-sex couples?
The benefits depend on a few factors. Including your commitment to wanting to stay in this relationship, an openness to your partner’s perspective, as well as 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 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. Some couples return for Relationship tune-ups or to tackle specific issues that have arisen or decisions they need to make as a couple.
Contact Linda for more information about Relationship Counselling online.
Request a booking for your first session of online Relationship Counselling or same-sex couples.
How should we prepare for Relationship Counselling?
Before our first session, I will send you a Pre-Consultation Questionnaire to complete individually. 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.