Relationship CounsellingUnlike individual counselling where the focus is on the client, with a couple the focus is on your relationship.
With this in mind it is important to stress that I will only see a couple together, if one of you can’t attend then the session will be postponed until you are both able to come.
It helps to have an idea of what you want to achieve from counselling and if possible for you both to come with a willingness to participate and be open to change. It is not a passive process, so one party can't come expecting the counsellor to fix their partner for them. Couple counselling will examine what contribution you are both making to the relationship both positive and negative.
It can be a challenging process and sometimes uncomfortable but many couples have stated that the confidential and contained nature of the process makes it easy for them to speak freely and they learn much about each other.
Counselling is not always about staying together but rather a way of improving your communication with each other. You could use couple counselling to facilitate divorce or relationship break up so that the relationship doesn't become rancorous.
I use the concepts of Transactional Analysis (TA) to explain and examine your relationship and I may suggest further reading or homework exercises if it is likely to help. Couple counselling is rarely long term work, (6-12 sessions) and I normally ask couples to commit to a minimum four week contract in order to establish a good working relationship with me and to achieve some understanding and insight.
Often it is easier to resort to old ways of doing things and counselling is a challenge but if you persevere, even when you are tired, embattled and feeling unloved, you should experience improvement in your relationship.
Couple counselling need not always be with partners, any relationship can respond to counselling; it could be a sibling relationship, a parent/child relationship perhaps even a friendship that has become conflicted.