Modern life brings with it many challenges and stresses that impact on our lives both at work and at home. Many personal relationships start to crack under the strain.

Couples counselling can help you learn to communicate better and to listen to one another without feeling defensive or critical. You will learn and understand new and healthier ways of expressing difference and having useful, healthy conflict rather than launching familiar 'go nowhere' attacks on each other's character.

During sessions, you will be encouraged to see how you relate to each other and helped with ways to notice and change negative or 'stuck' patterns of behaviour. I will help you to understand each other's values, opinions, beliefs and also help you to challenge those same values, opinions and beliefs

After assessment and agreement of your goals, I suggest a minimum of a further 6 - 8 sessions. These may be weekly 60 minute sessions, or fortnightly sessions of either 60 or 90 minutes. I believe that for many couples, an hour can feel too short and create anxiety at the 'scarcity of time' and that weekly can feel a bit too overwhelming and intense. However, each couple will have a different requirement and I am flexible in finding a working arrangement that suits all.

Sometimes, following an initial conjoint assessment session, I will suggest that each partner comes for one individual session with me prior to couples counselling starting regularly. I usually suggest this if the relationship history seems particularly complicated or if there are complex childhood/historical problems which may be underpinning some of the difficulties now i one or both of the partners.

It is important to stress that I am not a magician or a talisman and can't 'fix' your relationship. This is a very active relationship that you commit to if you come and see me. My role is to guide you, to invite a deeper understanding of how, what and why you do what you do together and to help you find different and more life enhancing ways of being in your relationship. This takes effort and commitment on your part and without this, couples therapy is a waste of your time and money and can drift on indefinitely without much changing at home.

I will expect you to agree to putting into action ideas and suggestions that come up during your session and to talk about these at the start of your following session as to what has been happening between you in the days between.

Very importantly, couples therapy needs the active commitment of BOTH partners with 'skin in the game'. If only one of you wants to come to couples therapy, this won't be productive.

I can also help you to separate or divorce with dignity, mutual respect, collegiality and kindness towards each other, especially if there are children involved. It is not divorce itself that screws up your kids, it's the way that you handle the pain, anger, hurt and grief that determines whether your children quickly adapt to a new family set up or whether they are destablised or traumatised and consciously anxious about the emotional well being of their parents.

Here are some of the problems for which couples seek help:

  • feeling unappreciated; bored or 'stuck'; constant rows which go nowhere leaving both of you feeling angry and upset

  • the impact of discovering an affair; finding out whether you want to rebuild the relationship after an affair

  • conflicts over money; repercussions of redundancy

  • unresolved childhood issues that are impacting on you as a couple

  • help in separating and the impact on children

  • resolving different parenting styles; infertility and IVF issues

  • differing sexual needs and finding a compromise that works for both parties

  • bereavement and unresolved grief and loss

If you are interested in knowing more about the therapy process then please email me and I will send you some notes on the counselling process for couples which you may find helpful or ring me on 07956 614335.