There are times when couples really struggle to communicate and lose the closeness they once shared. They can become angry with each other and feel resentful and misunderstood. There may be reasons the relationship has changed which can be difficult to understand and hard to manage.
When couples are unhappy, often their sexual relationship can be affected leading to a loss of desire in one or both partners, causing further difficulties. At times like this it can make sense to seek couples counselling before the relationship really suffers.
I have worked with couples for over nineteen years. I trained with the national couples agency Relate and after a few years began to see couples privately, in my own practice. So I have built up a solid wealth of experience of the sort of issues that can cause relationships to deteriorate. Problems can include:
- An Affair
- Lack of Trust
- Communication Problems
- Jealousy and Rows
- Anger and Abuse
- Parenthood Conflicts
- Inter-racial differences
My style of working with couples is to be a mediator; to provide a safe, neutral place for difficult subjects to be explored and to encourage calm discussions about the changes that would improve the relationship. I may suggest that couples practice these changes between sessions, through “homework” and further discussion.
Through a supportive and non-judgemental collaboration with the couple, gently guiding them to consider how they could learn to hear each other again, I aim to help them recognise the hurt that has been caused, to begin to forgive and to negotiate a better pattern of behaviour with each other – and learn to respect and love one other again.
Couples counselling can help to change destructive patterns of behaviour, show how it might be possible to develop new relationship skills and learn to have fun together again. With encouragement, through counselling, the loss of a sex life can be addressed with sensitivity and understanding so that sex can become enjoyable once more.
Sometimes couples can feel able to manage with a few counselling sessions but when the problems are more deep rooted, longer term counselling may be necessary.