This is an area of counselling I am passionate about. Not just because it is well suited to my training and experience, but because I see how many relationships end or struggle needlessly.
Many arrive feeling angry, controlled, frustrated, unappreciated, tired of the arguments or with nonexistent communication, the sparks having faded, and feeling like roommates or lonely, and yet go on to have a stronger relationship, than if they had never had their problems in the first place.
Whilst there is no road map to what is right for all, as each couple want something different, what I do know is that when we replace judgement with understanding of each other and ourselves, and combine this with a respectful and open conversation it is possible to find answers you didn’t think possible, and make the lasting changes you want for yourselves.
I have an approach which is both comprehensive and sensitive knowing how tough it can be to talk about what is very private and no interest whatsoever in who has done what or taking sides or finger pointing. My only interest is your relationship.
I will help you make the changes you want in the room:
I will teach you advanced communication skills. These will enable you to listen to each other in ways that ensure your concerns are heard and understood, and to be able to respond to each other in ways that bring you closer, create intimacy and can keep even the most difficult of conversations flowing to a solution.
All relationships go through different stages of development. It doesn’t matter if you have been together for 6 months or 20+ years. Sometimes life and family come along and delay any changes. During these times partners can often feel their partner is changing or doesn’t care, when this isn’t the case. I will help you understand the different stages and how to support each other through them.
Triggers & Individual patterns
When you communicate and in your daily lives there will be some things you say and do which create negative reactions in each other. I will help you identify these and show you how to avoid the negative patterns. Although hard to see for ourselves, these are mostly to do with what is in us and nothing to do with the relationship, even when they appear to be that they are.
These will often appear as anxiety, control, angry reactions, shouting, walking away, feeling misunderstood, slamming doors or withdrawing from each other.
Wounds and repairing damage
It may be that words have been said or you have done something to hurt your partner and break trust. It is important these are addressed up front because without healing it isn’t possible to make progress. I will help you to know how to support each other during these times so you can repair the damage.
There are three in your relationship. You, your partner and your relationship. Think of it as a flower. If you do not feed it what it needs, whilst it might limp along it will eventually whither and die. I will help you work out how to have enough of what you individually need, and be able to feed your relationship without it becoming a competition.
None of all the above matters if you cant make real change happen. That’s why my approach is to make change happen in the room, and keep it going with exercises and ways you can continue to go forward between sessions.
If you have the desire and willingness to put in the work I am confident you can bring your relationship to a place of trust, affection, fun, feeling supported and intimacy. Why am I confident? Because I see how this is possible no matter where couples start from.
If you would like to find out more, or if I can help you, please feel free to contact me for an initial informal conversation. We can do this face to face, by phone or video link.