“We are never so vulnerable as when we love” (Freud)
When there is a crisis in a loving relationship, being vulnerable can feel overwhelming and intolerable. At this point people often feel they need the professional support of Couples Therapy. Some couples are seeking to find a way to overcome their problems and stay together; over the years I have developed an effective model of couples therapy which leads to couples enjoying more emotionally and sexually fulfilling relationships. Other couples who work with me feel they need to separate and make an ending. Either way, I will support you to find your way through the process. Whether the purpose – or outcome – is greater togetherness or making a separation, the challenges and pain that have to be faced are balanced with healing and growth.
How I can help
I provide relationship counselling for couples irrespective of your marital status, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. Each couple is unique whilst often having a need for closeness and belonging. As an experienced practitioner my work is particularly suitable for couples who have longstanding difficulties in their relationships and want to explore how they problems have arisen and what gets in the way of their ability to be intimate with each other.
My role is to help establish a confidential space where the conditions are safe enough for you to have honest, mutual dialogue about your relationship, and develop greater awareness of the dynamics being created between you. This helps you discover how problems arise and how to resolve them in order to move forward. As your therapist, I do not take sides, but am mindful to ensure equal support for each of you, and to help you find a way to communicate more successfully with each other and find your own solutions together.
I have worked specifically and effectively with:
- Intimacy issues, including sexual difficulties
- Poor communication
- Conflicts, arguments and anger issues
- Power struggle, blame and shame
- Breakdown in trust, jealousy, extra-marital affairs
- Stress due to issues at work, work-life balance or redundancy
- Parenting and parents-child communication
- Mediation and negotiation of issues connected to separation and divorce
- Brief interventions with couples in crisis
I find that the couples who come for relationship counselling or Couples Therapy are most definitely unique in how their unhappiness manifests. Emphasising the uniqueness of every human being is the cornerstone of Gestalt theory and practice, a core model in my way of working with couples. Also your experience and behaviour can only be understood in the context of a particular and unique situation. So our initial aim is to articulate what your situation means to you, and how unhappiness is affecting you.
The next step is to help you develop more nuanced insight into your patterns of relating, and learn what you do well and what leads to suffering. I will help you talk to each other, and, when necessary, challenge you to relate respectfully, with full empathy for your partner, to improve communication between you.
Together, we then create opportunities to change unhelpful patterns or behaviours both in the therapy room and outside in work between counselling sessions. You will be encouraged to try out new behaviours, modifying when necessary, and notice the positive changes that result. This educational, action-oriented dimension of learning and practising new skills is unusual in Couples Therapy, but very effective, and a key element in making positive, lasting change.
Our first meeting is an introductory session of about 1 ¼ hours, without obligation to continue in therapy. It is an opportunity for us to discuss your needs and for you to experience how I work.
Get in touch
When you feel ready, get in touch with me through one of the methods on the Contact page. I am happy to answer any questions you may have about my particular approach as a counsellor. If you ring, I have an answer phone where you can leave a confidential message and I will aim to return your call within 24 hours.