I very much believe that, if you’re in a happy, loving, intimate relationship, you can weather pretty much any storm that comes your way and pretty much anything life has to throw at you. But if you’re not happy in your relationship, then you’re just not happy, full stop. No amount of money, rewarding work, academic, career or business achievement, or other sources of pleasure, can make up for an unhappy relationship.
If you’re looking for relationship or couples counselling, it could be that you and your partner are arguing about the stupidest things and these rows can quickly escalate into something nasty. Or perhaps your relationship feels stale, and if the two of you were not so busy leading separate lives, you feel you would die of boredom. Sometimes there is a big issue, such as money, sex, infidelity, bereavement, in-laws or children, about which you cannot get your partner to understand you, or even listen to your point of view. You, or your partner, might be ready to give up altogether on any hope that you can make things better and put things right.
There’s a common belief that in relationships, and in life, that “Love is All You Need”. But more important than love is understanding. In couples counselling, you’ll learn where your relationship has gone wrong, and how to put it right, so you can have the loving, fulfilling and happy relationship you’ve always wanted, but perhaps never dared to hope for.
What can you expect?
At looking-glass counselling, we will work together to understand the roots of your relationship problems, explore your options together and help you gain insights into your personal situation while teaching you healthy communication skills to keep your discussions focused and fair.
Couples Counselling will provide:
Opportunities to discuss what you each see as the problems, as well as strengths, in your relationship and examine existing patterns. Often there are long-standing issues that are causing current problems.
In-depth discussion of your personal backgrounds and experiences, including your history as a couple together, what you saw in each other in the first place and where you are today.
Understanding your feelings, building your emotional awareness, and enhancing your skills in problem solving through effective communication
Looking at your own personal behaviour and what needs to change for the relationship to withstand current and future issues.
Work on one or two specific problems you would like to solve, or the entire atmosphere of your relationship.
Couples Counselling can Help:
Rebuild trust & understanding
Understand relationship obstacles and how to overcome them
Improve collaboration and resolve conflicts
What's stopping you?
Although you’re unhappy, or you know your partner is unhappy, which makes you unhappy, you might also feel that you or your partner are not unhappy enough for you to need to do anything about it. You might hope that, in time, things will change. But most problems have a corrosive effect and, over time, the rot sets in. It’s much more likely, if you put off taking action, that you’ll leave it for so long, that one of you will have given up all hope. Don’t make this mistake.
Beginning any form of counselling is nerve-racking, but in my experience, people find it harder to start relationship or couples counselling than individual therapy. It can be hard enough to get your head around the idea of exposing your inner-most thoughts and feelings to a stranger, albeit one you trust will be supportive and non-judgemental, but even more daunting is the prospect of your partner being in the seat next to you, ready to react to and possibly rubbish what you feel you want to say! You might be afraid that the truth will hurt your partner and threaten the relationship, and so you've been withholding your true feelings, or keeping a big secret, thinking you’re protecting them and the relationship. But, deep down, you know that, whatever it is that isn't being said, it’s hanging in the air between you and tearing your relationship apart. If you're honest with yourself, you're desperate to clear the air between you, but you just don't know how. I can help you.
If you can gather your courage and put aside your fears about entering relationship or couples counselling, the rewards for you both can be life-changing. In many cases, couples get an immediate short-term boost, just from the sense of relief that something is finally being done.
When I finish counselling and ask couples to look back over their therapy, most admit that, although they knew I was trained to be impartial, they feared I would side with their partner. If this is your fear, then it will soon become clear that my responsibility is to the relationship, and both of you will get equal time, attention and understanding.