LOVE sculpture by Alexandr Milov
A romantic relationship is one of the closest we have as humans. Choosing a partner and staying together through life's twists and turns is rarely simple.
The quality of our relationships profoundly affect how we feel about ourselves and our partner, it also has consequences for our lives and for those around us - our children, our capacity to work and to be fulfilled in work, and our physical and mental health.
“We now know that love is, in actuality, the pinnacle of evolution, the most compelling survival mechanism of the human species… Love is our bulwark, designed to provide emotional protection so we can cope with the ups and downs of existence… We need emotional attachments with a few irreplaceable others to be physically and mentally healthy - to survive.” Sue Johnson, Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love
There are important differences in the way individual counselling and relationship counselling is carried out.
In individual counselling or psychotherapy, the focus is on the development of a one-to-one relationship with the client to help them to explore and better manage their worries or concerns. Depending on the issue and type of therapy, this help may come in the form of support, information, guidance, self-knowledge and/or the space to learn and practice new tools.
In couples counselling or therapy there is usually an intense focus on improving the communication pattern between the couple. A trained relationship counsellor will keep the focus on the relationship, or the ‘in between’, not completely on one or the other of you but on what you make together... your relationship.
I am trained and experienced in both methods, so can work effectively with you whether you are seeking help for yourself or help for your relationship (the latter by attending alone or with your partner).
Of course there are often no neat divisions, and the problems are interlinked. It is through talking and exploring in a safe and supportive space that I will be able to understand your concerns and help you find solutions.
Counsellors need to be trained in each of these different types of therapy. Someone trained in individual counselling only is typically not adequately prepared to do couple counselling. Couples seeking help for their relationship would do well to check that their counsellor is qualified and experienced in couple work.
It is important that you feel comfortable with your counsellor. For this reason I offer a brief 10 minute telephone consultation prior to your first session free of charge. This way you can give me a brief overview of why you are seeking counselling and get a sense of how we might work together.
Call or email now to book your free 10-minute consultation.