“Couples” in this context includes adult siblings and parents with adult children.
Couples often come to counselling when they are in a state of crisis brought about by an event or because they feel they simply can’t communicate effectively with each other anymore. This can be to do with other people, external events or illness, or simply the reality of being two different people with different norms, expectations and ideas. This can lead to increasing distance and misunderstanding which the parties can’t seem to bridge by themselves. Often this space is full of hurt, anger, mistrust, pain and blame. This is the time when it can be extremely useful to meet in a neutral space with a third independent party who can help to listen, make sense of and offer guidance and suggestions as to how to come back together again, or indeed, to separate in a contained way.
Couple counselling can be an extremely helpful space in which to identify events, feelings, beliefs, misunderstandings and patterns of behaviour which contribute to the present difficulties. Many couples report that being in the calm contained presence of an impartial third party, and the offer of insight into what is going on, has helped them to move out of their impasse.
I see couples for short and long term work. I adopt a relational, conversational style aiming to help all parties feel heard and understood. I do not judge as I find that all perspectives are valid and need to be considered. Theoretically, I am informed by the systemic and psychodynamic modalities as well as CBT and emotionally focused therapy. Over time new ways of communicating and behaving can be brought about with greater understanding and tolerance. Couple work requires the willingness of both partners to engage in the process and is not about me “fixing” the relationship, or taking sides.
Occasionally, one or both of the parties may be experiencing other difficulties in their life which may have caused or contributed to the current difficulties in relating. These issues would also, where appropriate, be brought into the counselling, but sometimes it can be helpful for that person to have concurrent individual therapy with someone else.
Diploma in Couple Counselling from the Relate Institute
Certificate in Psychosexual Relations from the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relations (TCCR)
Further training in psychodynamic couple work at TCCR
Certificate in Mediation