As a trained couples counsellor, I believe that many couples seek out counselling when they are finding life difficult and stressful and they need some time and space – and support from a trained individual – in order to have a look at what is, or isn’t going on in their relationship.
It can be a difficult and fraught decision to go in to counselling and couples tend to turn to counselling when they themselves feel fraught and under pressure or even if they want a Love MOT, a contained space to work out what they need to support their ongoing relationship. My role as a counsellor is to support the couple in order for them to feel safe, contained and listened to by me, themselves and each other. During difficult times, it is easy for the relationship to come under strain. I see my role as being supportive, empathetic and helpful – I facilitate the relationship between the couple to be paid some attention. In many ways, it is the relationship between the two people that is the client. It is a safe place in which the couple, with my support, can have the space to work through whatever they need to.
I am here to help couples explore areas that may be difficult – the work/life balance, self-esteem issues individually and within a couple relationship, family issues and all the other myriad areas than can trigger deep responses within ourselves that then come to the fore in our relationships.
I work in whatever way the couple finds more comfortable. I am led by the couple, not by an abiding overriding therapeutic model. I work within the remits and boundaries that the couple agree on so that everyone in the room feels safe and valid.
I not only help support couples in difficult times but also am happy to work with couples who want some help with how to maintain their relationship and nourish each other. As one client said to me, “we are surviving not flourishing.” He came to me with his wife because they were committed to finding more energy and warmth in their relationship – to flourish, in fact.
In my practice, I have helped support couples in many ways – some want to look at a particular issue, some want a space in which to look at problems in their relationship in a more general way. Some wish to look at specific areas of potential conflict and general misunderstandings between them and communication is always a key issue.