Why relationships are important


Good relationships are an integral part of our lives and contribute to a meaningful life and our sense of fulfilment. They are as important to our wellbeing and survival as food and water. If they go wrong, our health suffers and sometimes leaves us feeling lonely and disappointed. The better our relationships work the healthier and happier we are.

What defines a good relationship


Good communication, trust and mutual respect. Being able to listen non-judgmentally, understanding each other’s needs and values. Being mindful of your words and actions and taking care not to let your negative emotions affect your partner.

The ability to acknowledge each other and make your partner feel special and valued. Trust is essential for forming strong bonds and without it relationships are unlikely to survive. Being honest and open with others enables you to connect deeply and strengthen the relationship making the bonds long-lasting.

Relationship issues


Many couples experience difficulties at some point in their relationship. It might be betrayal caused by infidelity that sometimes leads to the end of a relationship, however many people will want to work through their painful feelings and rebuild the relationship.

Counselling can be helpful in the case of divorce or separation as it provides an opportunity for a break up to be explored before a final decision is made. In some cases it may be possible to save the relationship or if this is not possible it helps couples to get closure and move forward in their lives in a way that is healthy for them and their children if they have any. If parents separate acrimoniously children can be badly affected. Counselling can help couples to see that being angry or blaming the other person can leave deep wounds and scars both in themselves and others close to them, particularly their children.

How you can recognise that therapy might be helpful


Sometimes couples can no longer deal with their problems by themselves. There’s often a sense that they have reached stalemate. Disagreements are never resolved and the habitual dynamic seems to be re-enacted time and again.
The relationship might feel stale, and that the spark has gone out. You may be taking each other for granted or you might even be leading separate lives or even having an affair.

Sometimes there is a big issue such as money, sex, work or family life about which you can’t get your partner to see your viewpoint.
Sometimes the relationship feels like more of a practical arrangement for co-habiting or bringing up children rather than a romantic or deeply caring one.

Deciding to come to couples counselling


Some people find it more daunting to start couples counselling than individual therapy. Instead of letting a non-judgemental and supportive stranger into your innermost thoughts and feelings, your partner will be sitting in the seat next to you ready to disagree with your opinions. He or she knows so much about you from having known you a long time and shared their life with you that revealing your secrets and laying bare your soul can leave you feeling particularly exposed and vulnerable.

There might be the additional fear that the truth will upset or hurt your partner and make a bad situation even worse. Once people overcome their initial apprehensions they find it a great relief that something is at last being done to improve the situation. Sometimes too, the fact that our partner is agreeing to counselling is seen as proof that he or she cares.

Couples can often make changes to their relationship quite quickly and therefore fewer sessions are needed than individual therapy and they soon begin to support each other through the necessary changes to their relationship.

What to expect from a counselling session


I try to get a picture of your respective family background and look at any social or cultural differences that might affect your attitudes, values and expectations of relationships. I ask about the history of your relationship and what drew you to each other in the first place. I look at significant events during the course of the relationship such as the birth of any children which could have had an impact and caused changes in the way you relate to each other. We look at life goals and individual needs, highlight any personality clashes or differences in interests or life styles. Finally we look at the triggers for disagreements and the causes of any resentments towards your partner.

I see my role as a collaborator and try to reflect back to you what I see in terms of your body language and tone of voice when interacting with each other. If either of you becomes defensive, tries to avoid or deny something their partner has said, I can point it out by holding up a mirror to you both. I also ensure you each have equal opportunity to express yourself and to be heard.

I try to teach better communication skills and help people to listen, be empathetic and less critical of their partner so that they will be more understanding and respectful of each other.

I encourage you to come and talk to me about any issues your may be experiencing. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain. In the best case it will save your relationship before the cracks become too deep or if you decide to separate it can help you do so more amicably.

Short & Long Term counselling

in MIll Hill NW7 2EZ

07904 685282