Emotionally Focused Counselling for Couples


Helping you Heal your Relationship Hurt

Do you keep saying to yourself?

“I don't feel valued anymore ”

"I'm so alone”

“Why can't we stop fighting?”

Everyone experiences relationship difficulties at some point in their life so you are not alone. Whether you are married, in a relationship or separated you are probably exhausted by the same painful arguments repeating themselves again and again with nothing being resolved.

You may be experiencing conflict in your relationship where anger, blame or criticism leave you feeling hurt or rejected and taken for granted by your partner.

Or maybe you are experiencing silence and a painful lack of physical or emotional closeness from your partner. You might be feeling upset and alone; too scared to say anything to your partner in case you get hurt.

Couple counselling with me can help to heal the hurt of painful relationships so you can feel secure, loved and supported once again.

If this sounds like what you are going through read on to find out how I can help you............

Couple or Marriage Counselling can help partners to stop the exhausting cycle of conflict and arguments where issues never seem to get resolved. Anger, blame and criticism can leave you feeling unsupported, insecure and lonely as you wonder how things could have got this bad.

You or your partner may cope with this conflict by withdrawing into silence or feeling resentment and anger about how you are being treated. Couple Counselling can help to break the destructive cycles of conflict so both parties can start to listen and hear one another again allowing for more healthy communication and a renewed feeling of connection and intimacy.

Instead of cycles of criticism, blame, arguing or silence, imagine being listened to and feeling that your partner really hears your worries and concerns.

I provide a safe, supportive and well structured Relationship Counselling service so that you have the opportunity to talk to one another in a new way and listen to each others' issues during the counselling sessions.

Being heard and supported by your partner is a powerful way of healing and repairing your relationship so you can be loving to each other again.

Wouldn't it feel great to be able to tell your partner what you really feel without worrying about their reaction? Giving feedback to your partner after listening to their point of view can help to reduce those reactive responses that all couples fall into at some point in their relationship.

I work with a range of couples of differing ages, backgrounds, nationalities and sexual orientation who are either married, living together, living apart or engaged.

You want to stop experiencing the following:

  • the constant conflict, blaming & criticising where rows never get resolved
  • the feeling of loneliness when you or your partner withdraws into silence
  • dissatisfaction at a lack lustre sex life where your needs are not met
  • never feeling supported or validated in the relationship
  • having an affair, becoming absorbed in a job or hobby as compensation
  • feeling jealous or not trusting your partner
  • feeling dependent upon the other person
  • feeling angry & frustrated about the relationship

If you are experiencing any of the above problems then read on to find out how couple or individual counselling can help support the changes you want to make

You want to start experiencing the following:

  • clear, effective communication where you are both heard and both feel validated.
  • arguments that get resolved bringing you closer together
  • a feeling of closeness, connection & intimacy with your partner based on trust
  • asking to have your needs met whilst listening to your partner's concerns
  • a renewed level of sexual or emotional intimacy
  • a new burst of energy and sense of fun
  • a sharing, committed relationship where each person's dreams & goals are accepted
  • greater self-esteem stemming from a love of yourself & your partner

What can you expect from your first session?

Naturally you may nervous or have some trepidation about attending couples counselling for the first time. Many people experience some apprehension before the session but soon relax and find the experience both supportive & beneficial.

The first session is a little different to the other ones as the therapist needs to get to know you both and understand the problems you have been experiencing.

I will ask you some questions about your concerns spending roughly equal time between the two of you.

You will have an opportunity to ask any questions about the process towards the end of the session.

Continuing sessions will involve you and your partner engaging in couple talk with the therapist helping you both to listen, give feedback and understand one another instead of getting caught up with your own reactions.

Previous clients have found having an objective, neutral and unbiased professional at hand to mediate their concerns has allowed them to express their wants & needs in an open and constructive manner.

Couples counsellors are trained to be unbiased in approach spending roughly equal time listening to and asking each partner for their concerns regarding their relationship.

You will have an equal opportunity to express your pain & hurt as well as exploring your needs & wants and how you would like the relationship to change.

While it might sound intimidating to go and speak to a professional about your relationship most couples who go in with an open mind and a willingness to address the issues in their partnership report a sense of relief at finally being able to share their concerns with another person.

Read the steps below to get an idea of how the first session will run........

  • You don't need to prepare or bring anything to the first session. The counsellor will have spoken to one of the partners already by telephone to get a sense of the issues affecting the relationship. You may want to think through some of the problems you have been experiencing and what you want to gain from couples counselling.
  • Some of the first session will involve the counsellor drawing up some boundaries with each of you to ensure the session is safe, well managed and beneficial for both parties. For example the counsellor may ask each person to address their comments to them rather than the other partner; this can help each partner to listen to the other whilst ensuring their own concerns are heard by the counsellor.
  • The counsellor will explain some policies to the couple including confidentiality & its limits, mandatory reporting for child abuse and their privacy policy as all counsellors need to ask permission from their clients to hold clients' personal information
  • You will be informed about the counsellor's cancellation policy, the fee and payment details alongside the counsellor asking you for some basic personal details such as your contact details
  • You will be told a little bit about the some of the approaches the counsellor will take; common methods include looking at the relationship as a whole and the patterns adopted by each partner, identifying when problems started to occur, the family relationship history & the circumstances that have bought you into counselling.
  • In the first session I will make a thorough assessment of your situation by asking you both the same questions and giving you some feedback at the end.  I will also ask you about your goals or aims and will provide you with some practical strategies and exercises that you can take home after the session.

So what type of questions will the therapist ask me?

Firstly the counsellor will ask you for a brief history of your relationship and ask you about some of the issues and problems you have been experiencing.

In the first session some of the typical questions may be:

  • What has bought you to couples counselling today?
  • What happens when you try to talk to your partner about your concerns?
  • When did you first start experiencing problems in your relationship?
  • What sense do you make of your partner's behaviour?
  • How does the problem you are experiencing show itself?

The counsellor will seek to understand the current problems experienced by you both whilst getting an overall of the historical context of your partnership. An experienced counsellor will narrow down the focus to identify the main concerns impacting your relationship.

By the end of the session you should be feeling more at ease and be left with a clear sense of hope that your relationship can move forward.

What happens in subsequent sessions?

Couples Counselling is a structured and well organised process where the therapist and clients work together to agree on suitable strategies to achieve success. There is a clear path to be followed with the sessions usually taking place on a weekly basis.

In a typical session the counsellor will ask the two of you to speak to each other about your concerns; one of you will be the speaker and the other will listen and give feedback. You will both have the opportunity to be the speaker and the listener during the session.

Making sure you feel comfortable and relaxed and providing a safe environment for couples to express their deepest concerns is my overall aim. You will have the opportunity to tell your side of the story concerning the problems and issues you are experiencing in the relationship. You will be given the opportunity to disagree with your partner and your opinion will be listened to.

Some typical tasks might include:

  • Re-visiting a recent argument you both had and talking about it in a different way
  • Sharing your feelings with your partner
  • Discussing difficult topics together that have never been resolved
  • Identifying any patterns of behaviour in the relationship like withdrawing or getting angry
  • Practising assertiveness & asking for what you want
  • Identifying your needs & how they can be met in the relationship
  • Listening to your partner's needs and wants whilst giving feedback to them
  • Linking your past family relationship history with your current relationship

The counsellor will offer you some feedback throughout the session regarding your relationship and how the session is going. You will often be asked to complete some tasks at home between sessions to help maximise the effectiveness of the therapy.  An example would be to do something special for the other person or spend ten minutes completing an activity together. The counsellor will ask you to give feedback about the homework in the next session to see how you went.

How many sessions of counselling should we have?

I use a short term approach to couples counselling with anywhere between 8-20 sessions. Most of my clients come  on a weekly basis and then may opt to come less frequently or a few months down the track for a refresher session.

The length of counselling depends upon many factors including the nature of the couples' issues, the degree of severity, whether external support is available, financial and personal commitment to the process.

Ultimately it depends upon you and your partner's needs and the pace you would like to work at.

By the end of your therapy you will have a range of strategies in place to manage conflict, maintain intimacy and feel validated in your relationship.

You will need to give the therapist at least one session's advanced notice of your intention to finish the counselling so closure for both parties can be achieved in a final meeting.