However we can fall back into patterns that seem to make things worse even though we desperately want them to be better.
Couples counselling can help you to explore better ways of relating to each other, and help to interrupt the blame cycle that many relationships end up going round and round in. That treadmill can leave us feeling misunderstood, unappreciated, hurt, angry, a failure and wanting someone to agree with us that the other person is in the wrong. Both people get to feel worse and worse until someone capitulates or walks out. Neither usually offers a good resolution.
To obtain substantial benefit from couples work:
- Both of you need to be committed. If you set up a session just in the hope that your partner will come, the odds are s/he won’t be there with both body and mind.
- You need to be able to reflect on your process after the sessions – together would be good.
However, sometimes couples work is initially undertaken in individual therapy as you seek to understand what the dynamic is between you and your partner and what you bring to the situation. Until you get to that place you often assume that the anguish you feel is just caused by your partner – and if you’re both in that place it can be very unenlightened and quite destructive. Once you are individually clearer, then that may be a better time to see a therapist together.
If there is a history of violence in your relationship and/or you are scared of your partner it may be better to attend individual therapy, where you feel safe to explore your options.
Couples counselling can also give couples who have decided to separate the support to do so as amicably and constructively as possible.
When an unusual or abnormal event or loss affects the relationship this can ask more of both partners than they have previous experience of dealing with. This can be a challenge, but the benefits of working through something requiring a deeper level of awareness can open up more openness and trust, making for wonderful deeper connections than have been previously experienced.
Life throws some shattering things at us from time to time. The death of a child is an extreme example of something that will often cause the relationship to break down unless the partners can find a mutual language to address the depth of feeling they both have. With counselling support relationships have found a new life together in ways they couldn’t have envisaged. The memory is always there but the traumatic side of that can be transformed.
These will often appear in parallel to emotional difficulties as it is difficult to feel a strong desire or be turned on by someone when you are struggling to trust each other or even properly listen to each other. However if the focus seems to be more on your sexual relationship and you’d like to see a specialist counsellor then phone 0121 429 1758 and ask to see Evette, the psychosexual counsellor, in complete confidence.
If you want to see an individual counsellor, a couples counsellor or a specialist psychosexual counsellor then click here.