Whether you have been married for 50 years, or have only known each other for a few months, couples counselling provides a space for open and honest conversations about things that perhaps aren't working quite as well as they could be between you. Frequently addressed topics include affairs/cheating, communication issues, re-occurring arguments, financial stressors, commitment issues, work/life balance, working with a sexual focus, dealing with sexual difficulties, loss of intimacy and division of labour, to name a few. Regardless of how minor or major your issues seem, or the nature of the problem, couples counselling can help you unpick, process, and decide on a way forward.
Whatever your couple dynamic looks like, whether you are straight, gay, transgender, living together or not, married or not, younger or older, couples counselling supports you both equally and facilitates an environment for you both to be heard and listened to.
Initially, the three of us will meet together to discuss your main presenting issues, and this will be your first ongoing couples session. Following this, it can also be beneficial for each member of the couple to have a session individually. This allows you to have a full session focussed on yourself, to raise anything that we haven't addressed yet; and if there is something you want to say to your partner/bring to the couple work but don't quite know how to, we can discuss ways to raise it.
These individual sessions are treated in complete confidence, and any topics you raise will not be brought to the couple work unless you wish to do so. Although these individual sessions can happen at any time during the course of the therapy, I usually suggest they have most benefit early in our time together. So usually sessions 2 and 3 are individual sessions, followed by ongoing sessions as a couple.
Sometimes couples coming to see me have already made the decision that their relationship is over, whether that be the thoughts of one or both parties. Couples counselling can also help to support and ease the ending of a relationship on the best terms possible. It provides a space to address the raw emotions often surrounding such a difficult time and, where relevant, identifies the next steps that might need to be taken on a practical level.