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Couples Counselling.

Often people assume that couples counselling means a relationship is in severe crisis. They may think that it means the end of the relationship is coming. Or they may even feel that it is already over.  At times individuals can fear sitting in front of a couple’s therapist or worry about someone else being involved in their relationship. You will often hear the words ‘we don’t need someone else to help us with our problems’. 

Sadly because of these misconceptions many couples don’t enter the therapy room when they need too. One partner may have been asking another to try therapy for months – sometimes even years. Another may keep saying no and dismissing the idea. Sometimes by the time one person agrees with the other to try the therapy – it is sadly too late.

There are many reasons why relationships start to break down. And there are many things that couples often need to work though.  Relationships are complicated and often people don’t acknowledge and realise the amount of effort and nurturing that needs to go into them.

Individuals can often take relationships for granted. Or they can assume that the person closest to them will always be there, no matter what.   In addition to this people sometimes assume that they know what their partner is feeling or thinking. The reality is they may not know at all. Many individuals often feel ignored, shut down, left behind or taken for granted. It is when this happens that relationships can break down. 

Another big issue in relationships is expectations.  People can often expect the people around them to know what they want and know what they need.  But if this isn’t effectively communicated, then people will never know how they truly feel.  Individuals can for example often feel let down, and as though no one cares, or no one is listening to them.  However, perhaps they are struggling to assert themselves, or to communicate what it is that they actually need. 

When people don’t talk about what they need communication then shuts down. As a result, relationships slowly erode, and individuals can start to feel neglected.  Partners can end up falling out or feeling let down and hurt in some way.  They can get frustrated and annoyed with one another, leaving them feeling resentful and upset. 

All of this can raise stress levels.  Sometimes people can feel betrayed and at times let down so deeply that they may turn to another person for comfort. Sometimes this can even lead to affairs starting – both physical and emotional ones. 

Relationships are hard to maintain, and they require a lot of nurturing and effort.  Without this they start to break down and a huge amount of pain can follow.  Open communication is key.  People need to talk to one another.  It sounds relatively simple, but talking is one of the biggest things that people often struggle with. 

Often couples come into therapy saying, ‘I find it so hard to say how I feel’ or ‘I don’t know how to ask for what I need’.  Sometimes people don’t feel heard or valued. Or they may feel so insecure and low in themselves that they take it out on their partner.   

In addition to communication and effort, respect and trust are of course vital parts of a relationship.  This doesn’t just mean trusting that your partner won’t be unfaithful. It means trusting them to be there for you, to listen to you, to support you and to truly hear you.

It means knowing that they are there for you no matter what. Often couples talk about the fact that they don’t feel valued in the relationship, or they don’t feel heard or respected. This can do so much damage to the relationship and sometimes the other partner is even aware of it.

In addition to the dynamics between a couple, we also have to take into account people’s history. Whether that is ex partners or family dynamics growing up. These past relationships are key and they can have a huge impact on the way someone engages in their current relationship.

If a person has gone through a lot in the past, then they may have developed destructive patterns as a form of coping.  For example, they may self-medicate with alcohol, drugs, or develop issues with food or exercise for example.  If individuals have never dealt with the pain or difficulty of the past then they are likely to bring it in to their present relationship.

The result of this is that patterns keep repeating. They end up feeling let down, lonely and wondering why things never work out.  Sometimes they feel that they have failed, and that relationships haven’t worked out.  Often people will blame themselves for relationships breaking down and find it hard to understand what happened. 

Couples counselling can really help people to understand their relationship patterns, and why they are there. It can look at the way individuals act and behave in the relationship.  It can help both partners to make sense of the way that they relate, to look at the things that they expect and want, and it can help them to understand more about the way they are in the relationship. 

After this level of understanding has developed, couples counselling can then, in turn, help people to change any destructive patterns that may have developed in the relationship. It can also help individuals to start challenging themselves, and the way that they have acted, and to then move forward with their relationship in a different way.  The goal of which would be a healthier and fulfilling relationship.

Couples counselling gives couples an objective space with a trained and experienced professional.  A space where they can explore their feelings, fears, and concerns. Where they can both be truly heard and valued. It provides a neutral person who can step in and unpick destructive and unhelpful patterns. It gives the opportunity to settle any anger, to let go of any pain and to start finding a better way of communicating together. It provides the chance to develop more respect, honesty and it enables couples to make active positive changes. Allowing them to positively move forward.

Couples counselling doesn’t need to be the last resort. Make it the first step – the one needed to improve your relationship. The step that brings you and your partner closer together, and in turn enables you to have a more fulfilling and meaningful relationship.

If you or anyone you know is struggling with any issues in relationships then please get in touch with us 07590 663938 or

One of our team would be really happy to see you and to help.