Problems in relationships are one of the most common causes of unhappiness. If your relationship is in difficulty, if you are unhappy within it, or if you feel your partnership could be more satisfying, then couple therapy may be helpful for you.
You can come for an hour and a half initial consultation with your partner, or on your own. If you are in a couple, this meeting is designed as a mutual exploration of your relationship in the company of an impartial and experienced psychotherapist. Whether you are working through a particular conflict or crisis, or just want to address some of the bad habits that are so easy to fall into, a meaningful consultation can address your concerns. It can help you identify how to create stronger bonds between you, and deepen the trust and intimacy in your relationship.
If you choose to continue sessions beyond the initial consultation, couple therapy offers you an opportunity to explore your relationship in depth. Areas of conflict and difficulty can be identified and talked about without judgement or blame. Couple therapy can help you develop a deeper understanding of each other, improve the quality of your relationship, and help you create a more satisfying partnership for you both. It gives you the tools to communicate better, negotiate differences, solve problems between you, and even argue in a healthier way.
In couple therapy, the aim is to understand not just your immediate difficulties, but also the dynamics underlying them, that perpetuate problems and prevent you from resolving them. We each bring our own personal history into our relationships, and this can give rise to difficulties within the partnership. Without realising it, we may re-enact old patterns of relating in our current relationship, which are no longer appropriate or helpful. For this reason, I will be interested to hear about your family histories as well as your current situation.
Couple therapy is often sought at times of crisis in the relationship. It may also be helpful at points of adjustment or transition. Married couples, co-habiting partners and same sex relationships can all benefit. It can also help couples separate in the least damaging way, if that is the decision you choose.
Couple therapy usually involves weekly sessions which take place at the same time each week. To begin couple therapy both partners need to attend. Some couples are helped by a few sessions, for instance to help them over a crisis. Others may want or need longer term help.
If your relationship is in difficulty, but your partner does not wish to participate, you can come alone, and focus on your relationship within an individual therapy setting.