Couples Counselling: Does relationship and marriage counselling work?Couples counselling allows you and your partner to bring difficult conversations to a safe space. In couples counselling you each get a chance to express how you feel without being shouted down or attacked. If you and your partner keep having the same arguments and rows – or maybe it’s even reached the point where you are considering divorce or separation – then couples counselling (also referred to as marriage and relationship counselling) can offer a safe and useful space to explore the issues and find resolution.
Marriage Problems: a sign of our times..Modern relationships are complex: the social revolution that occurred in the latter part of the 20 th century has radically changed the way we live our lives – couples face much greater pressures than existed a generation ago, and this has resulted in a need for us to make a significant shift in our expectations of what being in a relationship means. Today’s relationships can take many different forms – whilst some engage in a formal marriage or civil partnership, many couples will live as either full-time or part time cohabiting couple. Many people will find themselves experiencing a ‘portfolio of relationships’ through the life-span as the notion of ‘life long committed monogamy’ becomes less common as a relationship pattern, and the demands and opportunities of modern life and work force couples to negotiate new challenges to the ’till death us do part’ aspect of traditional marriage. If you are seeking marriage counselling (or these days more commonly called couples counselling) or just need help with marriage and relationship problems, counselling offers you a space to talk more safely about the things that are causing tension between you. Couples counselling can help you understand where the difficulties are in your relationship and help you work toward understanding each other’s needs – working with a skilled relationship therapist, the counselling room offers you a useful space to overcome the blocks to communication you’ve been experiencing and find a way forward, even when the situation seems impossible.
How does couples relationship counselling work?Relationship counselling offers you a neutral arena to work together with this impartial facilitator to find a way forward. Invariably it will involve both parties looking at what they each bring to the relationship and to the ‘problem’. As a relationship counsellor, my role is to help you each establish where the unmet needs lie in your relationship, and to explore with you both how to find a way forward that helps you both move on to a happier future: sometimes that will be about repairing the relationship, and sometimes my role becomes one of helping couples accept the need to move on respectfully, working to negotiate a constructive separation.
How much does couples counselling for relationship problems cost?Separation and divorce is an expensive process – generally running into thousands: relationship and couples counselling can help you make that a less painful and expensive process if separation is necessary. However, since relationship counselling typically takes less than six sessions (and thereby typically just a few hundred pounds) you can find the investment well worth it, particularly if it helps you return to living contentedly together.
Here are some useful resources: The books will help you learn how to get better understanding in your relationship:
- Relationship Worksheet
- Three exercises to engage in to assess the value and meaning of your relationship
- Relationship Assessment Tool
- Try this questionnaire to identify the strengths and gaps in your relationship.
- Parental Conflict
- Why staying together ‘for the sake of the kids’ can do more harm than good
- Recognise domestic violence
- Children and young people must be protected from the harmful effects of marital conflict
- Get support to deal with domestic violence and abuse
- Living in fear of your partner is harmful for you and your children
- The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
- How you argue will determine the success or failure of your relationship.
- Seven common reasons for marital affairs.
- Seven of the most common drivers or situations leading to infidelity.
- Understand his behaviour and motivation
- Why his possessiveness and jealousy are a big sign of trouble not love
- Spot the warning signs of trouble
- Does your partner threaten or humiliate you when they get angry.
- Falling In Love
- Whats wrong with how we fall in love?
- My Brain
- What happens to my brain when I ‘fall in love’?
- Why Prince Charming won’t change
- Fairy tales and nightmares
- Midlife Reflection
- Why midlife can be a time for reflection and reappraisal of relationship needs.
- Relationship Myths
- Relationship myths – are you sure you’re having a real relationship with a real person?
- Anger – working with anger in relationships.
- Men Are From Mars; Women From Venus
Boys and girls are raised differently particularly with regard to emotional expression. This book offers a useful analogy to work from to understand the difference in communication strategies that are taught to children growing up and how this effects their adult relationships.
- Being Intimate
This book explores the blocks to intimacy and how to overcome them to develop better closeness and emotional attunement.
- Stop Arguing, Start talking
This book offers practical strategies to help reduce aggressive and dysfunctional conflict in relationships. Written by RELATE: the marriage guidance charity.
- Seven secrets of successful marriage
John Gottman has spent years studying how couples manage conflict. In this book he offers some practical strategies to help you resolve conflict more constructively and insight to help address commonly held but unhelpful relationship myths.