Many people consider relationship counselling at some point in their lives. It can be after a relationship has broken down, in order to see a way ahead without acrimony.For others relationship counselling is entered into before a split, as a hope of increasing communication, and thus changing a dynamic which may have become dysfunctional.
If you are thinking about relationship counselling you may have some apprehensions, and questions, which I hope to address in this post.
Will you take sides?
The role of a relationship counsellor is not to side with one party or another, but to facilitate communication. I must stay strictly neutral for this to happen. It is not my job to say who is to blame. Instead we work together to find new ways of communicating which lead to healthier relationship dynamics.
Will I have to talk about my childhood/past trauma?
The answer to this is, only if you feel it is relevant to improving how you relate to your partner/s. Some issues are better dealt with in one on one counselling. Relationship counselling looks at how you, as a unit, exist together. It may be that in facilitating a space where you explain to a significant other how past events impact on your present behaviours your communication improves. However there will never be any demand from me that you share information that you are reluctant or uncomfortable with.
We are not in a conventional relationship will relationship counselling work for us?
Often people who belong to gender, sexual and relationship minorities are cautious of relationship counselling. This can be because for many it is still seen as “marriage” counselling. Whatever the shape of your relationship, it can be helped by experienced and non judgemental counselling. This applies as much to LGBTQ+ relationships as it does to poly ones. With experience of, and training in, working with sexual, gender and relationship identities beyond the cis het ones I am aware that there are a number of different relationship dynamics which exist. Non monogamous and same gender relationships, of many kinds, may have experienced judgement in the past from counsellors. Rest assured I work from a model which places consent and mutual respect at the fore, rather than adherence to traditional monogamous marriage.
Will you “save our marriage”?
As mentioned above, I do not see my role as one of promoting one kind of relationship. The point of relationship counselling is not to save a marriage, but to enable all parties in a relationship to move forward, to mutually agreed goals. So, no I will not save your marriage, but it may be that you will, as you learn to communicate honestly and openly.
How does it work?
If you have decided you would benefit from relationship counselling we would arrange a series of 6 sessions, working from convenient and discreet offices in the Tyne Valley. Each party would commit to attending for the 6 sessions, and the basic ground rules for the course of the counselling. These might include tasks to be completed at home, and an agreement to try new methods of communication outside of the therapeutic space. Most clients find that 6 sessions are enough to explore the issues they bring, and indeed, have seen their relationships transformed. The cost for relationship counselling is £50 per session.
You can email me on firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 07442808719 to discuss your specific needs.
Lastly, if you are struggling in a relationship right now, and have found this page, remember, you are trying, simply by reading, to make things better, you have made the first step.