Relationships are an essential part of our lives, from family and friends to partners and spouses. We have a natural tendency to develop intimate and close relationships with another. We seem to do better when there is someone in our life we can trust and share ourselves with. Evidence shows us that good relationships are fundamental to our well-being. Both physical and mental health can be adversely affected when people are feeling unhappy with partners or friends and families. The idea of 'the couple', of two people coming together is at the heart of all human relating. And however painful, difficult or disappointing our attempts at relationship, we keep trying, - searching for a rewarding meeting and mutually satisfying exchange through which we can grow and feel fulfilled."The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction both are transformed."C.G. Jung
By Cecil CollinsWhy Couples May Seek Help
There are many reasons why couples decide to seek help with their relationship. Maybe you can't talk to each other as a couple about the problems you are having and meeting with a therapist/counsellor can be a way to open up communications again and help you think about your relationship. It can provide an opportunity to explore how these problems have arisen and what interferes with changing them, to begin to examine the dynamics within your relationship and gain a better understanding of the underlying issues.
Yet many people feel anxious about asking for help. It's often a difficult decision to share your private and personal relationship with someone you don't know, but seeking professional help, sooner rather than later, for relationship problems is key. Communication is at the heart of all good relationships so helping a couple to talk to each other about what they are finding painful and difficult is one of the most important tasks."To love means to embrace and at the same time to withstand many many endings and many many beginnings all in the same relationship."Clarissa Pinkola EstesSome of the Issues and Problems I may be able to help with include:
- Continual arguments. Conflict. Outbursts of anger
- Trust issues. Infidelity. Betrayal. Affairs
- Loss of intimacy. Loss of sexual desire. General breakdown in a couple's sexual relationship. Specific sexual problems and difficulties
- Negotiating around Sex, Money, Time or Needs
- Growing apart. Sense of something missing/lost in the relationship
- Issues to do with Step families /Step children /Ex-partners
- Change in life circumstances- eg having a child, illness, work changes
- Changes in the stages of the relationship: making a commitment /starting to live together /moving from the honeymoon phase /growing older
- Impact of Post-Natal Depression on the relationship. Impact of professional life on the relationship
- Separation. Divorce.
- Repeating destructive relationship patterns
Some couples come to therapy/counselling when there isn't a particular problem but because they want to lay solid foundations for the future, enhance their relationship in some way or simply have a supportive and confidential space in which to think and talk about their relationship.What I Offer
I offer a safe, confidential space in which to reflect on and begin exploring the particular problems and difficulties you are facing as a couple and where relevant any underlying issues. I will aim to help you have a greater understanding of yourselves and of each other and of how your relationship works. By increasing your awareness and understanding I aim to facilitate more creative and effective ways of communicating between you.
Whatever the reasons you may be seeking help I will work alongside you at your own pace, giving you support where necessary to help you take responsibility and make choices for the future of your relationship and any changes that you may choose to make.
I believe that ultimately the process of relationship holds the potential for individual growth, for intimate relatedness and for transformation.
I work with both heterosexual and same-sex couples.How Couples/Relationship Therapy Works."The moon has her porches turned to face the light but the deep part of her house is in darkness"Robert Bly
Couples psychotherapy aims to understand what lies beneath current difficulties, paying attention to both the conscious and unconscious factors in order to bring clarity and facilitate positive change. We'll explore how historical influences and your different experiences have contributed to and impacted on the type of relationship you now have. How inevitably coupledom reactivates old wounds from childhood in the areas of bonding and separating and how you attempt now, in your relationship, to be intimate with your partner while at the same time managing his/her difference and separateness. In the process you'll learn more about how your relationship is affected by your different needs and also explore your differnt communicating and negotiating styles.
When a couple comes to therapy it signifies the end of what has been- either literal or symbolic- which opens the way to a new beginning. Couples present with a variety of obvious and hidden differences. Recognising and exploring these differences and illuminating the difficulties can help to reframe them- perhaps not as something to overcome but as something that can enrich the relationship.
We'll give time to how you tell your story as a couple, and how you may listen to each other, holding the possibility that as you do this together, something new is created. I hold a transpersonal perspective that believes crisis can be creative; that it can be a catalyst in relationship for transformational change - and can lead to a deepening sense of meaning."Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it"RumiDivorce&Separation
I also work with couples/partners who have already separated or divorced and may want help in managing their ongoing relationship where relevant, around their shared responsibilities towards their children or in any other area.Psychotherapy and Couples Counselling Bath