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Couples Counselling | Relationship Issues

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What happens in couples counselling?

If you feel like your relationship is on the rocks, couples counselling provides a safe environment to work through your issues together with an objective third party.

When we start to encounter problems in a relationship, it can be easy to fall into destructive patterns such as defensiveness, withdrawal or attacking. Couples counselling provides a space to explore these obstacles without finger-pointing or the fear of escalating arguments.

In your first couples counselling session, your counsellor will aim to understand what problems you’re facing and why you’ve chosen to seek support at this time. This first session will lay the foundation for what you’ll be working on during your time together.

Couples counselling is less focused on ‘changing’ your partner, and more about exploring your own personal blocks - and then working on them together as a couple. We all have a history, and coping strategies that worked for us in the past can be damaging to our present. It’s only natural that any unhealthy patterns we might have adopted reflect back on those that closest to us.

By increasing our awareness around the things that are holding us back, we open the door to creating healthier ways of responding. Sometimes in couples counselling it becomes clear that one - or both - of you might benefit from individual counselling too. In this case, your counsellor might suggest that you continue with one-on-one sessions, although this will always be optional.

No matter how difficult it feels now, it’s important to remember that every relationship has its hiccups. When we hit a down patch, it can be easy to lose sight of the positives and the things we most cherish about our partner. Your couples counsellor will aim to understand the strengths in your relationship and build upon them. This might involve taking it back to the early days in your relationship; what first drew you to your partner and how you fell in love.

A common fear in couples counselling is that your counsellor might ‘take sides’. It’s important to mention here that it’s your counsellor’s job to remain impartial. This means that they’ll ensure you’re both heard in your sessions and have equal time and attention to share your side of the story.

Not every relationship is forever. Sometimes two people simply drift apart and no longer find themselves heading in the same direction. But with time, effort and consideration many relationships can also be repaired. Couples counselling can help you consider whether it really is time to go your separate ways. But more often than not, the commitment to start counselling in itself serves as a sign of both partners resolve to make to relationship work and build a better future.

Common relationship issues: signs your relationship is in trouble

Every pairing is unique which means couples can come up against any number of issues in the relationship.

However, below are a few of the most common tell-tale signs that your relationship could benefit from couples counselling:

  • Your communication has broken down - maybe you over-assert yourself and never compromise, or your partner has a habit of shutting down and avoiding conflict whenever something difficult crops up.
  • You or your partner has lost their sex drive.
  • You find yourself comparing your partner to other people.
  • You find yourself clocking up points e.g. I did this for them so they should be behaving like this to me.
  • You’re arguing about money.
  • You revert to passive-aggression instead of voicing your irritations.

Relationship problems: how does counselling help?

Many couples hold out and leave it too late to reach out for support. But it’s always best to seek support sooner rather than later if you can.

Here are just a few of the ways couples counselling could benefit your relationship:

  • Support you in understanding individual blocks that might be impacting your relationship.
  • Help you explore the kind of relationship you want and how you can work towards building that together.
  • An opportunity for you to voice difficult topics without the fear of criticism or arguments.
  • Help remind you of your strengths as a couple instead of focusing on the negatives all the time.
  • Build healthier lines of communication.
  • Explore issues that are specific to one partner but impacting the relationship e.g. depression, anxiety.
  • Find the root of long-standing issues in the relationship and come to a resolution.
  • Support you in moving through big relationship changes e.g. getting married or starting a family.

How much does relationship counselling cost?

Couples counselling can cost anywhere between £50 and £120 a session, depending on where you’re based. You should never let financial restraints hold you back if you think your relationship could benefit from couples counselling. Many couples counsellors will offer a sliding scale of fees according to your earnings.

Finding couples counselling near me

Looking for help with your relationship? Couples counselling can help you get things back on track by supporting you in identifying and repairing the difficulties you’re facing as a couple. If you would like to learn more about what couples counselling can offer you, we have a range of accredited couples counsellors that can help. Speak to one of our team to get help to find a therapist.