What is Relationship Counselling?
Relationships with partners, friends and family can be complicated, and it can be frustrating and confusing when things go wrong for no apparent reason. You might be asking yourself whether its your fault, your partners fault, or whether you’re perhaps just not compatible.
The higher the emotional intelligence of both you and your partner, the greater your ability to understand, value, and respect each other. Ideally your parents will have taught you all about emotional intelligence, but in the real world, this is very often not the case. This is when it’s important to take the measures necessary to educate yourself.
It’s entirely normal and wise to seek professional guidance to help navigate the maze of our emotional lives and relationships.
Gaining Insight into Your Patterns
At the heart of any successful relationship is in how well you know yourself, how aware you are of hidden behaviours and motivations. The higher the emotional intelligence of both you and your partner or friend, the greater your ability to understand, value, and respect each other.
Ideally your parents will have taught you all about emotional intelligence, but in the real world, this is not always the case. This is when it’s important to take the measures necessary to educate yourself, and to get to know yourself more fully.
Understanding your relationship patterns can be enlightening. These patterns, often shaped by our past experiences, influence how we act and react in relationships. You might have a tendency towards codependency or perhaps you’re too independent to allow your self to be emotionally vulnerable.
A trained therapist can help you identify these patterns and understand their roots, offering you the opportunity to break free from harmful cycles and replace them with healthier dynamics.
How well do you listen?
Sometimes we’re so caught up in trying to get someone to understand us, we forget to listen. And if the same thing’s happening to our friend or partner, arguments can rage on with no path towards resolution. Listening is a skill you can learn, to really understand the point of view of the other, and the underlying cause of their issues.
You can take it in turns to ‘actively listen’ to each other without interruption. When you’re doing the talking, make sure you’re articulating your feelings, and not making accusations. It’s a subtle language change, but it makes a big difference which leads to a better understanding of what’s really going on between you. It demonstrates that you’re capable of understanding and ‘owning’ your feelings. It may not be your friends or partners fault that you’re feeling the way you do.
Are you being triggered?
Let’s say you get angry at something your partner does. It’s your response, your trigger to a situation. If your partner is always late, it might bring up feelings of low self esteem to one person. To another, it might feel like a power game. To someone else, it may not feel like anything significant, and be hardly noticed.
Triggers can sometimes result in a flood of emotions, such as anger, rage or deep sadness which can be frightening or hard to comprehend. This can be through result of childhood abuse, unresolved traumas or conditions called PTSD and Complex PTSD.
When we get triggered, the first reaction is to blame someone else. Yes, they may be doing something wrong, but it’s not always the whole picture. If you recognise that you’re particularly sensitive to someone showing up late, and you find it triggering, you can explore it more fully in therapy.
Respect and mutual understanding are the core of any partnership. It’s about know what your partner likes, what they don’t like, their vulnerabilities, values and dreams. They don’t have to be the same as yours – many friendships and relationships strive on difference. We’ve all heard the term ‘opposites attract’.
Once you give up the idea of who your partner should be, and how you think they should be acting, you can focus more on who they are. You can use your connection to give your partner what they may have never had before – an intimate acceptance. At its core, any successful partnership is rooted in a profound friendship – a mutual respect for and enjoyment of each other’s company.
Many couples find that a connection and intimacy that was once there has started dwindling amidst the daily grind, life changes and unresolved arguments. It’s also something which can be challenging to keep alive in long distance relationships. Relationship counselling can help you reconnect emotionally, rekindle the spark, and foster a deeper bond.
Tools to Navigate Conflict
Let’s face it, conflicts are a part of every relationship. However, how we manage them is crucial. Relationship counselling offers the tools and techniques to handle disagreements constructively rather than letting them erode your connection. You’ll learn to listen actively, empathise, and compromise, helping transform your conflicts into opportunities for growth and understanding.
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”Carl Jung
I’m not a couples therapist – my approach to couples therapy and couples counselling involves individual therapy, and addresses the root causes of your relationship problems. Whether you’re struggling with communication, trust issues, or conflicts that seem to never end, I can help you to gain some understanding and clarity.
As your relationship therapist, I aim to help you identify and understand problematic patterns and unhelpful behavioural patterns that may be contributing to your relationship difficulties.
The Benefits of Marriage Therapy
If you’re having difficulties within your marriage, you might have considered marriage therapy, also known as marriage guidance counselling. Every marriage has its ups and downs, and couples can find themselves stuck in a pattern of ongoing conflict or distancing. This can be due to a variety of factors, including financial pressures, disagreements over child-rearing, values, or merely a gradual growing apart.
Marriage counselling offers couples a chance to step back from these issues and create a safe space for two people to communicate. Through the use of therapeutic strategies and techniques, marriage therapists help couples navigate these difficulties and find ways to reconnect.
One of the key components of this therapeutic journey is identifying and challenging the patterns of behaviour that lead to conflict or dissatisfaction within the relationship. This is where the expertise of couple therapists becomes invaluable, as they have the skills and training to guide couples towards healthier patterns of interaction, promoting better understanding and stronger emotional connections.
The Role of Psychosexual Therapists in Relationship Counselling
Sometimes, the issues that couples face can be related to intimacy or sexual problems. These can be a source of significant distress and can contribute to a feeling of disconnection within the relationship.
Psychosexual therapists have specialist training to deal with these problems. They provide a confidential, non-judgemental space for couples to explore their sexual concerns. They can address a wide range of issues, including differences in sexual desire, sexual function issues, and the impact of medical conditions on sexual relationships.
Do I need Relationship Counselling?
Being in a judgement-free space where you can voice your deepest fears, concerns, and dreams can be liberating. Counselling isn’t just about repairing – it’s about strengthening your relationship for future challenges. With the skills you acquire, you’ll be more resilient against the adversities that life may throw at you. You’ll have a stronger foundation, built on understanding, empathy, and effective communication.
Seeing a relationship therapist isn’t a sign of a failing relationship; instead, it’s a symbol of your commitment to your partnership and your willingness to nurture it. Whether you are in a rocky place or just want to enhance your bond, relationship counselling can provide the guidance and tools to make your love story more fulfilling and lasting.
Trying Relationship Therapy
I’m committed to providing a supportive environment where you can feel comfortable discussing any relationship issues and mental health matters. Whether you’re seeking help as an individual, part of a couple, or for the complexities of marriage, I’m here to support you.
As an integrative psychotherapist I’m an experienced relationship counsellor, working with individuals. Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work with diverse situations, dealing with a range of relationship difficulties.
I understand that every relationship is unique, often shaped by cultural backgrounds and personal experiences. I strive to offer a culturally sensitive approach, ensuring all my clients receive nuanced and effective counselling tailored to their needs.
The journey towards healing and understanding starts with an initial appointment or consultation. This essential first meeting allows me to understand your specific needs and concerns. I’ll be able to guide you on how many sessions might be required, tailoring a therapeutic plan that best suits your goals. The number of sessions is not fixed; it depends on your pace and comfort.
Remember, no issue is too big or too small to be addressed in therapy, and you don’t have to navigate through relationship difficulties on your own. II’m here to support and guide you in resolving your relationship issues through individual counselling.
Private practice sessions progress at your own pace, and take place in a safe confidential space in Central London.