Couples counselling (also therapy) is different in that it is not individual to one person; it is about counselling the dynamic that currently exists between people. Modern day stressors, distractions and a lack of psychoeducation produce challenges for many couples, who find it difficult to successfully repair the normal difficulties and challenges that many couples go through, making the relationship feel extremely fragile.
Couples therapy is not just needed when things get really bad, it can help before that even happens. Because sometimes what start as small issues, can grow and begin to drive a wedge between you and your partner, causing feelings of sadness, anger, anxiety, insecurity, anguish, jealousy, fear, resentment, hate, or hopelessness. By this point counselling might seem like the last resort and may feel somewhat hopeless.
Couple work is aimed at helping you and your partner identify your dysfunctional patterns, and learn how to best navigate situations and interactions in healthier ways, such that you will learn how to relate to one another in ways that build and restore the relationship, rather than harm it.
Our relationship counsellors offer a safe, supportive, non-judgmental, and caring space to help you find your way through the difficulties you and your partner are facing. They do this by listening to each of you and attempting to understand each person’s position.
In so doing, together with you, we will clearly identify what the current problems are and once identified, we will work collaboratively with you both to agree on goals. These may not be the same for both partners, but it is helpful to agree on a general focus for couples therapy, even if we have more than one goal.
The issue(s) and goal(s) inform the ‘treatment plan’. What normally follows is a sequence of sessions where together, we explore the problems more deeply, including how they impact the relationship, as well as what might need to change to help restore it (for example, understanding, new ways of relating, and specific tools and techniques).
Couples counselling sessions can be between 6 and 12, at times more, depending on what the issues are and how long they have been going on. Complexity is explored and unpacked, helping to identify established unhealthy behavioural patterns. The work aims to replace vicious cycles with healthier ones.
We recommend that the first couples therapy session be a longer one (75 minutes) than the usual session length of 50 minutes, or that you each have an individual 50 minute session. This helps the course of therapy as we can get to know you individually and understand your individual perspective in greater detail before progressing to joint couple work.
Weekly couples counselling sessions of 50 minutes are the norm, but again, this is optional and depends on the issues and goals. For example, you may be seeking help for longer term deeper issues, or you may simply be experiencing a difficult time in the relationship. Thus, session frequency and duration vary from couple to couple.
As with any therapy, it is hard work and requires the maximum commitment and engagement of both partners. Sometimes couple therapy can reveal that separation is the best outcome, which one partner may not want. If this happens, we will be here to guide you through the separation and grief process, and attempt to help you support one another.
Couples therapy can help partners with many issues. For example to learn how to communicate more effectively, to rebuild trust, learn how to understand and support one another, and work through practical problems as well.
You may be feeling disconnected emotionally, or sexually. Whether the issue is relational, emotional, sexual, or all of these, couples counselling can help you to better understand and support one another and the relationship.
This can improve your experience of the relationship, and your individual mental and emotional health and wellbeing as well. Read our page about relationship issues, to learn more about the kinds of things couples therapy can help with.
We offer couples therapy in Birmingham. Phinity Therapy also serve other cities and countries through our network of qualified therapists. Online therapy is also available, catering for those who cannot reach our clinic or have busy schedules.
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*Due to limited time slot availability caused by high demand, we now offer only one Free Initial Consultation for prospective clients, further conversations are charged at our normal rate.
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