Many people wonder about the purpose of couples therapy not knowing how it can help with relationship difficulties. And this is understandable given that most people have little expectation of how their relationship might change over time and why. Couples therapy will provide some basic guidance on the possible stages of relating and how couples therapy might progress:
Initial Hove Couples Counselling Assessment:
Here you may be invited to share your own perception of what is happening within your relationship, as well as “your view” on what your partner thinks. As people tend to make lots of assumptions about other peoples’ behaviour and intentions, both partners will be encouraged to “check out” their assumptions with each other. Relationship counselling with a Hove counsellor will outline how a relationship may move through stages of being “in love” to “falling out of love and fighting” to “finding love again” and how interpersonal dynamics between two people can influence this fluctuation.
Early Relationship Counselling Sessions:
As this process of “checking out assumptions” continues, focus will be given by the relationship counsellor or couples therapist to childhood experiences to raise awareness of how each partner might have been influenced to behave in a relational setting. This often provides important insight on challenging behavioural aspects within the relationship, with scope to start exploring what might change and how. A couple will be encouraged to identify their personal triggers, to realise their typical responses and to understand how communication with their partner is being influenced. Individual needs outside of the relationship will also be considered, to highlight the potential impact on the relationship when individual needs are not attended to. Couples may attend weekly appointments with the Brighton and Hove Counsellor at this point.
Hove Couples Counselling for Supporting Change:
Couples may be invited to practise some of the methods learnt within therapy in-between sessions and as they may need time to benefit from this, they may move towards therapy on a fortnightly basis. With increasing awareness of what is influencing poor communication, partners may begin to flourish as they embrace being more effective with each other as well as attending to their own needs more seriously.
The length of couples therapy varies with each couple and how much support they feel they need. Some couples attend therapy for no more than 1-2 months whereas other find a longer period of 3-9+ months allows them to manage the personal changes their relationship needs to embrace.
You may be looking for help with your relationship because of a general sense of incompatibility with your partner, a failing sex life or concern that your relationship is not evolving as you had expected. Perhaps you are wondering whether to remain in your relationship because your partner has been unfaithful and you are shocked and hurt and don’t know what to do. Maybe you want to leave your partner but you don’t know how to approach the subject. Or possibly you are lonely and find it very difficult to be in a relationship at all and want some help in discovering whether or not you can.
Hove Relationship Counselling to address a general sense of incompatibility
You fell in love with your partner a while ago now and your relationship seems to have become a space in which you no longer feel much excitement or elation; you and your partner bicker and easily trigger each other into hurtful and accusatory behaviour; you rarely feel much incentive to go out together anymore; and sex is just ok. You may ask yourself…
- Am I with the right person
- Where has all the fun gone
- This is becoming boring, mundane and depressing
- I’m fed up of all the fighting, why is everything so difficult
- I don’t feel any attraction any more, its an effort when we have sex
Couples therapy will aim to help you understand more about the complicated dynamics of relating and how your relationship will be evolving over time. You will come to see how the early stages of relating are powerfully fuelled by brain chemicals that maintain the state of “being in love” for a few years, after which a couple typically grow into a zone of comfortable togetherness, which may begin to lack lustre, unless there is interpersonal growth and development. Hove couples therapy is the place to explore this, with scope to understand more about how early life experiences play out in relating and how a relationship with self is important in achieving and maintaining relational balance and vigour.
Brighton and Hove Marriage Relationship Counselling for Sex Issues
This is a subject that is not easily spoken about anywhere. People create pseudonyms for sexual genitalia as if the real terms, vagina, penis, clitoris, vulva, glans, etc.. are unacceptable. Individuals are covert about their use of porn and fantasy, sex props and personal masturbation and many worry about their capacity to “orgasm” as if this is a requirement for being “normal” Couples may struggle to express sexual likes and dislikes with each other because they are embarrassed about their bodies and may not have even explored the different parts of their own sexual genitalia.
Many males and females do not know the anatomy of their sexual genitalia, maybe growing up with a sense of shame about this part of their body. We are born with sexual potency that develops through childhood and adolescence, allowing for an erotic life dimension that can involve a rich interplay between intellectual and emotional aspects as well as physical intimacy. Where couples fail to tune in to their erotic experiencing with each other, they may lose interest in sexual intimacy and become increasingly estranged from each other.
Couples therapy and relationship counselling in Brighton and Hove may allow you to learn about your sexual nature as a human being and to feel freer about exploring this aspect of relating, seeing “sex” as a part of a much broader relational possibility.
Hove Infidelity Counselling
If there has been some form of betrayal in your relationship, which has left you floundering about what to do, couples counselling and therapy can help you to work through this experience with your partner to find a way to either reconnect or to agree to part. Affairs can often be a sign of relationship difficulty amongst a couple who do not easily engage in discussing problems with each other. An affair may have important meaning and learning for a relationship if partners are open to exploration and able to transcend the hurt and instability that the infidelity will undoubtedly have imposed. Couples therapy is non-judgemental and may provide a platform upon which the affair can be discussed and understood in the context of the relationship. There will be scope to consider whether personal circumstances and poor communication or interpersonal connection, may have influenced the partner who has chosen to form an alliance outside of the primary relationship.
Guilt because of betrayal
If you have engaged in an affair or a betrayal that is now over and are feeling burdened by a sense of guilt, then it may help you to offload this within therapy and to carefully consider how to manage this information in relation to your partner. Whilst you may crave the relief of “telling” in order to expunge yourself of what you carry, there may be wisdom in talking about your relationship and the reasons for your infidelity, before you do this. Therapy may help you to identify any relational problems you have been experiencing with your partner and to stimulate ideas for re-energising and enhancing your connection with your partner.
Hove Marriage Counsellor Support for Loneliness
You may be thinking:
- I’m just a loner, I’m not cut out for relationships
- I don’t know how to go about meeting someone
- I don’t feel very attractive to other people
- I don’t feel confident about meeting people socially, I don’t know what to say
Perhaps you don’t believe that its possible for you to ever meet someone with whom you can fall in love and enjoy sharing a relationship. You may have friends in relationships whom you envy and feel increasingly sad about being alone without anyone special in your life. And you may wonder about where to get help. Through working with an individual therapist, you may explore your early experience of relationship and understand how this may be influencing your interpersonal adult capacity as well as any limiting and negative personal beliefs you hold. Through gentle coaching, you may learn some practical methods for meeting people and for challenging your relational mind-set through guided activities.