How does counselling help couples?
Couples counselling seeks to improve communication and resolve issues within an intimate relationship. In contrast to relationship counselling, which can be undertaken on a one-to-one basis, couples counselling involves working with both people in a relationship at the same time. Your couples counsellor’s role is primarily to facilitate change and resolution by helping you both to communicate more effectively and reach your own conclusions about the future of the relationship.
Our couples counsellor is Phil Scott. Phil’s person-centred approach works well for Couples Counselling; the empathic, non-judgemental and genuine therapeutic relationship which Phil models enables the couple to see the benefits of relating in such a way within their own relationship. Phil places a lot of emphasis on communication during the sessions as this is vital for any relationship to grow and develop. Where communication between two people has broken down, the relationship itself has no voice – it’s just two people in conflict.
At the beginning of the Couples Counselling process, Phil strongly suggests that blame is left at the door so that each person in the relationship has a chance to be heard. The other is encouraged to listen, and Phil may suggest exercises to help strengthen this important skill. Each will have the chance to talk about their background, how they perceive the relationship now, and what they envisage the relationship will be in the future. Phil also offers the opportunity to fully assess the strengths and weaknesses of the relationship.
Sometimes there are external issues which affect the relationship – an affair or a dependency on alcohol, for example. In order to work through such issues, the issue needs to be removed from the relationship so that it can be looked at sensitively and objectively, so that the couple can find agreement in how the relationship can move on.
Relationships unfortunately cannot always be saved. There are times when the only course of action is for the couple to separate, and this is likely to be very painful. The earlier you invest time in looking at your relationship, the better the chance it has of surviving the storm.
If you’d like to talk to Phil about how couples counselling can help your relationship, please contact us.