Relationship Counselling and Couples therapy
You may have early experiences that prevent you from engaging in rich and meaningful relationships. Your choice of partner may be clouded, often in a way you are not aware of. Not being able to get close to others, or to stay close over time, can be a frustrating and lonely experience. With the assistance of a therapist you can change this.
In therapy you can discover the patterns, the ‘life plan’ that define your life. You can get in touch with how your ‘tastes’ have been shaped, or are self-defeating (e.g. ‘I partner with people with whom I cant get the relationship I want’). For some, this knowledge doesn’t seem enough to help, your thinking has become circular – for instance we have become experts on the faults of our partner whilst the impact of our own shortcomings is invisible to us. Our irritation with the other person’s faults then obscures the ways in which we contribute to the problem. Even if we don’t consider ourselves to be a blaming type of person, are good even at taking responsibility for ourselves, what we are experiencing is a psychological blind-spot – an area of behaviour or thinking where we are confused. We may have some awareness of this, yet unconsciously minimise the importance and implications of it.
People usually get in touch with their contributions to the problem in the opening phase of therapy. Their understanding of it shifts, and links between seemingly unconnected parts of their experiences coalesce into patterns. You can then work through this, perhaps needing to grieve or let go of childhood dilemmas that were formative.
I have been counselling individuals and couples for 9 years. If you are single you can learn to adjust the “radar” by which you determine potential partners, no longer unconsciously partnering with those with whom relationships aren’t workable. For couples, areas of growth can be;
- Intimacy, caring for each other, sexual gratification and fun (we don’t open up to each other about our vulnerabilities, so your sex lives and enjoyment of each other diminishes)
- Problem solving and resolving conflict (arguing for arguments sake so nothing gets resolved)
- Value systems (where your moral agendas differ, or what you see as important differs – e.g. one wants family, the other freedom)