Fran - Couple Therapy

Why might we need to come?

Do you sometimes wonder how all the love and attraction at the start of your relationship can have turned into something so unsatisfying and bitter?

Do you sometimes withdraw into a frosty silence or find yourselves unable to talk without arguing?

The reality is that all couples face difficulties at some time in their relationship, it is normal, and seeking counselling is a courageous action rather than any sign of failure and may provide an opportunity to enrich your relationship.

However, if problems do occur it can colour every aspect of your life leaving you feeling anxious, depressed, sad, angry, disappointed, resentful or just confused.

In this situation family and friends can be very supportive, but they may be over-involved; or you simply don’t have anyone to talk to. Talking through your concerns at such a time with someone who is not directly involved, and in the safety of a confidential space can be helpful.

I would give each of you the opportunity to be heard and understood. I would neither judge nor advise you, but help you to find the best way forward individually and as a couple.


How long might we need to come for?

Relationship counselling lasts as long as you need it to. Usually between six to twelve sessions is enough, but occasionally it can be fewer, or can last for many months. When you are ready to stop I ask for at least one sessions notice so that we can reflect on how best to end our time together.


My Theoretical Approach: How I work

My core training is in Psychodynamic and Systemic Therapy, including an understanding of human sexuality. Attachment Theory is also central to my work, but I will sometimes include aspects of other models when I feel it might be helpful.

I believe that every individual strives for happy healthy relationships, that each of us has resources and resilience, but that sometimes these relationships become strained or even fall apart and we don’t always know why.

When we become angry or fearful we attack or withdraw and lose our ability to make sense of what’s happening.

In our work together I would hope to calm and reduce some of these fears and explore collaboratively with you how your individual styles of relating, learnt from parents, siblings or in previous relationships, and your individual values and beliefs have affected your current relationship.


Some of the benefits of Relationship counselling are:

·        to manage conflict better           

·        to learn new skills in communicating

·        to help you to understand repetitive patterns of behaviour and……..

·        To rebuild broken trust

·        To explore the impact of change and loss on the relationship

 

I work with couples or individuals on their relationships regardless of gender or sexuality.     I have regular supervision and attend ongoing training to support my continuing professional development.


Together?

If you are currently in a relationship it is best if you can both attend.

However there may be occasions when it is not safe to work with both partners together for example if one is fearful of the other because of violence, abuse or controlling behaviour.


Or Alone?

  • Your partner may refuse to attend, in which case it’s fine to attend by yourself and there may be changes that you can make alone which will have a positive impact on your relationship.
  • You may be dissatisfied or confused in your current relationship and be unsure what you want.
  • Or you may need support following separation or divorce
I am also happy to offer one-to-one counselling to people who are struggling in their everyday lives to function in a  satisfying way at work, at home, and in their relationships with other people.  I am particularly experience in working with people who are interested in exploring such difficulties as their seeming inability to make or sustain close relationships, or their repeated attraction to partners who are abusive towards them, or the effects in adult life of having been abused as a child.

 

  

Separation and Divorce

Separation from a long term partner can be very difficult and painful, even if it was your choice to end the relationship. Counselling can help you to manage the emotional impact of this and any possible feelings of guilt, anger, sadness and loss, and to minimise the effect on any children involved. It can also offer you insight into what happened and why, and help you to rebuild your life and decide what you want for the future.

 

When Might Counselling Help?

 

When Communication Breaks Down

  • There are constant arguments which never seem to be resolved.
  • There is a build up of anger, resentment and disappointment.
  • You end up feeling frustrated and confused when you talk.
  • You withdraw into silence.
  • You are arguing over ‘silly little things’.

 

When There is a Breach of Trust

  • There has been an affair
  • A secret, debt for example

 

When You’ve Lost Interest In Sex

  • Sex has become a problem
  • There is no physical intimacy or closeness

Changes in Life Circumstances

  • Loss: redundancy, infertility, miscarriage, bereavement, ageing
  • Birth of a child or a child leaving home
  • Illness or depression
  • Retirement
  • Work stress
  • Financial problems
  • Children, parents, in-laws
  • Blended families and step-families