Frequently Asked Questions
How long will it take to get my relationship back on track?
Relationship counselling is about helping couples to understand what is going on with their problems, how these occurred and how to change destructive patterns of interacting.
There is a clear process to follow to get relationships back on track and to grow and learn about each other. If both parties are willing to look at themselves and their part in the problem then sometimes 1 -3 sessions is all that is needed, sometimes 3 -5, and then at other times 5 – 10 sessions. When there has been infidelity, this can mean longer in counselling. Other issues such as; abuse; past relationship traumas; drug and alcohol issues, it may be longer. Each relationship is unique. I work as quickly and thoroughly as is possible to reduce the time needed in counselling.
What if the relationship is over, how will we know?
It will become clear that the relationship is over, when one or both partners no longer wants to deal with the issues that will not change in the relationship. It is clear for partners if there is too much hurt, anger, resentment and pain and the parties do not wish to work through these to reconnect as a couple. It takes energy to work on your relationship and sometimes people feel that don’t have the energy to continue.
Separation and divorce do not have to be the worst outcome, sometimes it is the best outcome, if couples can remain respectful and in an adult state to manage the changes. This is particularly important when there are children involved, and decisions need to be made about their best interests.
What is the process of Relationship
Counselling, what will we have to do?
As a Relationship Counsellor I am able to help 95% of the Couples I work with. The other 5% often have other factors impacting on the recovery of the relationship. Sometimes people have already decided they want to leave the relationship and counselling is a way to end the relationship. Other times there is an affair going on that is hidden from the couples counselling process and this means that no change happens. Sometimes one partner does not want to work on the relationship.
So, as a Relationship Counsellor I work with you to look at how you interact around problems and what defences are used by both partners. I explore both partners raw spots and vulnerabilities, fears and needs. We do practical listening and sharing exercises in the room as a way to explore issues safely and to learn how to interact and communicate respectfully with each other.
We look at each partners needs and dreams, as well as each partners areas of growth. We explore your differences, family of origin and history and how this impacts on how you relate with each other. We shed light on past hurts and also focus on the strengths of the relationship. We also look at the factors that create a healthy, functioning relationship and how to weave these into your lives. We dispel common myths about why problems occur in relationships.
Learning about who each other is now in the relationship, compared to who you were at the beginning of the relationship. Changing negative filters, judgments, and labels of each other. Exploring roles and responsibilities and renegotiating these with each other, as well as having a shared vision for the relationship.
There are activities and connecting exercises to do in between each session, and we look at all the distractions that keep you away from relating well together as a couple.
Attending sessions, completing homework tasks during the week, being open and honest with the relationship counsellor, remaining respectful and non abusive in the sessions; talking about how you relate and listening to each other are the requirements for couples counselling.
Relationship Counselling can be the best investment you ever make in your life, relationship, family and your own wellbeing.