When a couple decides to come for counselling it is often because of a breakdown in communication or an emerging crisis which one or both feel they cannot resolve without some help. Some of the most common difficulties that couples present with are:
- Communication difficulties which have escalated and have become unmanageable
- Domestic abuse
- Life stages and transitions such as a new baby, step children and empty nest syndrome
- Reduced income/unemployment leading to frustration and low self- esteem
- Difficulties in sexual relationships and loss of intimacy
- Affaires which produce mistrust guilt and loss
- Rows over parenting and behaviour
The initial session is an opportunity to talk about your difficulties and think about all your options.
Counselling may help you to observe the unhelpful patterns in your relationship. It can encourage you to change and improve the quality of the relationship which may require each person making changes within themselves.
Each person will be encouraged to identify what they believe are the problems and then to identify what goals they want to be achieved so the relationship can flourish.
Counselling can also help in finding ways to live with its limitations or to end the relationship.
The role of the therapist is not to tell either of you what to do but to help you both to consider all your options and to make the best decisions possible. This is particularly important when you have children who will be affected if you separate.
Separation counselling can then help you to maintain a healthy parental relationship while ending your relationship with each other.