Being in a good relationship can be the most wonderful experience. However, even the best and most balanced relationships experience challenges that may either damage the relationship or even break the relationship up. Counselling and psychotherapy either as a couple or singly can help the parties to a relationship move on. Sometimes the issues revolve around communication between the parties – if so then couple counselling may be appropriate.
However, if there are particular stresses then therapy for one or both of the parties separately may be an appropriate way forward. In these situations it is often the case that the parties to the relationship have not learned what to do in a relationship. There may be problems is accepting differences, there may be issues concerning boundaries (e.g. expecting our partner to solve all our problems for us rather than simply providing support), the relationship may be “stuck in the past”, there may be a lack of respect for each other or the individuals may simply not be aware of how they can appropriately share positive feelings. If counselling/psychotherapy is provided to a couple jointly then I will not subsequently enter into a therapeutic relationship with either of the parties separately since there would obviously be a conflict of interest. Similarly, if an existing client seeks couple therapy I will not then act as the couple counsellor. However, I am able to recommend such individuals to therapist who will be able to assist.