Couples and counselling and psychotherapy
Despite the intimacy we share as a couple, we can also find it very difficult to talk to each other about important issues when they arise. People can be anxious about very different issues in a relationship or sex life, and anxiety about how an issue will be heard is often one of the reasons couples don't talk, even though they intuitively realise they should.
Broadly speaking, couples’ problems tend to break down into several issues around common themes:
- communication and relating difficulties
- sexual intimacy difficulties
- concerns around commitment (too much and not enough)
- ending a relationship.
In my face-to-face and online video-chat based relationship and couples counselling and therapy practice, I work with all orientations of couples – heterosexual and LGBTQ+ – as well as any issues arising out of difficulties different genders experience in relationships. I have considerable experience of working with individuals and couples who identify as being poly (polyamorous) or part of an 'open' couple. My practice is safe and friendly to kink.
I use an uncomplicated conversational model for working with couples that is non-threatening – however difficult your joint issues might be. I know it can feel like a big deal to make the first step but I’ll do my best to help you feel comfortable right from your first contact with me.
Here are some questions that couples typically ask about the process of therapy.
‘CAN COUPLES THERAPY BE DONE ONLINE?’
There are various reasons why couples want to work online. As practitioner I have worked with couples via online video-chat methods for more than 12 years. Experience suggests that it works best when you can connect with me via a larger screen size. A laptop or a desktop computer is ideal although a big tablet can be fine. A few moments spent getting the distance from the screen and the lighting right and the therapy process can begin in your own choice of location.
‘HOW MIGHT THERAPY CHANGE US?’
people who engage with couples work often report that the process allows them to develop helpful new insights into their partner and/or partner’s behaviour. They also report that it helps them to develop greater self-knowledge. Counselling and therapy can have a healing function and therefore often become a way to improve your understanding and communication of each other's past hurts, as well as of the current position.
Couples work can allow you the time and space to think about creating realistic and positive attitudes towards each other's future desires.
‘CAN WE USE COUPLES COUNSELLING IF WE WANT TO SPLIT UP?’
Despite best efforts to stay together, moving towards an ending can be the right next step for a couple. If this is the case, my therapy space (online or in person) seeks to be a safe place in which couples can continue to respect each other as they work towards the relationship's conclusion through separation and/or divorce.
‘DO YOU WORK WITH SPECIFIC SEXUAL ISSUES?’
Sexual issues have a great impact on the intimacy a couple can experience, and it goes without saying that when these are part of the couple’s difficulties we can find appropriate ways of exploring them and helping to find resolutions.
‘WILL WE HAVE TO WAIT TO BOOK A SESSION?’
The side bar of any page of this site* will generally have information about my availability (on mobile phones, this information shows at the end of the page). However, even if I’m fully booked do please contact me if you’d like to work with me as I might know that a space is coming up soon but I’m not yet able to advertise it.
‘WHAT IF WE WANT TO BOOK A SESSION?’
I’m happy for people to send me an email or a text to make initial contact. I’m also happy to take a phone call (if I’m free) or for you to leave a message on my confidential business phone number 07871 257 457. Whichever way you contact me, you can find out a little more about whether online video-chat might be a good way to work together.
Having worked for many years with individuals and couples – face-to-face and via online video-chat – I would say that if you are comfortable using FaceTime or Skype type generic platforms, then it can also be a great way to do therapy. And these days, freezes and breakdowns of the Internet, which can be annoying, are thankfully more infrequent. In more than 12 years of using this sort of technology for therapy I have never had to abandon a session mid-way through.
You can read more about my couples work on the website www.relationship-therapy-bristol.co.uk
Face-to-face and online counselling, psychotherapy, coaching and sex therapy for men, women and couples