Are you looking for a relationship counsellor? Couples counselling is variously called, marriage counselling or relationship counselling. We see couples, whether married or de facto, in straight or same-sex relationships as well a pre-marital counselling. Every couple is different and there is no rulebook but here are some common patterns.
All couples, even in strong, healthy relationships, face everyday issues around such things as money, in-laws, boredom, kids, housework, time management, work/life balance etc. Counselling provides a safe place to address such everyday issues. The therapist provides a neutral non-judgmental third party to help kept discussions on-track, civilised and calm. The couple can then talk without getting emotionally overloaded.
The therapist can help identify deadlocks (where talking just goes around and around without getting anywhere), or impasse (where the couple has come to a standstill and neither partner feels that they can move), or misunderstanding (where the couple are talking past each other). Slowing and deepening communication allows each partner gets the other's point of view. With communication freed up, the couple can then negotiate constructively.
Counselling will help you remember the strengths that each of you bring to the relationship as well as remind you of all the good things about the relationship that tend to get lost in times of distress.
Life challenges can strain relationships as the couple struggle to adapt to changed circumstances. Examples include:
Therapy can provide time and space for a couple to come to terms with major life changes and transitions before the relationship becomes endangered.
Things are trickier if the relationship itself is in trouble - where there is a loss of trust, a buildup of negative feelings or hurtful behaviours. Healing a damaged relationship requires finding mutual understanding and forgiveness then rebuilding hope and trust. Therapy can help identify negative patterns and help you find new possibilities. Typical issues include: