Couples Therapy Auckland

marriage counselling auckland - couples therapyRelationship & Marriage Counselling

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.

External stress

Today in Aotearoa New Zealand many couples and families are going through unprecedented levels of stress, from the uncertainty of the Covid pandemic to the ongoing housing crisis. Sometimes relationship conflict is a symptom of external social and finacnial issues. So if you or your partner are under increasing stress, resulting in increased conflict, rather than taking it out on one another, consider couples counselling, so you can get on the same page and face the challenges together.

Everyday relationship issues

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.

Sex & intimacy

Developing and maintaining a fulfilling sexual life for both partners in a long-term relationship can pose many challenges for couples. This is subject to many different factors from both inside and outside the relationship. This may be related to many different issues including:

  • quality of emotional attachment
  • communication patterns
  • incompatibilities in sex drives etc
  • life stressors
  • attachment styles
  • physiological or health issues
  • past trauma or abuse
  • etc etc

See our therapists with particular experience in working with sex and intimacy difficulties or for more info see our page on Sex, Sexuality & Gender issues.

Facing challenges & transitions

Life challenges can strain marriages and relationships as the couple struggle to adapt to changed circumstances. Examples include:

  • Complexities of merged families
  • Financial or employment upheavals
  • Cross-cultural relationships
  • Migration stresses
  • Infertility, miscarriage, IVF, impotence, etc.
  • Loss of close family member
  • Changes with having children
  • Complexities of disability or mental health conditions
  • Other life transitions such as redundancy, retirement, empty nest, moving cities etc
  • Sexual issues (changes in desire, arousal, loss of pleasure, dissatisfaction etc)

Therapy can provide time and space for a couple to come to terms with major life changes and transitions before the relationship becomes endangered.

When your relationship is at breaking point

Things are trickier if the marriage or 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. Typical situations include:

  • Cheating, emotional affairs, or jealousy
  • Violence, power, control, emotional, physical or sexual abuse
  • Off-again, on-again relationships
  • Communication breakdown
  • Loss of intimacy : emotional or sexual shutdown