Relationship Therapy & Couples Counselling
“Love without truth is sentimentality; it supports and affirms us but keeps us in denial about our flaws. Truth without love is harshness; it gives us information but in such a way that we cannot really hear it.”
– Timothy Keller
Support is available for any kind of relationship and the aim of couples therapy is to give each partner equal time and attention. Both parties are encouraged to tell their side of the story, without interruption. Often, it is one person who seeks counselling whilst the other is reluctant. This reluctance is respected and you can be assured of a gentle and non-judgemental approach. Whilst couples therapy can be easier if both couples attend, marriage counselling or relationship counselling can still be helpful even if you come alone. We are still mindful of the ‘empty seat’ in the room but can listen without judgement and provide support whilst you work through more positive ways of engaging in your relationship. At a later point, your partner may decide to join you.
Admitting that your relationship is going through a rough patch, or considering whether you wish to remain in a long-term relationship, is an emotionally unsettling and upsetting process. You will never be told to leave your relationship. However, if this is the conclusion that you reach, particularly if you are in an abusive relationship, support is of course available during this period of transition.
Couples therapy can identify how you might better understand your needs, both individually and as a couple. The aim is to help you communicate more effectively and honestly, if this is necessary, in order to (re)establish a positive and authentic relationship. Beginning any form of counselling is daunting, but starting couples counselling can be even more unnerving than individual therapy. There may be a fear that the truth will upset or hurt your partner. You may be concerned that talking about your relationship issues may make a bad situation even worse. You may even worry that the therapist may not be impartial, and will take sides with your partner. However, you can be assured of objectivity; a therapist’s role is to provide both of you with equal time, attention and understanding. Most importantly, you will likely feel a sense of relief that you are moving forward in your relationship: something is being done to help. Committing to couples therapy demonstrates that regardless of whatever problems you are experiencing you care enough to seek help.