The majority of relationships, marriages, civil partnerships (if not all), experience challenges at one point or another. These difficulties tend to be worked through and resolved without external help. However, you may currently be finding it very difficult to resolve some of the issues in your own relationship and feel at a loss in finding a way forward. Perhaps you find that arguing is a common occurrence and that you feel frustrated, angry or hostility towards your partner. Alternatively, a lack of connection within the relationship can bring up feelings of rejection or isolation. Perhaps, a lack of communication and silence consumes the relationship. Conflict in relationships can go around in circles which may leave each person digging further into their positions and feeling there is no common ground to resolve the issues. Couples counselling or relationship counselling may be your next step to assist the relationship to move through the difficulty.
While this list is not exhaustive, these are some of the issues that can impact on relationships and may be worked through in couple counselling:
Couples therapy is quite distinct and different from individual therapy. As an Accredited member of the BACP, counsellor supervisor and previously a counselling service manager, it become clear to Christian that being appropriately trained specifically in couples work is one of the key requisites to ensure an ethical and good standard of support can be delivered. Christian‘s initial training involved a relational approach which focused on how relationships are forged, maintained but also broken. However, while this was a good insight into relationship dynamics, it was not enough to be competent in working with couples. Therefore, Christian‘s subsequent training specifically in couples counselling consolidated his initial training and provided him with the necessary competencies to work with couples. It taught him how to identify the behaviours, dynamics and missed signals that lead to relationship breakdown. Through the couples training he came to understand how to work with couples in the therapy room, the issues that couples specifically struggle with, and promote a coming together and healing.
There are a number of aspects to couples counselling. First of all, the couples counselling in Newport practice is conducted in a private and confidential setting. When entering couples counselling, an important aspect of the therapy is to initially provide a safe environment to enable you to express your concerns in a constructive manner. To make the communication between you and your partner successful, Christian would also assist you both to express and hear each other’s concerns in a way that would be less threatening and easier to receive. Through observing the way you interact, Christian may also bring your attention to some of the subtle ways that your relationship turns into conflict. Being able to step out of the subtle, but automatic patterns that take us into conflict, enables change to take place. Having awareness of what triggers these episodes, both within your partner and you, would be a crucial aspect of the therapy. Certain relational challenges occur because of unresolved past distresses, either within, or prior to the beginning of the relationship. If it is agreeable, we may explore these aspects and seek to find alternative ways of negotiating such situations in a way that would be more constructive for the relationship. However, Christian‘s aim would always be to give each person an equal footing in a manner that aims to be impartial and non-judgemental. One crucial aspect of couples counselling is that both partners are together when the sessions take place. While this may sound obvious, if one partner was not able to attend the session while the other still wanted to (or one partner was receiving individual sessions previously with Christian), this would add complications in maintaining impartiality within the therapy. Therefore, individual sessions are avoided.
You may feel that you have exhausted all avenues of resolving your difficulties and you would like to see if couples counselling can help you. Alternatively, you may not be in crisis and see the option of couples counselling as a way to deepen your relationship. Therefore, to engage in the therapy, please do not hesitate to contact Christian so you can discuss the options and potentially arrange an appointment. He can provide you with his availability within the days and times he operates his practice (see practice hours here) so you can consider if the times available are convenient. Booking an appointment would need both your partner and you to consent. Once this has been agreed, Christian will send you confirmation of the booking and general terms and conditions.