My initial couple counselling training was with Relate and whilst training I worked for a year in a Relate centre. Later, during my time spent working in the IAPT team in Sheffield there was a move towards providing couple therapy within the GP surgery, and so I undertook a further training in ‘Couple Therapy for Depression’. This training was devised by the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships (a nationally and internationally renowned training provider) as a response to the NICE guidelines regarding treatments for depression. It was recognised that where couples are having difficulties it is almost inevitable that one or both of them will be suffering from some degree of depression and that it is important to consider how this affects each member of the couple. Having said that, this is a model of couple therapy that is helpful for all couples, not just those where depression has been identified.
When working with couples there is a lot to be taken into consideration. There is the present situation – whatever it is that has brought them to therapy; their past family experience and how this affects their couple relationship; cultural and ethnic differences; expectations of each member of the couple, and more. Couples usually come to therapy wanting to change their partner, and we will look at possible changes that can be made. However, before we get to that stage we will look at what brought you together initially – what did you like about each other; in what ways are you different from each other. These differences are usually things that attract in the beginning but may become a source of irritation as your life together goes on. Your disagreements and difficulties will usually centre around these differences, and discussions of these difficulties will enable us to build a picture of the ‘theme’ that your relationship centres around. Once you understand what your couple theme is, you will begin to recognise how you interact together – you will grow in understanding of your couple relationship and this will give you the tools that you need to be able to maintain a healthy relationship once it is back on an even keel.
Couple counselling sessions last for 50 minutes. I am able to offer some late afternoon/early evening appointments.