Relationship and Couples Counselling
' A beautiful thing happens when we start paying attention to each other. It is by participating more in your relationship that you breathe life into it.' Steve Maraboli
Over 90% of couples that came to me for counselling in 2020 felt their relationship had vastly improved as a result.
Statistics show that often a couple will struggle for 6 years prior to making the decision to have counselling. Do not wait until you have one foot in the divorce courts -the sooner you get help, the sooner you will reap the benefits of a healthy and happy relationship.
A recent study of couples 10 years after their divorce, found that over 50% regretted their decision and wished they had worked harder to save their relationship.
My area of specialism is relationship/couples/marriage therapy. Our relationships are one of the most important aspects of our lives and problems within relationships cause considerable emotional distress, and rock the very foundations of your life.
Couples often get stuck in unhealthy patterns with both partners feeling unappreciated,unheard and unloved.
Resentments build up and cause increasing frustration and hostility. Couples can get trapped in cyclical arguments or stop talking altogether and with lines of communications broken the relationship becomes stuck, developing an ever increasing void.
Relationship counselling provides a way out of these destructive cycles.
The typical problems I help my clients overcome are -
A successful relationship is the coming together of two happy healthy individuals. My work with couples involves looking at the individuals within the relationship as well as your relationship to each other. Sometimes one partner's unresolved issues are what is causing the problem sometimes there are unresolved emotional issues on both sides. Solving these issues helps create a solid foundation from which to rebuild and strengthen the relationship going forward.
Is a lack of emotional intimacy a problem in your relationship? You are more likely to answer yes to this question if you are a woman. So often I see women complaining of a lack of closeness, empathy and understanding from their partners. The last 20 years has seen a huge shift in the expectations that women have for their relationships. Men are generally far happier in their relationships than women with more than 65% of divorces instigated by wives. Men are being asked by their wives to be vulnerable, emotionally open and in touch with their feelings when so much of their formative years has taught the opposite. Their upbringing often taught then to 'man-up', hide any vulnerability or emotion, and show strength. Many men are left bemused and floundering in how to solve their wives unhappiness, the good-will is there, they want their partners to be happy but they lack any tools to fix the problem. This is where therapy is so helpful, a lot of the work I do with couples is to educate on emotional intimacy. Helping couples to open up and explore their inner thoughts and feelings together, vulnerability has been shown to be invaluable in generating closeness, but learning to step forward into uncomfortable and emotionally exposed spaces takes patience and understanding from both sides. There is an art to intimacy, and both men and women need to learn its form. When women feel their needs are unmet they can become critical and frustrated, which only serves to make their partner retreat further. Behind every criticism is a vailed wish, and women must learn that in order for their partners to open up they must look to support, encourage and lead rather than criticise and admonish. While men must become curious and questioning, with an aim to explore areas of their relationship they never knew existed.
Are there any active addictions ruining your relationship? More and more I am seeing addictions tear apart relationships. These addiction can come in many guises- drugs, alcohol, work and career, computer games, pornography, gambolling. For a relationship to be happy and healthy the relationship should always be of top priority. A running addiction is like having a third person in the relationship, with the third person getting priority. This leads to loneliness, frustration, resentment and anger in the partner who is pushed aside because of the addiction. If you have an addiction it must be dealt with in order for you and your relationship to stand a chance of getting healthy. Please do not underestimate the damage that workaholism can do to a relationship. This is the issue that I see most frequently, and it's effect on relationships can be devastating.
Do you have firm boundaries that allow you to live authentically?
In order to have a healthy and happy relationship it is vitally important that you make your boundaries very clear. A boundary is a shield for your emotional self, which enables you to look after your well-being and stops you from being mistreated. Clear boundaries tell others how you expect to be treated, and what you find unacceptable. Often people that struggle with confrontation or have low self-esteem find it difficult to put in place firm clear boundaries, and as a result find themselves carrying around a huge amount of hurt and resentment, or worse still mistreated by others. Often partners that are unable to confront issues as they arise end up with a relationship that is both unbalanced and unfair. They accept behaviour that they do not agree with, but feel unable to address the issue. This over time, leads to mounting resentments, often that their partner is totally unaware of. As part of relationship counselling I will teach you the tools to put in place boundaries that will allow you to have healthy rewarding relationships that do not cause you emotional distress. You will learn how to confidently address problems as they arise, and clearly put forward your needs, so that the relationship is able to develop in a fair, loving and emotionally open manner.
The tools you will learn from Relationship Therapy
" Liz is the most direct therapist you will meet, there are no hiding places, or questions she wont ask. But if you are on the verge of divorce like we were, Liz will help you. Without reservation Liz saved our marriage, I never believed in counselling but we are proof it can and does work, just wish we'd gone years earlier." Pete and Kath Penarth
'I saw Liz when I was going through a divorce from Hell. Liz was my port in the storm, a fantastic counsellor. ' S Kear Cardiff
' The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances. If there is a reaction, both are transformed ' . C.G.Jung