How the sessions look and feel
I aim to make people feel as relaxed as possible in the first session, however it is totally normal to feel very apprehensive before the first session, especially if you have never experienced counselling before. Men in particular struggle with the whole idea of counselling, but surprise themselves by quickly relaxing into the process. This section aims to give you a clear picture of what happens in the first and subsequent sessions to put your mind at rest.
The first two sessions last for an hour and a half. In the first session there is often a lot of ground to cover which is why I have extended the session to an hour and a half. It might sound like a long session but I can assure you that people are always amazed at how quickly the time goes.
The first session is an opportunity for you both to tell the story of your relationship from your individual perspective. Whoever decides to go first will have the opportunity to speak uninterupted about how the relationship feels to them . Starting from the beginning when you first met, you have the opportunity to talk about the strengths of your relationship and the aspects that you have found more challenging. Once you have finished your partner will then have the same opportunity to tell the story from their perspective. I will ask occasional questions to clarify and fully understand but largely this time will be yours to speak without interruption.
Once you have both finished we then together work out a plan going forward dependant on your specific needs. Every relationship is unique, and the problems facing couples are many and varied. Some couples need help overcoming an affair, others are struggling with regular arguments often stemming from resentments that have been building up for years, all struggle to be really heard and understood by their partner.
Once the plan has been decided, sessions commence on a fortnightly basis. I have found that fortnightly sessions work best as the process is very 'active' and will involve going away and practising what you have learnt in the sessions. You need enough time to see what is and what isn't working.
I would like to stress couples therapy is a wholly positive experience. You will learn so much more about yourself and your partner. You will also learn what is necessary for a relationship to be happy. You will learn ' Loving communication' so that you both feel heard and understood. You will also learn the importance of fully understanding your own needs and expectations, and those of your partner.
I see myself as your relationship adviser and coach, this is unlike Psychotherapy as I teach, coach and advise.
Relationship counselling works, and the majority of couples I see wish that they had not put it off for so long.
Be brave and decide to make 2021 the year you turn your relationship from distressed to happy and fulfilling.
If you feel you require any further information about the process please feel free to give me a call on 07735166997. I am happy to answer any queries you might have.