Whether your relationship is struggling or is basically solid, but with an issue or two you’d both like support in resolving, counselling can be useful to you. Counselling can be particularly helpful to couples in ensuring that the communication that happens in the room is always safe and respectful; contempt and abuse will not be tolerated in sessions. Together we will establish ground rules and guidelines for effective communication, much of which will be useful to you outside of therapy as well.
Generally, counselling starts with exploring and understanding your own experience in the relationship and exploring and understanding your partner’s experience in the relationship. Together we’ll identify and validate the strengths in the relationship and negotiate agreements about what changes are needed and how to go about them. It's interesting how often the differences between partners are both what attracts and what creates the most problems in the relationship. A common example is a pairing where one partner is highly emotional and maybe a little volatile while the other is emotionally contained, analytical and maybe a little detached. With a little work and a lot of open-mindedness, it is possible for each to appreciate and learn from the other. The relationship is strengthened and each partner is richer from having learned from the other.
Some potentially useful areas to explore in couple counselling include: