Couples come to therapy because the communication between them has become difficult or has broken down, causing arguments and conflict.
As a counsellor, I see partners as the context for each other. Each approaches the relationship with similarities and differences that shape their needs and expectations. These then become the ‘tangle of the relationship’, which are informed by an individual’s past childhood experiences and present cultural and societal environment.
Differences of belief and opinion can become polarized as a couple engages in tit for tat circular arguments. Behaviours and responses once useful in childhood but now redundant in a new context can become fuel to an ever-tightening vicious circle.
Couple counselling involves a neutral safe setting guaranteeing confidentiality which allows a couple to discuss and hopefully resolve their problems.
Sometimes couples come to counselling with issues other than their relationship, for example, severe mental health problems or addiction. Issues such as these would have an effect on any relationship and contribute to or cause problems for a couple. However, couples have to be ready for therapy and in such cases I would ask clients to seek help from other professionals before coming back to couple therapy.