Couple Counselling – Healing Relationships

When the Honeymoon is Over …

For Sam and Avery, the honeymoon is over. They are bickering over trivialities, or they can’t talk openly to one another, or they have conflicts they find difficult to resolve, or differing needs, or they struggle with intimacy, or they lack trust. Sam and Avery feel hurt and angry, and don’t know where to turn.

What is Couple Counselling?

Couple counselling can help by providing time away from your home in a neutral, welcoming and safe environment, where you, the couple, can explore your difficulties, and where you can be helped to clarify how you think, feel and act in your relationship.

In the couple counselling, you can learn to speak and listen to one another in a more constructive way, to express and appreciate each other’s wants and needs, to negotiate difficult decisions, maybe to restore the love, respect, trust and enjoyment which you once knew. And if, as a couple, you decide to separate or divorce, then emotional support can be given, in the couple counselling, through what may be a painful process.

How We Work Together

Vases, © Anne Strange, 2015

My work as a couple counsellor is to encourage the practice of Right Relations. Held in a safe and non-judgmental space, both partners learn how to show respect for one another and to honour difference. Trust is rebuilt through learning to hear one another, however painful this might be. With trust comes the possibility for both to say what they want (like to have) and need (must have) and work together to see how these wants and needs might be satisfied. 

As a couple counsellor, my role is to foster a dialogue between you. I foster this dialogue by posing questions and raising relevant topics for you to discuss with each other. In your dialogue, I encourage both of you to take ownership of whatever you express, your thoughts, your feelings, your wants, your needs. I actively discourage judgemental statements about your partner addressed directly to me – typically, statements beginning with the words ‘he’ or ‘she’, which are in conflict with Right Relations.

The most important factor for each partner in couple counselling is to be honest with your partner about whatever issues brought you into couple counselling, and to be willing to be open with your partner about what you feel and what you need. Sharing feelings and needs serves to strengthen and deepen your relationship, regardless of what the future may bring.

When the Flame of Love has Dimmed

For Sam and Avery, the flame of love has dimmed, the light of intimacy has faded to familiarity. Maybe, Sam is withdrawn, fearing closeness, while Avery feels neglected, needing closeness, or Avery feels indignant that she is left to organise everything, while Sam is feeling overlooked and left out. Neither is able to speak of their underlying resentment without an argument ensuing. Nathan Schwartz-Salant* writes, “The `dark’ couple underlying the `conscious’ couple is strange and usually unpleasant.” 

Sam and Avery have learnt to carry on carrying on, in an uneasy twilight, until, perhaps, the fierce light of crisis illuminates their lassitude, possibly a child leaving home, the death of a parent, one of them finally screaming, “I can’t stand this any more!” 

Here is Nathan Schwartz-Salant again, offering a way forward:

“All people need a partner in the effort to individuate if this integrative path is to include love, aggression, and bodily life,
along with a spiritual focus of values and goals. Rarely, if ever, can a person enter the path of creating and transforming a self
 without the fire and challenge of an ongoing relationship.” 

Rarely, if ever, can a couple face the fire and challenge without a shared commitment, soul searching, and a willingness to attain a deep, intimate, Soul to Soul relation. By ‘Soul’—pursuant to my Home page—I mean our lived experience of being who we are. As children, we may suffer a lack of loving care, or neglect, or cruelty. Such wounding causes a diminishing of Soul, carrying over into adulthood. So, as a `conscious’ couple enters a relationship, the `dark’ couple enters with them. 

Couple counselling seeks to help a couple work together, bringing the dark couple into the light, healing childhood trauma, restoring Soul, and discovering a new depth of intimacy in their life together.

How We Work Together

As a couple counsellor, my work is to support you in sustaining the practice of Right Relations, as you explore together both the present day impact of trauma and your future dreams and imperatives. In the couple counselling there is a broadening and deepening of Right Relations, a profound opportunity for emotional and psychological growth, as you journey together towards Schwartz-Salant’s aspiration.

Couple counselling is an alchemical crucible within which to refine the gold of intimacy Soul-to-Soul. As a couple counsellor my role is to serve as a catalyst, aiding this nascent transmutation of Soul.

Your Next Step?

Your next step is to Contact me to talk about couple counselling and to let me know what you need.

My psychotherapy practice is located in the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead. I work face-to-face with couple clients from surrounding counties, Berkshire, South Buckinghamshire, South Oxfordshire, North Hampshire, and North Surrey. 

* The Mystery of Human Relationship, Chapter 10. Nathan Schwartz-Salant.