What is couples and relationship therapy?

Helping to heal relationships

Every relationship, no matter how strong, can face challenges. Issues like infertility, job loss or money worries can put a strain on even the closest of couples.

Sometimes people can also fall into long-term patterns that create distance between them, such as poor communication. At other times, a big change like the arrival of a new baby can change the relationship dynamic. Losses like bereavement or redundancy, lifestyle shifts like retirement, or physical and mental illness can also create stress between individuals.

‘Attachment styles’ are another core issue that can affect the wellbeing of a couple. Put very simply, in many relationships you might find one partner who wants more closeness and the other who wants more distance. This can create a lot of conflict and pain, with neither person feeling satisfied.

Another issue is what’s known as ‘love languages’. In a nutshell, we often show love to our partner in the same way that we want it to be shown to us. Yet sometimes, their love language is quite different from ours. For instance, one partner might value physical touch as a way of expressing affection, while the other might prefer words of praise. This can be an ongoing source of upset and miscommunication.

Thankfully, couples therapy can help to bring partners closer together, resolving conflicts and repairing bonds. At other times, it can support the end of a relationship and the many difficult emotions that this can bring.

How does couples and relationship therapy work?

In couples therapy, both partners attend sessions with the therapist together. At times, the therapist might also suggest individual sessions. Between sessions tasks might be set, such as having conversations about a certain topic or practising a new way of communicating.

A couples therapist is non-judgemental and neutral. Their job is to support and guide you in doing the work needed to heal your relationship. Part of this involves identify underlying issues that you may not even be aware of and that could run deeper than the more ‘obvious’ conflict. Bringing these issues to light can heal both the relationship and the individuals in it, create a richer bond.

What can couples and relationship therapy help with?

Infidelity, infertility, communication issues, conflict resolution, sexual issues, depression or low mood, bereavement, self-esteem, child & teen issues

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