How Does Couple Counselling / Psychotherapy Work?

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  • Taking care

Couple counselling / psychotherapy is a hugely rewarding experience. But at the early stages it can be emotionally exhausting because you are considering new ways of moving forward. Please bear this in mind before you commit and take special care of yourself and partner / family as you go through the therapy process.


  • Impartiality

As a couple counsellor / psychotherapist, I consider my client to be the 'couple’, and not ‘two individuals’. This is in order to stay attentive to both partners equally and impartially.


  • The process

In the sessions we might focus on helpful and unhelpful patterns of emotion, thought or behaviour that each of you brings into the relationship. We may also look at your context, past and present and how you deal with the painful emotions that are triggered in your stressful interactions. This is in order to be able to explore new ways of relating to yourselves and each other. You will learn how to listen to each other non-defensively and explore what each of you might be able to change to make a difference to your situation for the better.

Throughout the work, we will be evaluating what is realistic and achievable.

The depth of our explorations depends on your need, ability and willingness to engage.


  • Clarity for informed decisions

It is not my job or in my power to keep you together at all costs, or to end your relationship. By thinking honestly and openly together in a confidential space you are better able to clarify what you want and what is possible, unearth unhelpful assumptions and use mistakes as essential learning for the future. This process often relieves years of accumulated tensions and brings most couples closer together with a fresh outlook.

Occasionally clarity empowers one or both partners to end a relationship that despite their best efforts has not worked for them or they have moved on from.

Divorcing or separating couples can also use couple therapy to find more helpful ways of communicating about their parting. Please be aware that this is not the same as mediation which is more about detailed practical negotiations.


  • One-to-one sessions as part of the work

Confidential one-to-one sessions only take place if the three of us have agreed, or I consider it to be useful in the process, or someone's emotional or physical safety (especially a child’s) is judged to be at risk. One-to-one sessions are charged at the same rate as couple sessions.


  • One-to-one sessions, after ending the work

Once we have ended our work, one or both of you can access one-to-one counselling / psychotherapy for yourselves. You will then be my individual client. The contract and fee are adjusted accordingly.


Live video sessions

Live video sessions are via Zoom and are 50 minutes in length. They are conducted similarly to in-person sessions.

It is very important that you make sure there is a confidential and comfortable space to work from, so we can focus on sensitive matters and discuss issues openly.


Email sessions

This way of working can be helpful for you and your partner, especially if one or both of you cannot commit to regular sessions.

!! A word of caution: please do not use this method if you fear your partner.


1- Make the appointment:

We agree on an appointment date.

2- Write:

You write up to 500 words each, about what's going on for you and what you hope to achieve from the sessions (from your individual perspectives).

You can spend as much time on your writing as you wish.

I will send you a password for your respective documents, so that only you (both) and I can open them.

3- Swap:

You and your partner read what each has written before sending your words to me. This is really important!

4- Send:

You send your written comments to my mailbox no less than two days before the agreed appointment date. 

The appointment time refers to a block of 120 minutes. This is my working time to read, reflect and respond to your individual perspectives. I write one response back to you both.

This way of working is focused and could cover issues more quickly than face to face.


For information about one-to-one email appointments click here.


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