When couples come to therapy they are looking for hope that their relationship can be better. Learning to communicate better as a couple is essential, but counsellors who are trained specifically in Relationship Therapy will have specialised in particular theories which are designed to support this work. As well as having an appreciation for each individual’s perspective, they will have developed the skill of making sure that both get the opportunity to feel ‘heard’ by the other.
But there’s more to it. Relationship Therapists have studied the way we look for closeness (Attachment Theory), and the strategies that we choose to help us feel safe. They also have a grasp on the underlying, sometimes unconscious, reasons why we are attracted to one person rather than another (Object Relations Theory).
To support these theories, a Relationship Therapist will not just listen, but will ask sensitive, but well-chosen questions, which are designed to make space for new ways of thinking, feeling and behaving (Systems Theory). In the telling of your stories, space is made for you to consider how you would like your joint story to continue, and opens possibilities for a different ending.
At The Counselling Lab, therapists are Relate trained, but before committing to any couples therapist, it’s a good idea to ask if your counsellor has an understanding of these theories, all of which are particularly relevant to the way we make, maintain and break relationships. Click here to Contact us.
A word about Domestic Abuse
The Counselling Lab is dedicated to understanding what constitutes Domestic Abuse. Sometimes, when domestic abuse is taking place between a couple, couples therapy is not recommended. This is because the work may open up difficult areas, which might intensify strong feelings. If this is the case, it may be that we refer you to a more suitable service or work with you individually.
Domestic Abuse can refer to Coercive Control, psychological or emotional abuse, physical or sexual abuse, financial abuse, harassment or stalking, and online or digital abuse. This is not an exhaustive list, and if you are concerned that you are in a relationship where some of these behaviours are present, we may be able to help you as an individual.