with Matthew Elton, DPhil, PG Dip (TA Counselling), BACP Registered
Our relationships are important to us and if they start to go wrong we can experience many emotions, ranging from frustration and irritation through to anxiety, rage, loneliness and sadness. We can find ourselves puzzled that something that was once such a source of excitement, strength and comfort seems to have become a cause of pain and distress.
Often the reasons why our relationships work well is a ‘happy mystery’ to us. But when things go wrong, our lack of insight into what makes them work in the first place can leave us unsure about what to do.
Counselling can help you better understand your relationship, yourself and your partner. And it can help the two of you figure out what you want to do to make things better.
Difficulties that couples often experience include:
- conflicts around money, time, decision making, etc.
- arguments that keep happening but don’t go anywhere
- not talking about important things and/or keeping secrets
- the fall out from an affair
- a lack of and/or problems in your sex life
- a nagging sense that things are ‘not right’ or that you are ‘stuck’.
In couple counselling, I will support each of you to talk about your concerns and hopes for yourself and for your relationship. If there are things that you’ve not previously spoken to your partner about – and perhaps not even understood yourself – this can feel scary. I will also support you to listen to each other patiently, aiming for curiosity rather than judgement.
The exact nature of the sessions depends on who you are and the issues that you bring. However, it’s common for me to:
- give the two of you a topic or task to talk about together for a few minutes, while I observe and take notes. I sometimes gently interrupt to make suggestions about how to carry forward the conversation or to steer you away from an old pattern that you already know won’t get you anywhere.
- spend some time talking to one partner, while encouraging the other to listen and monitor their own responses – I will then shift focus to get an account of the responses of the listening partner. This process is then repeated with the talking / listening roles reversed.
Couple sessions normally run for an hour. The number of sessions needed will vary from couple to couple and it will depend on what issues the two of you bring. All three of us will regularly review whether the sessions are proving helpful and when it might be appropriate to reduce the frequency or bring them to an end.
I welcome couples of all kinds.
Fees for couples
I currently charge £60 for a couples session – an initial consultation / first session is £30. If you feel that these fees prevent you from committing to ongoing work, please do discuss it with me as I try to offer some flexibility.
To inquire about availability or ask any other questions please use my online form.