Everybody experiences periods of stress, sadness, grief and conflict. Sometimes it is manageable alone but sometimes having a safe space to talk about it can be useful.
Relationships can be complicated. Minor arguments can take on enormous importance and feel difficult to move on from. Sometimes therapy is to resolve something insummountable between two people, communication has broken down, affection has been withdrawn; at other times it can be used more as a relationship service and MOT, having a look at the relationship and taking preemptive action toaddress the smaller issues before they become major.
Having the space, either as an individual or as a couple, to step back from a situation and think about it in a different way can be very useful. Having another person in the room changes the dynamic and can encourage a different way of communicating.
How therapy works:
I generally start with an assessment session (90 minutes for an individual or a couple) in which we can discuss what the problem might be and get some background. The assessment is as much for you to get to know me as me to get to know you, and for us to decide whether it would be helpful to work together. Subsequent sessions normally take place on a weekly basis and last for 50 minutes.
Sometimes things just get too much. It may be that everything you feel is intense. We all get angry and sad but how intense and how often? And is it impairing your ability to function? Feeling overcome with anger or sadness on a regular basis could indicate an underlying issue. Do you also have a habit of catastrophising, immediately assume the worst case scenario will take place?
Have you suffered a trauma and cant stop thinking about it? The pain of a death in the family, a breakup or change in life circumstance like losing a job can be devastating impair daily functioning, sometimes causing us to withdraw from friends and family, even those closest to us.
Individual therapy can give you the space that is safe, non judgemental and totally confidential to explore the issues and help you identify the underlying issue.
Issues that we can talk about include
·Depression (including issues around loss)
·Anxiety issues (phobias, panic attacks and other anxiety related issues)
·Anger / conflict management
·Post traumatic stress.
·Self-destructive (or destructive) behavioural or thinking patterns
·Additions including sex addiction, online pornography addiction, internet addiction.
There are so many reasons for a couple to seek help. It may be that communication has broken down, or seems to be stuck in a pattern of misunderstandings and arguments. It may other triggers such as the birth of a new baby, children leaving home, a change in work or it could be an affair that brings a couple into therapy. Loss of desire and other sexual problems may also be an issue. It may feel like a big step to seek professional help but having a third person to act as an impartial and non judgemental listener can enable the couple to think about their issues and approach them in a different way
Issues that sometimes arise include:
· poor communication
· uncertainty about commitment
· starting a family
· life transitions
· sexual difficulties
Many people or couples experience difficulties in their sexual relationships at some time or other. Sometimes things get better, but sometimes they go from bad to worse and affect other areas of your relationship or life.
Psychosexual therapy helps you talk about your sexual concerns as well as explore potentially sensitive areas in your relationship. It will give you the tools to work through the problem, either as an individual or together as a couple.
The therapy consists of an assessment (that may last a few sessions) to establish what the problem is, when it started, what might have triggered it etc. A treatment program will then be agreed and every week some exercises to do at home will be prescribed. The sessions will explore how those exercises felt, what they stirred up for each person and what to do next. Each treatment program is specifically devised for the client and can be taken at whatever speed feels appropriate.
Problems can be varied but include:
·Loss of sexual desire
·HIV related issues
Common conditions include:
·Spinal Cord Injury
Pre marital counselling
Getting married can be stressful. Not only is the issue of the wedding itself but also of the commitment of two people who possibly approach life quite differently. Pre marital counselling can explore issues about where to live, who will make the money, how many children to have and how to raise those children. Pre-marital counselling can help you create a shared vision of the future. It can also give you the tools to both manage conflict that can arise but also the tools to recover from it.
Post marital counselling
The break up of a relationship is traumatic and difficult decision for anyone involved, but it doesn't need to be acrimonious, particularly if there are children involved. Having a space to work through the areas of conflict, particularly surrounding arrangements for children, concepts of co-parenting in separate spaces or working through the disappointment of the end of the relationship is essential. It can be helpful to have that place away from the home where an agenda can be set to find resolution of these issues.