In couples therapy, my role is to provide a caring, supportive and non-judgmental environment for couples to explore the nature of their relationship difficulties. I can help provide interventions and coping strategies to address them and to bring about growth for you both. Ultimately this may be about nurturing a closer relationship or even negotiating a mutually agreed ending to the relationship.
The approach I generally use is Behavioural Couples Therapy (BCT). This is particularly applicable if one partner is experiencing mental health difficulties , such as depression or excessive anxiety. Being in a committed relationship and experiencing depression are not mutually exclusive. So while your partner may be willing to help in whatever way they can, often they simply do not know how. This may then lead to a break-down in communication.
While the reason for couples therapy may seem to be about one partner, BCT requires both parties be fully involved. The focus is on the relationship rather than one individual and it looks at equipping you both to deal with the presenting issue(s) in more adaptive ways. Relationship distress is a key factor for potential relapse in depression. Healing the relationship helps prevent this.
One couple had this to say about their experience of couples therapy:
“We would like to thank you for all your advice and help during a time where we’ve been struggling in our marriage. You’ve made us sit back and realise that some of the arguments and disagreements we have are actually quite pointless, and that when they aren’t pointless, it’s ok to have a difference of opinion, it’s all about how you deal with that together. It’s as if we’ve been looking from the outside in which is something that we’ve never been able to do before entering into therapy. We’re most impressed with the way you have listened to our stories and prepared a plan tailored to suit our needs. We weren’t overwhelmed with information that we didn’t need, everything was useful and helpful.”
See more client comments here.