Denise Evans, Clinical Counsellor

Couples counselling or psychotherapy addresses people’s individual problems but the focus is upon the relationship and moving it towards what the couple would like it to be. Ideally, the counsellor meets with the clients together, so creates the therapeutic relationship with both people simultaneously. If this isn’t possible both members of the  couple will receive individual sessions prior to meeting with the counsellor as a couple.

Often the clients will be struggling with issues within their relationship. Sometimes, awareness of problems arise out of the couple going through a period of significant transition, from moving, to changing jobs, to having children, or retiring. The  problems often pre-exist the change in circumstance but are made worse through the change, or their existence is acknowledged because they exist in spite of the change. Problems can be long term with resentment having built up over time, or can be short term and arising out of specific circumstances. The counsellor works with the couple to identify possible issues on which to work; to introduce different ways of thinking and feeling about the problems; and to help them in setting and reaching goals for the relationship. Work on the relationship is often done at the same time as personal work by the individuals.

Psychotherapy is also for those couples who are managing their issues reasonably well but are looking for help in building a stronger, more companionable, more loving relationship. The clinician and the couple work together to identify dreams or a vision for the future and to form plans to reach them.

Counselling may also be sought by young couples looking for assistance in negotiating the early stages in their relationship or seeking pre-marital counselling.

Couples may also ask the counsellor’s help in mediating or facilitating their separation, wanting assistance in negotiating a parental relationship while ending their relationship as a couple.

© 2010 Sea to Sky Counselling, Denise Evans. Website Development Goodwin Studios