Couples often find themselves stuck in repetitive patterns of negative behaviour. Communication may be poor. Arguments often recur without resolution. Couples can easily become defensive and polarised.
It is a myth that relationships are easy. It is also a myth that we shouldn't have to work on our relationships if we love each other.
We invest in so many other areas of our life - but somehow feel we shouldn't invest in our romantic relationships. But in my experience couples who come for counselling are ALWAYS grateful they made that choice. Couples counselling can transform relationships, simply by addressing the underlying issues behind arguments, helping clients to learn how to connect at an emotional level and improving communication skills.
Many couples resist coming for counselling because, understandably, they'd prefer to work things out for themselves. They also feel it is embarrassing to talk about their relationship with a stranger. But after the first appointment almost every couple says they want to return and work on their relationship and wish they had come earlier.
The relationship we have with ourself determines so much of what happens in our life. If we have a positive relationship with ourself then we are able to manage the disappointments in life - both when we disappoint others and when they disappoint us. We have resilience and internal strengths and resources.
But if our self-esteem is low then we place too much value on how others feel about us. This can lead us to disconnect from our true sense of self. It is not uncommon for people to say "I don't really know who I am". Knowing who we are and feeling comfortable with that is the central ingredient for a positive sense of wellbeing.
Family counselling can be transforming in a very short period of time. Often a single session can increase understanding between family members and open up new ways of relating.
Research shows that systemic family counselling can be a much more effective way of dealing with many issues such as eating disorders, behavioural issues and addictions than working with just one individual on their own.
Family counselling can also be extremely helpful in dealing with life adjustments such as divorce, bereavement, trauma and loss. These issues can cause problems in family life as family members deal with things in different ways and struggle to understand each other and to work together in a supportive and understanding way. Learning to work better together can be learned quickly in a few sessions of family counselling.