Creating a life together will inevitably be
It is natural for a relationship to change and grow over time and include extremes of blissful union and excruciating distance and everything in between. We all know that difficulties will occur once the honeymoon is over yet we are often ill prepared for the shock of seeing each other for who we really are and have to face the awful realisation that the prince or princess we fell in love with is turning out to be more like a frog than we bargained for!
Every stage in our relationship presents us
with new challenges
Whether it is deciding whether to commit to each other, building a career, a home, managing money, all manner of decisions, power struggles, children coming along, not coming along, losses, affairs, endings – all bring us face to face with both our strengths and our challenges and the real test of a relationship is how well we cope as a couple when we are under stress. What we often miss is that the same struggle is often shared by both partners and it can become a battle for each one of us to get our needs met, to be heard and understood yet so often we end up hurting and feeling hurt as we fail to connect or meet each other as we would like.
Levels of emotional intensity can sometimes
make it difficult to take a step back
When we are so caught up in acting and reacting and possibly repeating the same old patterns of communication that never seem to go anywhere except driving each other apart, it can become impossible to see a way through and we can feel very stuck, unhappy and alone. This is where meeting with a therapist can really help as we all embark on a journey taking a different perspective – looking at the relationship as a separate, third element that has been created by both partners coming together. Rather than blame and expect the other one to change we explore how each have contributed to the way things are. Often there are patterns from our families of origin that are being played out unconsciously in the relationship and it can be a great relief to learn to recognise these and separate what is happening in the here and now from what happened ‘back then’.
How we work together
Our sessions may be quite structured and can include coaching and practice in how to communicate more effectively with each other, listening actively and feeding back what you have heard to your partner, finding new ways to keep the channels of communication open, learning how to reconnect when times at tough and managing difficult feelings that arise in your relationship. I offer tools to assist you both in learning how to track your physiological state and arousal levels and to recognise when to stop pursuing an issue and take action to return to a regulated and calm state. Somatic Experiencing provides a comprehensive model to help us understand ourselves from a psychobiological perspective and understand how basic survival strategies are often at the root of our conflicts when we perceive our partner as a threat rather than a supportive friend. I will be able to explain more about Somatic Experiencing when we meet and the best way to understand how this might work for you both is to experience it in a session if you are interested in this way of working.
Our initial discussion on the phone will be very brief as I will expect that you and your partner will have talked together and agreed to give couples work a try. Whichever one of you makes contact with me I will assume that you are both ready to come along to an initial session to explore how we might take things forward constructively.
I charge £30 for our initial session and between £55 – £85 per 50 minute session thereafter according to what you can afford to pay. Please feel free to call me to arrange an appointment for us to meet on 07847 535312.