Counselling with Janet Daniel

Couples Counselling & Psychotherapy Teddington, Richmond upon Thames

The Couples Counselling Process

Therapists often tell clients to trust the therapeutic process. However, the process of couple's counselling can be confusing. Sometimes couples say they feel lost in the process, that they're going round in circles. They can project their disappointment, anger and frustration onto each other and the therapist. Sometimes a couple decides to quit the process early at that point. They leave feeling it's been a waste of time or they are kick-started into communicating more honestly and directly with each other. I've seen both.

It's really important to say that out of what might feel like chaos and lack of direction, hopelessness and despair, can emerge understanding, order, resolution and a clear path forward. One client describes the process of exploring what may have got the couple to this point in their relationship being like cutting back a tangle of weeds to find a rose beneath. That rose needs nourishing and nurturing. It may mean rebuilding and repairing ruptures and learning new ways of relating. It may mean separating on better terms.

Programme for Couples

In response to a client's feedback suggesting a programme that would help her and her partner know where they are in the process, below is a brief summary of subjects that are covered by me. They may not be covered in this order. It will depend very much on the uniqueness of the couple's issues. I always welcome client feedback and regularly review our work together, what is helping and what isn't working for you, so I can deliver the best possible caring service.

  1. Setting clear goals. Expectations, hopes and fears of the therapeutic process.
  2. Individual histories: background, culture, health, family, childhood, upbringing, role models, influencers, education, work.
  3. Relationship histories and patterns
  4. What you learnt from your parents or carers about how to 'do' relationships.
  5. Attachment Theory. How early childhood experiences or trauma has impacted on how you relate to each other
  6. Communication Styles. Listening from the heart and the head.
  7. Managing difference and conflict: What's presented? What's projected? What's coming from the past? What's in the shadows- in the unconscious or out of awareness?
  8. Intimacy and Sex. Affairs, Polyamory.
  9. Parenting styles and issues (if appropriate)
  10. Obstacles to overcome.
  11. Managing the relationship differently. Strategies, ideas and tips. The Way Forward.

This is not exhaustive of course. I suggest podcasts, articles, videos throughout the process to enhance understanding and knowledge.