All relationships take hard work, even the happy ones. We invest a lot in them. So when they go wrong, it can feel incredibly upsetting. We can feel angry, stuck, alone, unable to get through to our partner anymore. Coming to therapy together can help you both think about your issues in a different way and encourage you to make the changes you once felt were impossible or just too daunting. Sometimes there can be a specific problem that you want help with, such as an affair, depression, infertility, addiction, bereavement or anxiety and stress. Couples also come for therapy because they've drifted apart, stopped communicating and lost the spark they once had. Discussing your problems with a professional third party can give you the tools you need to think about things in a more constructive way, so that you can move forward and be happy.
Relationship therapy isn't all about couples. I work with individuals of all ages, men and women, gay or straight, who want to look at their relationships and the sort of people they go out with. You might come to counselling to get over a difficult break-up. You may want to work out what's holding you back from having a relationship. Maybe you've found yourself dating the same sort of people time and time again and you want help to break that negative pattern. Some professional help might help.
For sexual issues
Sexual difficulties are incredibly common, but talking about them can be upsetting, embarrassing and shaming. The problems can also have a devastating knock-on effect on our confidence, self-esteem and our relationships. Psychosexual therapy provides a place to have those awkward discussions without the fear of being judged or mocked. We will work out the root of the problem and then come up with a plan to make things better. Common issues include lack of desire, erectile difficulties, sexual pain, sexual abuse, anxiety, addiction, pornography and sexual identity. Gay, straight, bisexual or trans, come by yourself or with your partner. It really can make a difference.
How to get the most out of therapy
Don't hold back
There's no point censoring yourself. In order to help you I need to know what's really going on. I'm not going to be offended or shocked. So please, say what you feel, be honest and open.
Stick at it
Having therapy is no walk in the park and there will be times when you won't want to go. Emotions can get triggered. You may get upset, cry even. It's not easy. But if you can apply yourself and not get put off, you'll start to make connections, understand yourself better and feel more resilient.
Sometimes it can be really hard to know whether a relationship is worth saving or not. If you've been unhappy for a while or you're tired of trying, it's still worth taking time to make sure you really want to separate. That's where therapy can help. Because, even if you don't have children any relationship breakdown can have lasting effects. The emotions can feel overwhelming, whether the decision to leave was yours or your partner's. So the more thought and work you put in before and during your separation, the easier it will be to recover and build a new life. And if you do have children, you'll need to find a way to get along with your partner so that the kids don't suffer. Come together or on your own and let's try to make sense of what you're feeling and what you want to do about it.
If there's something that you think I haven't understood or you disagree with, then let me know. If it's not working, then we can find a way to fix it. Therapy works best when it's collaborative. Express your needs, ask questions, tell me what you want to talk about.
Find the right time
I see clients six days a week. My earliest appointment is at 8am, my latest 9pm. Schedule your session when you can give it your full attention. Give yourself space afterwards to reflect on what you've discussed in therapy.
Addiction and recovery
One of the most devastating and lasting effects of addiction can be on the relationships with loved ones and those close to an addict. Partners and family members can experience the alienation and loss of trust that often results from addiction and its accompanying behaviours.
Sometimes, the damage that an addiction has brought can seem irreparable. However, navigating the process of rebuilding and repairing relationships after addiction is key to a successful recovery.
Rebuilding a relationship after addiction takes time and it can be especially difficult early on.
People struggling with addiction often need professional help to live a sober lifestyle. The same is true when it comes to repairing broken relationships and re-establishing your intimate life. Whether it’s you who has a problem with addiction or you’re a family member or partner of an addict, therapy can help you make sense of everything that’s happened and find the best way forward.
Savour the process
I know therapy isn't always fun - although I do laugh quite a bit with my clients. One thing's for certain, it can be an incredibly enriching process. You'll learn things about yourself that will stay with you for the rest of your life.