Couple therapy or relationship counselling is an effective method of assisting couples with learning how their relationship works and why it runs into trouble. It is helpful for specific problems, as well as for complex problems that have developed and solidified over a long period of time. Available in Kensington, West London. Easy access from Notting Hill, Holland Park, Earl's Court, Fulham, Hammersmith, Gloucester Road
Couple therapy at Kensington Counselling is psychoanalytic and is particularly suited to couples who have the need, as well as the time and desire, to understand their relationship problems in depth. The partners can be married, unmarried, in a civil partnership, straight, gay, lesbian, or transgender. I can help with:
Loss of intimacy
The arrival of a new child
Infertility or difficulty conceiving
Significant life changes
Separation, divorce, or civil partnership dissolution
Going through the end of a relationship can be a complicated and painful process. The purpose of this service is to help individuals and couples understand their emotional state and work through the process of rebuilding their lives. This is not a mediation service.
Parenting difficulties (see also the family counselling section)
This service is intended for either individuals or couples. It may be that a couple are having difficulties agreeing on how to parent or both are struggling with one or more of their children. During the initial consultation we will decide together on whether therapy will provide a space to reflect on the couple’s difficulties or whether children also need to attend therapy.
These issues can also occur within the context of separation, civil partnership dissolution, or separation. In such cases it is usually helpful to initially help the parents work through the emotions that have arisen because of the end of the relationship before assisting them on how to co-parent.
A consultation can be attended by an individual member of the couple, both parents, or one of the parents and their new partner, depending on who has parenting responsibilities.
How it works:
An initial 50 minute consultation is attended by both members of the couple. The purpose of this meeting is to gain an initial understanding of the situation and to begin to think whether couple therapy is likely to be helpful. It is quite usual to have more than one consultations before a decision can be made.
If the partners and therapist decide that couple therapy is the most appropriate way forward, a time and day is set every week for further 50 minute meetings. The function of the therapist is to offer psychological understanding of what the couple brings to the room every week. The aim is to establish a process that will help the partners to work out how they relate to each other in depth.
The purpose of couple therapy is not to “fix” a relationship, or to ensure that the couple remains together, as many people think, but to uncover the unconscious dynamics that are in operation and have led to the presenting problems. Psychoanalytic couple therapy does not involve teaching strategies or setting homework, but is based on insight and working out problems with each other.
The duration of the therapy is determined by the needs of the couple and adjusted to give partners time to arrive at an understanding of the relationship that can lead to sustainable decisions. The therapist is committed to a non-judgmental stance. It can be very helpful to have an external participant, who does not take sides, assist with clarifying the origins of the difficulties and the vicious cycles that often develop in relationships.