Relationship & Marriage Counselling in London
(reviewed August 2023)
Relationship counselling, couples therapy or marriage counselling is an effective method of helping couples to improve their relationship. It is helpful for specific problems, as well as for complex problems that have developed and solidified over a long period of time.
However, relationship counselling is also a form of individual therapy where we can explore how we relate to both ourselves and others. This is our specialty here at the Relationship & Trauma Psychologist.
Sometimes couple therapy will not work unless partners attend individual relationship counselling. This is because there is trauma and/or neglect in one or both partners’ history and there is a need to address how the past is affecting their relationship with their current partner, including the relationship with children.
Partners are often aware of the need to address their own problems and often prefer to do so in their own space, without worrying about the other partner’s reactions.
Triggers for relationship therapy
Unhealthy expression of anger
Not being emotionally present
The arrival of a new child
Infertility or difficulty conceiving
Significant life changes
Meeting with a relationship psychologist
The initial consultation for relationship counselling takes 1 hour and 40 minutes. A relationship psychologist will try to help you explain both your current problems, as well as explore with you your history of relationships, often starting with your family of origin. They will also conduct a full mental health assessment and explore the possibility of childhood trauma and neglect.
For some people, and important part of the consultation is an appreciation of their relationship to the external world. This is often the case with people who are victims of marginalisation and oppression due to their identities related to race, sex, gender and neurotype.
Many patients are expats, and Dr Tsigaras, an expat himself, has a deep appreciation of the challenges individuals and couples face due to leaving their homes behind.
At the conclusion of the consultation, there is usually a clear picture of what the problem is and how we can help. I would recommend that you read the sections about anxiety, childhood trauma, emotional neglect and low self-esteem in this website to get a deeper sense of what to expect in therapy.
Benefits of relationship counselling
- Better understanding of the other’s point of view
- Improving open and honest communication
- Offering a focused and sustained inquiry into your relationship dynamics
- Having a safe space to explore powerful painful feelings such as fear, anger, sadness, hopelessness and resentment
- Mobilizing feelings of love, concern, and affection for your partner
- Reducing polarisation and incompatibility
- Helps redefine your relationship to autonomy and intimacy, closeness and distance, dependence and independence, self-interest and couple well-being
- Accepting and working through an ending if there is a decision to uncouple