How It Works

"Psychotherapy involves the therapist listening to your experiences, exploring connections between your present feelings and actions and the past events. It aims to help you understand more about yourself and your relationships. Therapists have different approaches and styles of working... some will take the lead with questions, while others will support your train of thought." The Department of Health, 'Choosing Talking Therapies'


Making contact is often the most difficult first step. The relationship between clients and therapist is very important. The first step in the process is discussing your needs. An assessment appointment is an opportunity to discuss your concerns in more detail. It may be appropriate for you to see more than one therapist before you decide to work with a particular one.

Assessment consultation

The initial meeting will take the form of an assessment session. This lasts 50 minutes and provides an opportunity for the therapist and clients to meet, discuss immediate concerns and think about whether future work together would be helpful.

Regular sessions

Regular sessions aim to take place on the same day at the same time once or sometimes twice a week. They last 50 minutes. Clients are invited either individually or as a couple to discuss and explore the issues that are of concern. This takes place in a non judgemental environment and to as great a depth as clients are comfortable.

How long does it take?

It often takes a long time for people to ask for help when they are experiencing relationship difficulties. This may be as a result of social, cultural or personal issues. The difficulties may be long standing or at times in response to a sudden change in circumstances. As a result some people see a therapist for a few weeks, some for many months. Initially there is often an open-ended arrangement, but occasionally a fixed number of sessions are agreed. The therapy generally lasts for as long as the couple feel they want and need it. The ending of the therapy is usually discussed and planned well in advance

How does it work?

A counsellor or therapist who has been specifically trained in couple work aims to help the individual or couple understand how and where the difficulties have developed. These reasons may relate to experiences in your past. Through the process of thinking and understanding more about these experiences there is often an improvement in communication and empathy resulting in a more satisfying relationship

What are the benefits of relationship counselling and psychotherapy ?

Relationships may potentially be very satisfying and mutually fulfilling. They improve our physical and mental well-being and in general provide a secure environment in which to bring up children. However there are many reasons why the positive effect of a relationship may be disturbed. Power struggles, stress reactions to life events such as pregnancy and childbirth and redundancy, jealously and sexual difficulties may hinder an otherwise successful partnership

Who should have relationship counselling?

Relationships are not easy. A good relationship can be mutually supportive and satisfying, but problems will arise for all couples at some stage in their adult partnerships. Counselling may help individuals and couples who are having difficulties within an established relationship, or find it difficult to maintain their relationships.

Why might I want relationship counselling?

Relationships today come in many forms. Anyone may benefit from thinking about their relationship and how it may be improved. Counselling therefore may be helpful to married couples and co-habiting partners, single sex partnerships and individuals. Separating and divorcing couples may also benefit from an opportunity to explore some of the difficult and complex feelings that arise at this time. This may help the couple maintain communication and renegotiate a different relationship. This may be particularly important when there are children of any age involved

Is it for me?

Most of us want to be in an intimate, supportive and satisfying relationship. Counselling is often sought at times of crisis and despair but may be helpful at any point in a relationship where adjustments have to take place. Taking some time to think about your relationship either alone or with your partner is a step that may lead to a happier and more positive solution to common difficulties