Are you and your partner experiencing stress in your relationship? Have you fallen into unhelpful ways of communicating with one another? Does it seem like the difficult times are outweighing the positive?
Even the best relationships can become strained at times and couples can find their relationship at a standstill or deteriorating. In these times of relationship distress, couples counselling can assist the couple to find their way forward, in a direction that is best for individual partners and the couple as a unit.
You don’t develop courage by being happy in your relationships every day.
You develop it by surviving difficult times and challenging adversity.
Signs That Couples Counselling May be Right for You
Are you wondering if couples counselling is right for your relationship? Couples come to counselling for a broad range of issues; if you find yourself struggling in any of the below-listed areas, then it may be worth considering speaking with a psychologist.
- You are unable to communicate without one or both partners becoming defensive
- You do not feel as though you are able to confide in your partner
- One or both partners have had or are considering an affair
- You find yourself arguing about the same issues and there is no apparent resolution
- One or both partners are struggling with intimacy
- You believe that one partner has to change in order for the relationship to work
- You are going through or want to prepare for a major life transition
- Differences in values
- Grief and loss
How Can Couples Counselling Help?
In couples counselling, your psychologist will work with you to develop new patterns of relating to your partner behaviourally, emotionally, and cognitively. This can be achieved through the following:
- Identifying unhelpful communication patterns
- Learning more effective ways of communicating
- Building trust between partners
- Improving sense of connection on both physical and emotional levels
- Enhancing intimacy
- Creating positive experiences between partners
- Learning how to support one another
- Navigating through perpetual problems
- Learning how to fight fair
- Determining mutual goals
- Finding direction forward
What Can We Expect from Couples Counselling?
Your psychologist will want to get to know you both as a couple and individually.
In the first session, she will meet with you together to get a sense of your current difficulties, the background/foundation of your relationship, and your hopes for counselling.
In the second session, she will meet with each partner individually, dividing the session time in half for each partner. While your psychologist is meeting with one partner, the other will be asked to complete paper-and-pencil questionnaires that will help your psychologist get an understanding of your attitudes towards your relationship and your overall emotional health.
In the third session, the psychologist and couple will meet altogether to discuss impressions and experiences from the first two meetings. The psychologist will then work with the couple to develop goals for counselling.
Subsequent sessions will focus on working towards meeting these goals and adjusting them as needed.
How Does Confidentiality Work in Couples Therapy?
Your psychologist will explain confidentiality in detail at the start of your first session. An important thing to know at the outset is that your psychologist will not keep secrets between partners; what is disclosed to the psychologist individually is able to be discussed as a couple.
Can One Partner Meet with the Psychologist for Individual Counselling?
Your psychologist is committed to working with you as a couple and is not able to meet with any partner for individual counselling that is outside the scope of couples counselling. If either partner could benefit from individual counselling, the psychologist will discuss this with the couple and refer the individual partner to a trusted colleague.
What is the Length of a Couples Session?
Couples sessions are typically 80 minutes in length. For the second session, the psychologist will meet with individual partners for 40 minutes each. If you feel that you require more or less time per session, this can be discussed with your psychologist.
What is the Cost of a Couples Session?
The cost of an 80-minute session is $300. Couples will be billed in 15-minute increments in excess of 80-minutes.