All relationships have their ups and downs. There are so many things that can add pressure to our lives including financial stresses, parenting concerns, family communication – that sometimes these can build up and really start to impact on our personal relationships. We often lean in to our personal relationships for support and love at times of stress and pressure. But sometimes the relationships themselves can be challenging and this is when couples counselling is often considered.
When things start to break down our relationships can be a major source of anxiety, depression and our sense of safety and security can come into question if our relationships become fractured.
What is TA Couples Counselling?
Couples counselling, or couples therapy, is an effective form of talking therapy that focuses on the relationship between two people.
Transactional analysis (TA) is a theory of personality and a theory of communication that emphasises the importance of examining interpersonal interactions and patterns in communication. In couples therapy, TA is often used to help couples identify, and modify patterns of behaviour that contribute to relationship difficulties.
The basic premise of couples counselling using Transactional Analysis is that individuals have three ego states: Parent, Adult and Child. Each of these ego states represents a different way of thinking, feeling and behaving. In couples therapy I will work with each partner to identify their ego states as well as the ego states of their partner. This allows the couple to better understand how they communicate and relate to each other.
What are common reasons for seeking relationship therapy?
There is a wide range of issues that people seek relationship therapy including; communication difficulties, interpersonal conflict, infidelity, family issues, adjustment problems, the impact of one person’s depression, and much more besides. Couples counselling could focus on any of the below;
You may be interested in pre-nuptial counselling to prepare you both for the commitment of marriage. As a type of therapy undertaken before getting married, pre-nuptial counselling guides a couple through various aspects of their relationship such as communication, conflict resolution, financial management and family planning. The goal is to identify potential areas of conflict, develop strategies for working through these and to strengthen the relationship.
Conflict management in couples counselling involves helping clients to effectively navigate disagreements and conflicts with others. A variety of techniques can be used to help you develop better communication skills and problem-solving strategies.
Couples therapy is also a way to maintain healthy relations and communication. While many couples seek couples therapy too late, it can also be a preventative measure used to enhance any relationship.
Separation and Divorce
If a couple has already decided to separate and divorce, or is in the process of deciding whether to separate or divorce, couples counselling can support both parties in the decision making process and subsequent journey. Having therapy can support a couple to end a relationship with clarity and support, ensuring a general healthy outcome for both.
How does Couples Therapy work?
Couples therapy works in much the same way as other therapy does but the focus will be on the relationship between two people rather than on the individuals. As a couples therapist I take a neutral stance from what is going on in the relationship and can support both people to see alternative perspectives.
Another important aspect of TA therapy is the use of contracts. I will work with a couple to create contracts that specify the goals of therapy and the behaviours that each partner will work on. These contracts are often used to address specific issues in the relationship such as communication problems or conflicts around intimacy.
Together we will develop new, more effective ways of communicating and relating within your relationship. This may involve learning new skills or behaviours such as active listening or assertiveness training. The ultimate goal is to help you develop a more satisfying and fulfilling relationship. This is done by improving communication and addressing problematic behaviour patterns.
How do I find out more or book an initial session?
To find out more about Southdowns Couples Counselling, please get in touch.