Couples and Marriage Counsellor in Kingston upon Thames
Are you having problems in your relationship?
Maybe your relationship isn’t everything it used to be. If you try to talk to your partner about it, they get angry, or refuse to discuss it because they think you’re trying to blame them. Or perhaps they are always trying to tell you how you need to be different. Sometimes you aren’t sure if the problem is you or them. Whatever the discussion is about (money, relatives, sex, children, work…) somehow it isn’t possible to have a sensible conversation. Maybe you feel lonely in this relationship.
I specialise in relationship therapy. I can help get things back on track.
I particularly work with people who are having relationship difficulties such as:
Please contact me via the "Contact and FAQ" page if you have relationship problems like these.
Talking to a couples counsellor
Sometimes a relationship problem becomes too hard to talk about. Perhaps when you try to discuss it, it blows up, or one partner simply refuses to have the conversation. This can be very frustrating. Talking to a couple counsellor, also known as relationship therapy or marriage guidance, can be a help in getting your conversation going again. It can be a relief to each be able to express your point of view safely. A relationship therapist will be non-judgemental and will not be trying to decide which of a couple is right, or who wins the argument. If you are having problems, it is much better to address them sooner rather than later.
I also often work with individuals on their relationship issues, like getting over a past relationship, or difficulties with confidence or assertiveness.
See my "About" page for more about my approach.
Couple counselling in Kingston upon Thames
I offer relationship / marriage counselling at Kingston Natural Health, on Old London Road in Kingston upon Thames. It's a few yards from the landmark "leaning-over phone boxes", and a short walk from Kingston railway station and the bus station. Conveniently located also to offer relationship therapy for Surbiton, Thames Ditton, Teddington, Raynes Park, Wimbledon, and Richmond.
Depression can be the cause of relationship problems, and vice-versa relationship problems can also cause depression. Life can be difficult for the partner of a person suffering from depression. And equally, sometimes the partner can, through no fault of their own, do things that don't help with the depression. A major study suggested that couple counselling with both partners attending could be as effective in dealing with one partner's depression as CBT or antidepressant tablets. It can also be very helpful in combination with antidepressants. The NHS has now adopted a model of using couple counselling as one way to treat depression, because of its proven effectiveness.
The symptoms of depression in men are often different from those of women. Men who are depressed often suffer more from irritability, a loss of interest in things they used to engage with, a lack of concentration, forgetting things. There can also be physical symptoms such as back pain, digestive problems, or difficulty sleeping. Obviously these symptoms can apply to women too, but because men often don't have the persistent sadness, crying, or emptiness that's usually associated with depression in women, it can be harder to recognise.
Latest blog post
How to Apologise
Suppose you’ve done something that upsets your partner. An apology is required.
If you don’t regret what happened, then you shouldn’t give an insincere apology. But if your partner is upset, it probably was regrettable. It’s no defence to say that you wouldn’t mind if they did the same to you. You are not both the same. And it’s no good trying to counter-attack by saying that they are making too much “fuss”. If you really think they are entirely inventing all of this, then you may have a more serious problem and perhaps you shouldn’t be together.
It has to be an apology. Not a defence or minimising it.
What is an apology? It doesn’t mean just saying the word “sorry”. It means that you show that you really understand how it affected them and how upset they are. It means responding to their pain. In order to do this, you may need to ask them questions to understand better what is going on. That may seem like the exact opposite of what you feel like doing. You want to tell your side of the story. Don’t do that. Ask more about the effect on them. “I need to understand more about how you feel about it”.
Validate what they say. That doesn’t mean agreeing with it: it means saying that you can understand it, it makes sense. If you can’t say that, then you need to find out more. Validating it is the opposite of trying to prove that their feeling is “illogical” or unjustified. If you think they are over-reacting, then your task is to ask more questions to find out why it’s such a big deal to them. Then you can say sorry.
And finally, explain how you intend for things to be different in future.
If you are afraid of apologising because you think that it will be held against you for ever, it may be a case for some counselling.
See more posts on my Blog page.
Masculinity today is a puzzle: how are you supposed to be these days? Strong? Or emotional? How can you be "emotionally supportive" in a masculine way?
Have you perhaps looked at men’s web sites, “red pill”, “MGTOW”, or “No More Mr Nice Guy”?
As I am a man, I am aware of these issues. As a couples counsellor I can help you with them, without trying to push you into a feminine way of dealing with them. Men and women often tend to have different ways of dealing with emotions and relationships.
Other sources of support for couples
Many good books on marriage and relationship problems are available - I particularly recommend those published by RELATE on topics such as infidelity.
Internet Forums - there are quite a number of free marriage guidance forums and discussion groups on the internet where visitors advise each other about their relationship problems such as affairs and arguments. I would recommend caution with these. Generally the people providing online advice are not trained marriage counsellors or therapists - they are other people having problems, so they often have quite a negative view, and urge people towards separation. Some forums advise almost everyone to divorce! Beware of this. Most relationship problems can be improved, if the partners want to. Most couples who think about divorce but don't, are glad later that they stayed together.
If you have a problem, such as an addiction or a medical problem that requires specialised treatment, I may be able to advise you on what kind of therapist to look for, or give you a referral to a counsellor in the Kingston / Surbiton area.