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 check my "Contact, Availability, and Charges" page and contact me if you have relationship problems like these. (I am based in Kingston upon Thames, convenient for Surbiton, Thames Ditton, Teddington, Raynes Park, Wimbledon, and Richmond. But not face-to-face at the moment). We can set up a first session to understand what is going on. If after the first session, you decide not to proceed, I will not mind, and will happily refund the cost of that session. You have to find a counsellor that's right for you.
At the moment, I am working only via Zoom online. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions about how well this works and when it's not suitable.
Talking to a couples counsellor
Talking to a couple counsellor, also known as relationship therapy or marriage guidance, can help to get your conversation going again. It can be a relief to each be able to express your point of view safely. A relationship counsellor will be non-judgemental and will not be trying to decide which of a couple is right, or who wins the argument. Very often, one of the couple is more keen to do counselling than the other. This is normal. Again, please feel free to discuss it with me if this concerns you.
I do not generally think of my clients in terms of having something wrong with them, but rather in terms of having got into a bad pattern of interaction. I often use the approach of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT for couples). EFT for couples is rated by the Society of Clinical Psychology as having "strong research support", the highest grade.
If you are having problems, it is much better to address them sooner rather than later.
I also work with individuals on relationship issues.
See my "About" page for more about my approach.
Latest blog post - The job versus the relationship
A thing I sometimes hear in sessions is one partner saying "I feel I come lower in your priorities than your work".
It may not make sense to see those things in terms of which is more important. As humans generally we need to work, and we need to be in relationships, and we need to eat sleep and breathe. Trying to put them in order doesn't really work! They're just different. The person on the receiving end of the remark may think: part of why I have to work so hard is for us, to enable us to have a nice place to live, or to have a family!
But the person making the remark also has something on their mind. "Do I really matter to you?" That needs to be answered. And if you've read some of my blog posts, you may have the idea that a good answer isn't just to shut it down. Don't just say "of course you matter to me" or "of course you're not low in my priorities". The right answer will depend on the two people involved. It won't involve being annoyed at being asked. It may involve a hug. It may involve an acknowledgement, or especially it may involve an invitation to say more. It depends on just how the I feel I come lower in your priorities than your work was said.
If it's a difficult topic, I can help you talk about it. I won't try to tell you what to do, about the work life balance. I'll just help you communicate with each other about it.
You can find more short notes like this on my Blog page.
Masculinity today is a puzzle: how are you supposed to be these days? Strong? Or emotional? Should you show your feelings? How can you be "emotionally supportive" in a masculine way?
Have you perhaps looked at men’s web sites, or the book “No More Mr Nice Guy”?
As I am a man, I am aware of these issues. I understand the problems that men face in relationships. 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 recommend caution with these. Generally the people providing online advice are not trained marriage counsellors - 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.
There are many marriage preparation courses available, and this is a good idea, but be aware that many of these are religion-based. Mine is not.