Couples generally come to Couples Counselling because they feel the relationship has broken down and they do not know how to 'fix' it. But there is no need to wait to use Couples Counselling as a last resort, it can also be helpful to come along to counselling to keep a relationship healthy when small conflicts are beginning to emerge.
 
Couples Counselling is not about having a third person (the counsellor) deciding who is 'right' and who is 'wrong' in the relationship. It is not about the counsellor taking sides and knowing what the correct way forward is for each couple to take.
 
When you come to Couples Counselling we will examine the dynamic between you and your partner to see what is working and what isn't working and learn what has changed since your original commitment to each other.
 
Life events and external factors can rock a relationship and threaten its stability. Sometimes it is not the big events but the everyday annoyances that threaten the relationship. Both partners will inevitably bring their past into the present relationship and this can surface at any time and cause conflict, but especially at times of strain.
 
Communication is key and many couples report that they don't really talk together. They may make the assumption that their partner already knows and understands (or that they 'should' know and understand) how they feel and what they want. 
 
Not being in touch with our own needs and expressing these needs in a relationship can also lead to anger and resentment. It is important that partners recognise their own needs and are able to express these in a way that their partner doesn't hear as a criticism, nor find demanding.
I will work with you both in a way that helps you to recognise your needs and your behaviours towards your partner so that you can a way to bring stability and satisfaction into the relationship. 
Testimonial:

Dear Anne, 

 

We wanted to say thank you for all the support you have provided in getting our relationship back on track. The future now looks so much brighter.

 

The Imago dialogue has proved to be a really useful process for us both to understand and unload the negative thoughts and focus on the positive aspects, and with your help we have managed to do that in a calm and non-judgemental way.

 

Learning to communicate properly in an open and sensitive manner has completely changed our day-to-day relationship and given us the basis to continue to do so. 

R and L  (Nov 2020)

 
   
What to Expect:
 
I use the Imago Dialogue when working with couples. This structured dialogue give space for the couple to express their thoughts and emotions in a safe way whilst exploring and understanding the underlying dynamic of the relationship which is causing the conflict. 
Couples have found this way of working helpful and comment on what they have learnt about their partner's thoughts and feelings which was previously unknown to them.  Partners feel moved when listening to each other.    
 
Work will be done so that each partner recognises their own needs in the relationship and gains understanding about healthly communication. 
 
At the same time the couple will be  reminded of what brought them together in their original commitment and gently these feelings become reignited.  
 
Cost of Sessions: 
 
The first hour long meeting is offered at a cost of £60 and this is a consultaton meeting.  
 
Thereafter I suggest that couples attend for sessions lasting 1.5 hours at a cost of £80.
 
E mail: enquiries@anneashtoncounselling.com 
 
Phone: 07896 968518
Working remotely:
I also offer sessions online using Zoom or Skype having undertaken an 80 hour accredited training followed by a short training with the Open University.