In my experience with counselling couples, it is rare that both partners are motivated at the same time to agree to couple’s counselling.
I am usually approached by only one partner, and decisions are often not made because the other partner has unaddressed concerns about counselling. To help you both make a decision, I have listed below some of the most common objections, along with my response.
If you are in a relationship and have a partner who is reluctant to commit to couple’s counselling, I suggest that you ask them to read this page. If there are any other queries or concerns not addressed here, please don’t hesitate to contact me.
If it’s more convenient, I am happy to do a short free online video conference Q & A session with you both.
My fees are considerably below the average for couple’s counselling and I offer low cost fees, where appropriate. (NB not available for the Relationship Rescue Retreat package). However, this is the question that you have to consider, “Is saving my relationship more important than financial issues?”
Maybe you or a family member, have had a bad experience with a counsellor in the past. This is unfortunate and it will certainly affect your feelings about couple counselling. However, I am deeply committed to the concept of ‘unconditional, positive regard’ and my client relationships are both respectful and mutually rewarding.
The Relationship Rescue Retreat package is especially designed for time poor clients and is structured to supply intensive counselling over a short period of time. Rather than trying to organise weekly appointments for several weeks, you will work through your issues and come away with a plan of action, after only 2 days.
You are either in denial or else truthfully believe that everything is okay. However, your partner is unhappy enough to be considering counselling so if you care for them, listen to their concerns with an open mind.
Maybe you have done something to badly damage the relationship, such as an affair. Your partner is hurting badly and inclined to blame you, but a couple’s counsellor acknowledges that there is always a story behind these actions and there is no place for blame in a committed relationship. Understanding and reconciliation are the aims.
If you are already ‘half-way out of the door’, then you might think that couple’s counselling would be a waste of time. However, if you don’t make every attempt to discover if the relationship is salvageable, you will not find it easy to be able to walk away with a clear conscience. If after the first session it is very clear to me that there is NO hope of reconciliation, I will not hesitate to share this with you, and offer mediation to help you both separate in a manner that is respectful and as painless as possible.
It sounds as if there is a lot of resentment and hurt because of actions taken by your partner. However, there is always damage input to the relationship from both partners. (see item 5 above). A safe and neutral place will allow you both to explore the reasons behind the story.
There are no guarantees in any type of counselling and counselling couples is particularly difficult. However, I am experienced in dealing with many situations that a couple may present and have a history of positive outcomes with my couple clients. If your partner wants to try this route and you still care about them, then agreement to counselling with an open mind is often the first step towards reconciliation.
See item 6 above
Everyone is unique and I don’t pretend to understand all of your cultural, religious or sexual differences but I am experienced in working with people from many different backgrounds and lifestyles. If I don’t understand something, I will ask you if it’s important, but all clients have my ‘unconditional positive regard’.
It may be a ‘rough patch’ to you, but your partner is concerned enough to seek professional help. Maybe you are not aware how much this ‘rough patch’ is hurting them. Your partner is unhappy enough to be considering counselling so if you care for them, listen to their concerns with an open mind.
I understand that personal problems may be very embarrassing to talk about with a stranger, but in my experience, once you start to talk then it is much easier than you anticipate. I am non-judgemental, open minded and you will not offend or embarrass me.