Being in a relationship can be one of the most meaningful things we do as human beings. Connection to another person or people can be healing, meaningful, help our self-esteem and make us feel loved. However, this often requires us to be vulnerable. When we are vulnerable, it can also activate traumas, bad experiences or pain from our past that affects our mental wellbeing in the present, and this can take a toll on our current relationships. It can be heart breaking when the people we care for remind us of painful memories or experiences. Being vulnerable also means that if our partners hurt us, that wound can be unexpecting painful.
The couples (or relationship) therapy I provide focuses on investigating feelings or issues you may have within your relationship. It does not provide solutions but allows space to unpack difficult topics in a neutral space. The goal is to allow each person in the relationship time to examine their feelings, what those feelings mean to them and share this with their partner or partners. It is about developing language and deeper understanding within the relationship.
My relationship therapy is done either online or in-person*. I particularly welcome anyone from the LGBTQI+ community who may feel their relationship falls outside of heteronormative models, either by their identity alone, or choices within their relationships, such as being open, not having children etc. In addition, I have extensive experience working with survivors of sexual abuse or relational trauma and understand how this experience can affect even the strongest relationships.
How many sessions will we need?
This is an understandable, but hard question to answer. Rather than agreeing on a set number of sessions, I offer open ended therapy. This means we work together for as long as you find the sessions useful, with regular reviews to make sure we are on the right track. In the past I have worked with relationships for anywhere between 8 sessions to 12 months. It is often a case-by-case bases.
How often are the sessions?
Typically they are fortnightly.
How long are the sessions?
The sessions are 60 minutes long.
How much is it?
£120 per session.
I want therapy but my partner doesn’t, what can I do?
While it is common to have different feelings about therapy to your partner, it is important that all partners in the relationship want something to change. Often, people can feel seeking therapy is a sign of failure – that they should be able to deal with problems in the relationship alone and therapy is a sign of a weak relationship. However, it is rare that we are able to get through life without accepting support from others. While it is okay for one partner to have mixed feelings about being in therapy, it can be really difficult if someone doesn’t want to be there at all. If this is the case, it can help if all partners in the relationship seek individual therapy first, before committing to relationship therapy.
Do you work with polygamous or open relationships?
In short, Yes. While I don’t have a set model for working with polygamous relationships, I am committed to meeting and working with you to find the best way of us working together.
Monogamy or non-monogamy (an open relationship) is a choice each relationship makes. They either do this explicitly by consciously having a conversation about sex outside of the relationship, or they implicitly choose monogamy without needing to talk about it as it’s the societal norm. Whatever decision you have made with your partner, I value, respect and am happy to work with it, without judging or pathologizing the type of sex life you want to have.
Will therapy save the relationship?
Not necessarily. Sometimes, relationship therapy can lead to the end of a relationship. While this can feel sad or even scary, therapy can help to end a relationship in a way that reduces emotional harm and is respectful. Of course, some relationships grow and become stronger and happier for therapy.
Starting relationship therapy is the act of stepping into the unknown with your partner. It isn’t easy and can lead to uncomfortable places. However, the goal is to find authenticity and understanding and this will mean different things to different relationships.
Can we talk about sexual issues?
Of course. In therapy you should feel comfortable to bring anything you like, this includes issues that feel difficult, shameful, or embarrassing. It is important to know I am not a sex therapist. They are therapists who are specifically trained to diploma level or higher in sex and sexual disfunctions.
However, I have completed professional development training in couples and sex therapy and am a guest lecture at Tavistock Relations on their Psychosexual Psychotherapy diploma. So, along with my standard training, I have supplemented it with additional training in sex and relationships. This is because I want to provide a space for you to talk about your sexual selves if you need it.
Will you offer me a session without my partner?
I will not see one person individually while working with a couple or relationship. Their may be circumstances that I will see someone individually once the relationship therapy has ended and enough time has passed since it’s ending. This will depend on the individual circumstances.
What are your qualifications & experience with relationships?
I worked with family units at an HIV charity based in London, often holding sessions for children and parents or carers working through various issues around health, education, or psychosocial wellbeing. After that role I completed a diploma in integrated Counselling & Psychotherapy from The University of Roehampton. Upon graduating I created and facilitated groups for men, trans/NB and adolescent survivors of sexual abuse. Further training includes Skills in Couple Work and Psychosexual Studies: practice and theory, both at the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology. I am a contributing author for numerous magazines and journals where I will write about psychology, including sexual or intimate relationships. See my blog for some examples.
How do we get started?
If you’re ready to take the first step toward relationship therapy, simply email me at email@example.com and we can set up a free Zoom call where we can talk about you and your partners objectives and goals from relationship therapy, as well as ask further questions.
*limited spaces for in person therapy