Relationship, Couples and Family Counselling

Why seek help for relationship issues?

Human beings as individuals grow, develop and change throughout their entire lifetimes and so keeping in step with one another as the years pass can be a considerable challenge.  Often, the changes that we see in our loved ones and in our relationships can feel like more of a threat than an opportunity for growth and, sadly, increasing numbers of relationships are ending in separation or divorce.  Indeed, data suggests that somewhere between 40% and 45% of marriages in Britain will end in divorce and that the average length of a marriage in the UK is just 11 years and in the USA 15 years.  Clearly, not only are the effects felt by the couples themselves, of course, but also by the children born of these relationships.

Counselling offers the opportunity for couples and families to articulate the changes that they see, not only within themselves, but also within their relationships, and to experience these changes as opportunities to grow.  In an atmosphere which is non-judgemental and which allows individuals to speak freely, couples and families can work on changing perceptions and sources of conflict to enable them to move forward together.

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for couples and families

Throughout our lives we gather perceptions about people, in the same way that we do about life itself, and this is no less the case where couples and families are concerned.  Depending upon what those perceptions look like, will determine how we relate to and interact with a spouse, partner or family member.  Not only this, however, but our perceptions will also help to form our expectations of one another and will lead us to making assumptions which may not always be correct.

Personal and family relationships are, in many ways, much more complex than other types of relationship.  Typically, there is just so much information available that it becomes all too easy to focus all of our attention on certain aspects of what is happening whilst completely overlooking others.  We jump to conclusions concerning others’ intentions, label them with negative characteristics and misjudge how they will react to our own actions, and all because of our own in-built perceptions.

Having already come into a relationship with a certain number of preconceived ideas and opinions, the potential for these to grow, multiply and cause real damage within a relationship is immense, and so this is an area on which relationship, couples and family counselling puts its focus.  By identifying the distortions in thinking or information processing errors which are commonly the cause of distress and conflict within relationships, psychotherapy and counselling can help couples and families to adjust their thinking in such a way that understanding and good communication is allowed to replace bitterness and recrimination and that our perceptions of our partners and families are based on what is real, rather than on our own limited view of the world.

Gay Couples Counselling in London 

Many gay, lesbian and bisexual clients wonder if there are any serious people for whom they could feel love and a sense of commitment. Perhaps you had lots of sex partners none of whom has turned out to be a lover. Everyone regardless of sexual orientation goes through similar issues in finding a lover and developing a successful relationship. The following are difficulties that are common to all types of relationships:

  • Meeting a suitable partner
  • Power struggles
  • Communication problems
  • Expectations
  • Idealistic fantasies
  • Fear about intimacy
  • Resistance to change and growth
  • Issues of personal space and privacy

Everyone has expectations and fantasies about love and the ideal partner, and when wishes are not met people get upset and confused. Such issues as sex, money, equality, and power are struggles that cross the boards-everyone has trouble with them. All relationships change and grow, and lovers of any orientation need to learn to handle the transition. The therapy techniques used to solve relationship problems work whatever the sexual orientation or relationship of the people involved. Communication between two people has many consistent aspects, regardless of sex, sexual preference, or relationship status- in fact the same interpersonal skills that work with your boss or secretary will work with your spouse.

How Gay relationships are different?

Gay, lesbian and bisexual relationships dynamics are different from those of the heterosexual norm simply due to the many pressures of social non acceptance. Gay, lesbian and bisexual lovers must deal with several issues: the lack of role models and social rules, homophobia, being closeted, and in many occasions being denied equal civil rights. These extra dynamics to the usual relationship difficulties of establishing trust, balancing power, and creating communication provoke a more powerful feeling of tension, less satisfaction and instability. No matter which of the above scenarios applies to you, the questions that brought you to this site are the same. As a gay, lesbian or bisexual person you want to know the answers to these questions:

  • What is healthy gay love, and can you have a successful committed gay relationship?
  • How can homosexuals love and live within an often homophobic social atmosphere?
  • What relationship options do gay couples have?
  • Where can you find role models that exemplify a lasting gay, bisexual or lesbian relationship?
  • How can you deal with being closeted, or with your lover being closeted?
  • What impact does AIDS and the fear of AIDS have on your sexuality and your relationship?

Cognitive Behavioural Therapy for Gay Couples in London

Attempting to seek answers to these questions can provoke fear and doubts about relationships and undermine the quality of your life. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy will assist you with the answers you need and help you avoid accepting inappropriate, uncaring, or abusive partners, which many relationships can lead to despair, guilt, anger, fear, frustration, and confusion.

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