Many couples come to counselling not only for guidance but also to enrich their relationship. Couples realise at some stage of their lives together, that they have “drifted apart” and that was not the reason they got together in the first place. They miss each other’s company and long for the connection they felt at the beginning of their relationship. These clients sometimes come into my office expressing anger at each other, but if we examine the issues closely, we realise that it is the loss of the connection they are grieving which is causing the pain, heartache and angry behaviour. It is beautiful to see how these couples advance, in just a few sessions, from intense conflict to deep connection.
One of the issues I also serve in COUPLES/MARRIAGE COUNSELLING is when one partner in the couple found out that the other partner cheated on them - when there was infidelity. Their first reaction is betrayal, devastation, disbelief and anger. What often happens is a downwards spiral of checking behaviour, blaming and criticizing, shaming the partner and trust issues which can consume your life. In these cases I journey with the couple in their pain, and sometimes it takes a while for them to really hear each other’s hearts. Because betrayal cuts deep, and trust must be earned; it takes one person to have an affair, but two people to build a connection.
Another issue that can cause conflict and disconnection in couples is where one member is addicted to substances for e.g. alcohol and drugs as well as behaviours of addiction like gambling and pornography. These are difficult very issues for the addict as well as their loved ones, and the dynamics of their addictive behaviours can easily pull the wool over the untrained therapist’s eyes. I have a deep understanding of addictions and lots of first hand experience in the field. My compassion and insight into issues of addictions makes it possible for me to work with addictions on a professional level.
Many a time a couple, who is on the brink of divorce, come to see me in a last effort to rescue the relationship. Such a couple proverbially do not want to “destroy the rosebush because the thorns have scraped them” and they come to work on the issues that have caused them to disconnect over a long period of time. Many success stories have been written in my office, which make the, sometimes arduous journey, worth the wile. It is extremely rewarding to both the couple and me as their therapist.
I also offer my services to homosexual relationships.
In the unfortunate event that a couple chooses to say good bye to each other, I facilitate the good bye process so that the couple can stay friends and co-parent the children on a far more healthy level for both the children and the parents.