What is Couples Therapy?
Couples Therapy, also known as Relationship Counselling or Marriage Counselling, is there to help anybody whose relationship or marriage is facing difficulties or is in crisis.
What you can expect from couples therapy
A therapist will help both individuals to explore what is going in the relationship and why they have come to counselling in a confidential, safe space. They will then look at how they can improve their communication, learn more about each other’s needs and discover what is important to each other.
Couples counselling can help people to learn how to actively listen to their partner, giving each other a safe space to say what’s on their mind and hearing what they both have to say.
Couples therapists and other health professionals understand that many couples argue and may have a relationship problem or relationship difficulties. It could start over the smallest thing, which spirals into a wider issue or it could be that you both keep coming back to the same topic. This may happen on a weekly, monthly or less frequent basis, however when arguments lead to unhealthy coping mechanisms or deeper feelings of resentment, stress, anxiety, depression, it’s time to seek some support.
Who it’s for
- Couples of all ages
- Married couples (marriage counselling or marriage therapy)
- Unmarried couples (people living together or apart)
- Mixed or same-sex couples (we also have therapists who specialise in LGBTQ+ counselling)
What issues can couples therapy help with?
- Communication issues
- Anger management
- Anxiety, Depression, Stress
- Feeling isolated
- Trust issues
- Infidelity or betrayal of trust
- Relationship anxiety
- Bereavement & Loss
- Parenting issues
- Life changes
- Taking on stepchildren
- Job loss
- Life after children have left home (Empty Nest Syndrome)
They are experienced in a range of counselling/therapy modalities, including: Person-centred, Transactional Analysis (TA), Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Integrative (a mixture of different modalities).
How does couples therapy work with us?
We start by booking a 50-minute telephone assessment for both individuals coming to couples counselling. The assessment allows you and your therapist to decide whether talking therapy in the form of relationship counselling/marriage counselling/couples therapy is suitable.
Once we have agreed you would both like to move forward with couples therapy, then a counsellor will be allocated to you who will get in touch to organise an individual couples therapy session with each of you. This can be online or face-to-face in our therapy rooms in Bournemouth or Southampton, according to your preference.
After this initial individual counselling session, the therapist will arrange ongoing sessions together so that you can work towards achieving your goals.
How long are the sessions?
Therapy sessions last 1 hour or 1.5 hours, depending on your needs and affordability. We will discuss this with you to understand your personal situation.
How often do you need sessions?
Couples therapy sessions can be held on a regular or less regular basis (weekly, fortnightly or monthly) according to your needs.
How much does relationship counselling cost?
As a charity, we’re proud to be able to offer affordable counselling and understand that people have different financial situations.
Click here to find out more about our charges and see if there is any support available.
Where does couples therapy happen?
We offer couples therapy online or face-to-face at our therapy hubs in Southampton and Bournemouth. We can also offer a hybrid approach, mixing both face-to-face and online counselling, to suit your circumstances.
Does couples therapy really work?
Ultimately, any therapy, including couples therapy, is more likely to be sucessful if those involved are committed and willing to do the work and become more self-aware, emotionally open to each other and actively listen to one another.
According to the American Psychological Association, couples therapy is now approximately 75% effective and can lead to positive outcomes.
Recent research carried out by BACP and Relate with nearly 15,000 couples, showed the most common presenting issues in couples therapy were:
- Communication issues (79.9%)
- Rows and arguments (68.9%)
- Managing conflict (67.8%)
- Money issues
- Sex and physical intimacy
- Former relationships
- Issues around sleep
- Wider family relationships or family conflict
- Problems around who does what in the house, such as housework and chores
- Feelings of being left behind or loneliness
- Unhealthy coping mechanisms, such as alcohol, gambling, drugs or shopping
- Disagreements about parenting
- Issues around fertility
Our team of trained professionals will help you to talk through these issues and any other issues that arise as part of the process, and support you to make a change.
Get in touch
Are you considering couples therapy or marriage counselling and would like to learn more? Get in touch with our team to book in your initial assessment.