[Relationship] is not a static state between two unchanging people. [Relationship] is a psychological and spiritual journey that begins in the ecstasy of attraction, meanders through a rocky stretch of self-discovery, and culminates in the creation of an intimate, joyful, lifelong union. Whether or not you realize the full potential of this vision depends not on your ability to attract the perfect mate, but on your willingness to acquire knowledge about hidden parts of yourself. (A leading relationship therapist, Harville Hendrix, Getting the Love You Want)
People come to couples therapy for many different reasons and what most of these people have in common is the belief that their partner is at fault and has to change. Each partner externalises the problem and locates the solution within the other person. This can lead to quite a mechanical and structural image of their relationship. They believe that they can examine their behavior the way their mechanic studies the working of their automobile, find what is wrong, and be assured that their expert therapist will know how to fix it. Couples often try also to find some new pattern of behavior that will inject the needed element into their [relationship]. (Thomas Moore, SoulMates)
Whilst it may be so that changing some behaviour would be helpful (indeed, essential if there is abuse involved), successful couples therapy relies on the willingness of both partners to examine themselves. Intimacy begins at home, with oneself. It does no good to try to find intimacy with ... lovers ... if you are starting out from alienation and division within yourself. (Thomas Moore, SoulMates)
MY ROLE AS COUPLES THERAPIST
My role as a couples therapist is to help you to understand the meaning and purpose of your relationship, which is usually hidden underneath the initial attraction and then later is impossible to see because of the level of unhappiness and discord that exists between you. You may feel a level of tension or dissatisfaction in your life and are assuming that it must be due to the problems within the relationship, but it's possible that that outer tension is an echo of inner conflict. This needs to be clarified if any superficial behavioural changes towards one another are going to have a lasting impact.
In working together to attempt to understand the underlying causes of your dissatisfaction with your partner, my hope is that you can face two difficult challenges: ... one, to come to know oneself ...; and two, to get to know the deep, often subtle richness in the soul of the other. Giving attention to one side usually helps the other. (Thomas Moore, SoulMates)
In addition, part of my role is to help you gain clarity about what you both want; whether you decide to stay together and make changes within the relationship or to part. If you decide to end your relationship, I will support you to achieve this as amicably as possible.
I have been working with couples for over 20 years and have completed a two year training on Juliet Grayson's Working With Couples training. Juliet Grayson
My fee is £80 for an hour's couples session.
If you are interested in speaking to me about this or arranging an initial consultation, please phone me on 07899 891992 or email me at [email protected] or click on the link on the right of this screen.
KAHLIL GIBRAN: A WISE MAN'S VIEW OF HEALTHY RELATIONSHIP
He may have lived in the early 19th century, but his understanding of long-term relationship holds great beauty and wisdom:
Then Almitra spoke again and said, And
what of Marriage, master?
And he answered saying:
You were born together, and together you
shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when the white
wings of death scatter your days.
Ay, you shall be together even in the
silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance
Love one another, but make not a bond
Let it rather be a moving sea between
the shores of your souls.
Fill each other’s cup but drink not from
Give one another of your bread but eat
not from the same loaf.
Sing and dance together and be joyous,
but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone
though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each
For only the hand of Life can contain
And stand together yet not too near
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow
not in each other’s shadow.