Ray Bruce Counselling and Psychotherapy for Couples and Individuals
Barnstaple, North Devon

Couples Counselling in Barnstaple, Bideford,Devon

Do you feel fed up and that no matter what you say, your partner doesn’t seem to understand you?

Are you sick of feeling that things will never change between you?

Do you feel that life is not meant to be this way and something is wrong?

Does splitting up feel wrong, but seems like the only option?

Maybe you have tried traditional marriage counselling without success?

Couples Counselling, previously known as Marital Therapy or Marriage Guidance, addresses the problems arising from adult sexual or intimate relationships.

The relationship, rather than the two individuals, is the 'client'. The two of you hold the key to many unanswered questions that can help, heal and nourish your relationship enabling it to grow.

Our very closest relationship: a marriage; co-habitation or civil partnership, is based on intimacy and trust. When it stops working we are affected deeply and our health and happiness suffer. Our sense of identity and self-worth often rests on the strength of our relationships and we can despair when our prime relationship fails.

Patterns of behaving that we learned as children often re-emerge in our adult relationship. A childhood 'scapegoat' may start to feel blamed for everything by the partner who once adored them.

Signs you have relationship problems:-

  • Communication breaks down
  • Sex has ended or causes problems
  • Arguments continue without resolution
  • Violence erupts
  • Depression or other health problems recur
  • The bond of trust is eroded or broken

    It is normal for relationships to suffer as the pressure and strains of everyday life mount. Love may disappear, replaced by resentment and anger. Each partner can view this differently depending on their own experience of family life. One may despair, while the other may view it as a temporary blip.

    Where a couple has attached hastily - in response to a passion, pregnancy or other need, disappointments can surface and fester when the excitement subsides. Renegotiating, with a skilled counsellor, can help build a more realistic and deeper relationship.

    Being able to manage conflict, arguments and rows is the foundation stone to a good relationship. It is unrealistic to hope that arguments can be avoided.

    Two people come with their own values and beliefs and both must feel heard in order to thrive. This may mean developing new skills.

    Differences need to be acknowledged; otherwise we merge or one partner is unheard. Then one partner may dominate and the other 'disappears'.

    Arguments are a healthy and essential part of any relationship and can energise it if carried out skilfully. Indirect anger and domestic violence are destructive.

    Counselling can help with understanding the messages about conflict that we may have inherited from our family and offer new skills.

    Causes of relationship problems:-

  • Lack of negotiation can shatter expectations
  • Stress can fracture a relationship
  • Illness can deplete both partners
  • Birth of a child can leave a partner feeling abandoned
  • Depression can leave a partner feeling deserted
  • External pressures can sever the couple bond
  • Disappointment can lead to anger and hostility
  • Children leaving home can allow resentments to resurface

    Relationships need solid foundations. Two unhappy people with unresolved issues rarely make a long-term happy relationship. It may be tempting to feel that our partner or colleague can compensate for earlier pain and loss, but this hope often leads to further disappointment.

    Enter a relationship as healthily as possible for the best chance of long-term happiness. The pleasure is in wanting to be with someone rather than the tension of feeling needy and dependent.

    Self-respect and liking oneself are the important ingredients for a good relationship. If they are in short supply you may consider counselling to address them.

    If you are experiencing difficulties in your current relationship and need someone to talk to, then I invite you to call me, in confidence, on 07775 635568 or email ray@deanhead.org

    Fees: are £80 per session.


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