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 couples counselling

Relationships can be a source of great joy as well as of intense emotional pain. Romantic relationships can offer a deep connection, secure attachment, feelings of love and being loved, and a sense of being special and important. However, most relationships will experience difficulties at some point in time. The longer a couple is together the higher the probability of such phases occurring, because our lives and we ourselves as individuals undergo constant change. Sometimes it may be hard for us and our relationship to adapt to these changes. If such phases are not resolved in a positive way, they can lead to maladaptive interaction patterns. These can become perpetual circles of blame or fighting, broken down communication, lack of trust and/or intimacy. Couples often come for counselling at a point where they believe their relationship is beyond repair. If you find yourself in a cycle of having the same or escalating conflicts which lead to longer periods of anger, resentment and general disconnection, it is time to realise that you may need professional help. Couples counselling can be effective in giving yourselves a chance to address your difficulties in a safe environment and increases your chance of resolution.

In my practice I offer couples counselling in English together with my colleague Agnes Berger. You can read about the advantages that a team of two brings to couples counselling further down on this page.

Reasons why relationships can become strained:

  • changes in finances or living situation

  • having children

  • differences in libido

  • loss of a parent

  • differences in the level of commitment or taking "the next step"

  • different visions of the future - including life values and goals

  • illness

  • influence of other family members

  • external factors like work related stress etc.

Our role as counsellors is to:

  • provide a safe environment for a confidential dialogue, which is free of judgement

  • enable both of you to be heard and to be able to hear yourselves

  • help you to improve communication and understanding of one another   

Why co-counsellors?​

 

There are two of you in a relationship. Working together side by side gives us the ability to see more of your interaction. Often couples who come to counselling have already tried a number of things in an attempt to resolve their relationship problems. Seeing with four eyes and hearing with four ears enables us to have a more nuanced view of you as a couple, thus giving us a chance to support you better. Together we can act as a mirror with expertise to reflect difficulties in your relationship and think about the potential and direction for change.

How often do we need to attend couples counselling?​

 

This depends on you, your relationship, and how dedicated you are to bring about positive change in your relationship. The key to any long lasting, satisfying relationship is commitment, openness and a willingness to be vulnerable and take emotional risks. As with any counselling, or therapy - meaningful and lasting change requires time. Couples counselling is an investment that you make on your journey into having a healthy and understanding relationship. Together we will try and understand your problems, so that we can draw up realistic goals for what you want to achieve through counselling. We usually start with fortnightly sessions for several months. Over time, the frequency of your visits may decrease to once a month until you feel that your goals have been met.

Couples therapy vs. couples counselling


There isn't any specific difference between the terms couples therapy and couples counselling. In Germany both terms are not legally protected. The term "therapy" usually implies that there is some underlying mental disorder. Relationship problems are not disorders in this sense, which is why we do not treat them as such. It is often possible to narrow down problems and formulate goals for change. This is why the term "counselling" is more reflective of the work that we do together.