In couple psychotherapy I listen carefully to what you have to say to me and to each other, seeking to understand your difficulties as signposts to what might be happening at a deeper level.
Most of us live out our lives in the context of an intimate relationship. These intimate relationships frequently challenge us at the core of our being, activating our need to love and be loved, our need to hate and be hated, and our need to know and be known. There is no such thing, outside the realms of imagination, as a relationship free from conflict, and how a relationship deals with conflict may be the best barometer of its success or failure.
The “psychological work” that we engage with our partners in life may be the longest term work we engage ever. Sometimes it can appear we have chosen our partner for the very difficulties they cause us! However, understanding this as an opportunity to learn about ourselves, and grow as individuals, is liberating. We choose our partners for reasons both conscious and unconscious, but the strongest bond is likely to be the unconscious mutual harmony of exchanged parts of ourselves.
We never outgrow our need for warm, loving, relationships, but this need often invokes the ghosts of our past, who haunt our every attempt at finding happiness in our intimate relationships.
In addition, couple psychotherapy offers an opportunity to work through our individual difficulties in the context of our relationship allowing us to become freer to live more fulfilling lives together and apart.
I am not restricting a ‘couple’ to a heterosexual union, but rather any committed long term relationship where the intention is to be intimate and emotionally available, whilst respecting each other’s individuality and autonomy.