Even as a pair you can feel isolated and alone. I’m here to bridge the gap. Let’s work it out together.READ MORE
Feeling stuck? Sometimes we all need to get it off our chest. I provide a safe and confidential place to talk.READ MORE
Sound simple? That’s not always the case. My practice room is a place to speak your mind, no matter what.READ MORE
It takes two
Relationship issues come from the history we bring with us into a couple. Much of the architecture of our own brain belongs to early childhood experience, especially our family relationships. To have a functional intimate relationship we need to let go of past issues. We need to stop blaming others and start understanding our own process. It’s difficult to get a clear perspective if we’re focusing on the behavior of someone else. We need to educate the other person in our relationship about who we are and what we want. This is more difficult if we don’t know that about ourselves. We need to understand where we as an individual begin and end. We need to listen to ourselves and the other person with compassion and empathy.
People come into couple therapy when they are in some sort of mess that they have tried to get out of and have found impossible. Often couple counseling is the last resort. The start of a healthy relationship can be two people getting out of a mess together. In couple counseling we talk through the difficult issues and we heal through self awareness, understanding, communication and connection.
Most couples are in some sort of triangular formation. Partnership being one third, work being a second and children being the final part. We need to bring the focus back to the first third - the couple relationship.
I wonder when you last had fun. Planning a joint project, communicating and connecting with a communal goal can be a key to you remembering what you loved and enjoyed about each other. This is more enjoyable than discussing what is wrong with your relationship. You can talk about what is wrong with your relationship with me.
Secrets, lies and betrayal. These are very big words and usually accompany what amounts to a very big shock for one half of the couple. Firstly we need to address the shock and then we need to work out why what has happened has happened.
These issues need an honest commitment from both partners to examine the part which each of them has played to contribute to the affair.
I work with each of you to encourage open and honest communication, to explore the issues that have led to the ‘acting out’. This is not easy and requires commitment to change behaviour from both of you.
It is difficult not to point the finger of blame and easier to take the moral high ground. But in taking the moral ground you become a victim too. We need to work from a level playing field with both parties not blaming each other but rather taking responsibility for their own part of the relationship.
Usually our current issues stem from our childhood experience and the way in which we were brought up in the world by our family. In our work together, we will track back to the roots of your current problems and focus on how we can resolve them in the context of today.
There may be sexual or emotional abuse, there will almost certainly be childhood trauma in your past. There may be issues that you have as yet not addressed or talked through. We can look at these together and see how they have created patterns in your past and present relationships.
I think we all need, at some point in our lives, to find someone to talk to who will listen and not judge. One to one psychotherapy can provide a safe and confidential place to discuss what really matters most to you. It can provide some or a large part of the answer and can help you put the pieces of the puzzle together.
Sounds so simple
Couples usually come into counseling when sex has stopped and they’ve stopped talking about it. This is a couple issue and does not belong to only one person in the relationship. This is an issue that needs to be talked about with transparency between the two people in the relationship otherwise sex or the lack of it becomes ‘the elephant in the room’. Talking about it is the only way through.
It has been said that when we get into a relationship we are looking to get something rather than give something. If we begin to feel unhappy or dissatisfied and don’t communicate that to our partner then problems arise. When we look to others outside our relationship to fulfill our wants and needs then we get into a mess.
Sometimes there’s not enough sex or the wrong kind of sex or one person is embarrassed to ask for what they really want. Pornography, escorts and lack of time together can all contribute to a lack of an intimate sexual relationship. There are lots of answers to this. One is talking. It requires courage, commitment and open and clear communication. This is the way forward for a better and closer relationship. We can work this out.
Addictive compulsive watching of internet pornography has become a major problem amongst men and women of all ages. It’s a problem if it’s causing conflict in your relationships and interfering in your life/work balance. I wonder if it preoccupies your thoughts, causing you to ignore the consequences on your financial, social and emotional wellbeing.
If you have tried to stop watching porn and you cannot stay stopped then there is a problem. If you cannot have ‘normal’ sex with your partner but you can with your computer, there is a problem. You do need to address these issues in therapy.
I’m sure if you’re reading this, then you have read about porn hardwiring your brain so that you cannot be turned on by intimate sex with your partner. This is true and it is what happens. We are seeing more and more clients, especially men, who have been watching porn for ten or fifteen years and are now unable to perform sexually with their partners. There are solutions. There are many ways to work with this.
Some people see the use of escorts an escalation of porn addiction. It can be, but it can be a standalone addiction/obsession in itself.
However you catagorise them, the escorts themselves are a red herring. Their existence points back to problems and dissonance in the primary intimate relationship and the escape is an escape from reality. Often they are not there for sex but rather for a person who listens, who comforts, who accepts rather than criticises.
Sometimes they are a willing participant in a sexual act that the consumer is not willing to share with his/her partner because of shame.
What do we do? We need to work out what is missing in the couple relationship that the partner has to look elsewhere or what is in the couple relationship that the partner has to escape from.
Clients ask me a variety of questions. What is normal sex? How can I have normal sex just like everyone else? Do other people want the same things I fantasise about? It’s also not uncommon for my clients to think they’re not normal. They want to change in order to experience the same sort of sexual satisfaction minus what they perceive as different'.
Often the reason for the client to present in therapy is that they want an intimate physical and close relationship with another and they’re fearful that their particular sexual preferences may get in the way. My clients may have certain practices with which they derive great sexual pleasure and without which they cannot achieve orgasm. These practices have generally been there, in some form or other, for most of their lives and may have achieved a degree of normality but not within an intimate relationship. For example this might be cross dressing, touching or rubbing a piece of clothing/shoes, using a nappy or using some form of restraint or paddle/whip as a form of sexual pleasure.
I don’t judge. Let’s get curious about where this particular form of sexual practice comes from. It is usually a very early childhood trauma that has been sexualised. It may very well be your first sexual experience that has remained with you and remains a strong sexual trigger. Fetishes require time and therapeutic input to completely stop. However talking about it and for the sake of a better phrase, coming out of the closet of shame, can diminish their strength. Also with a willing sexual and intimate partner it is possible to include either the whole or part of it in a loving physical relationship.
£120 – 50 minute session
Couple Counselling Sessions
£125 – 50 minute session
£250 – 100 minute session
£400 – 150 minute session
IF YOU NEED TO CANCEL AN APPOINTMENT PLEASE GIVE ME 48 HOURS NOTICE OTHERWISE THE FULL FEE IS PAYABLE.