Couple therapy; when and how it can be helpful.
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Dr Rosa Pastena -individual and couple therapy-
16th February, 20150 Comments
Sharing life with someone can be the most fulfilling experience in life as well as the most challenging. Sometimes dealing with our own mind can already feel enough therefore having to deal with someone else’s can make things really complicated.
This can get worse after years of living together because tolerance and patience sometimes wear thin over time.
Moreover, life and its difficulties can play an important role in making things harder and more difficult to manage. Having to deal with a moody partner after a long day is something we are all familiar with and equally scared of.
There are times though when things get out of control and sharing a life with someone stops having any romantic taste, resembling more of a living nightmare. This is when seeking for help could really be beneficial, because the most import thing to bear in mind is that being with someone should make us happier and more satisfied - at least most of the time.
How to decide if individual sessions are more suitable than couple therapy?
First of all it is very important to understand if there is a need for the individuals in the relationship to seek help or if it is the couple. Couple therapy can be really helpful when two individuals are having problems in understanding or communicating with one another. Equally, it can be very useful to identify the reasons why things don’t seem to work as they used to. In fact, there are times when life events affect the couple, but acknowledging it and understanding the deep impact of it on the couple identity is not always an easy task. For example, going through some losses or big changes can have a massive impact and when ignored can have a negative effect on the couple's relationship.
It could be slightly different when the single individuals are going through changes in life which do not necessarily occur for the other person. Those changes can be internal such as different needs, desires, beliefs or even interests. In those cases, after a careful assessment, individual therapy might be more appropriate to help the single person affected.
About the author
Rosa Pastena, chartered clinical psychologist and Psychotherapist (HCPC, BACP), working for both the NHS and privately. Individual and couple therapy.
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