Couples counselling: What is it and how can it help?

Couples counselling, a term you have most likely heard – most people think of couples counselling as something that only people who are in a really bad situation have. However, this is not the case. Regardless of whether you're on your own, married, non-monogamous, LGBTQIA+ or simply experiencing a communication issue in your relationship, couples counselling is suitable for you.


What is couples counselling?

Couples counselling can be incredibly useful in helping you look at and overcome problems that may naturally arise in a relationship, no matter how small you may think them to be. People may seek relationship counselling for a variety of reasons, such as differences in expectation, boredom, compatibility, infidelity, trust, or relational abuse – to name a few. Regardless of the reason, couples counselling can be incredibly helpful for providing a non-judgmental, safe, and supportive environment to help you navigate your way in relationships.

Hope Therapy and Counselling Services support clients one to one, or together with couples counselling throughout various locations in the UK, predominantly offering couples counselling in Oxford. Alongside in-clinic appointments, our large team of counsellors offer couples counselling on a remote basis. 

How can relationship counselling improve my well-being?

Relationship counselling can help improve your well-being by providing you with a supportive environment in which you can comfortably share the difficulties you may be facing, with a highly experienced and accredited therapist.

A relationship counsellor may be able to help you identify and resolve issues that you may otherwise have difficulty doing alone, whilst providing you with the emotional support needed to make sense of things. All this work will allow you to develop healthy relationships with others, as well as with yourself.

When is the right time to get relationship counselling?

As is the case with most things, the earlier that you address the problem, the earlier it can be resolved. Ideally, relationship counselling should be used as a means to learn how to communicate effectively and develop conflict-resolution tools. However, knowing when to start counselling and booking in your first couples counselling session can be quite a challenge for some. Therefore, some people decide to start relationship counselling after years of a problem first emerging.

In this case, the relationship may already be really damaged, after years of resentment have built up, making the situation even more difficult. It is for this reason that we advise relationship counselling at the earliest sign of a problem, this is so that you have the opportunity to make sense of the situation early on, allowing you the best possible chance to resolve your worries.

However, attending couples counselling early on is not always possible and there can be a variety of reasons you wait a long time for counselling. Regardless of whether you seek help early on, your relationship issue is at an advanced stage, or you want support after a relationship ends, therapy can be an invaluable tool for you to improve your situation and well-being.

What is the best type of couples counselling?

Once you have decided to book your first couples counselling session, you are now probably wondering: what is the best type of couples counselling?

Depending on what you want your expectations and needs are, there are a variety of counselling methods that can help you work through your worries. For example, emotionally focused therapy (EFT), developed by Canadian psychologists Sue Johnson and Les Greenberg in the 1980s, allows people in a relationship to understand what drives their emotional responses to certain situations, allowing them to analyse their emotions more deeply in a safe, supportive counselling environment.

Another popular and successful approach is integrative therapy, a type of counselling that looks at the individual's particular problem and combines a variety of techniques from different schools of psychotherapy to work through the issue.

What is 'systemic therapy' in couples counselling?

Systemic therapy is an approach used by many counsellors and psychotherapists in relationship and family counselling. It is recognised as being helpful in improving communication skills by focusing not only on the individual person but also their behaviour in relationships, in particular how they interact with different groups of people in different environments and dynamics.

The main focus of systemic therapy is to understand how an individual's relationships as well as life choices are interconnected with personal issues they may be experiencing in their life. Our counsellors in Oxford, and across the UK are highly skilled in systemic therapy. 

Can couples counselling still be effective virtually?

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, virtual or remote counselling has become increasingly popular, allowing therapists to help even more individuals across the UK, no matter where they are based. Virtual counselling can be just as effective, if not more, than in-person counselling, allowing people to be more open and comfortable as they are now able to share their thoughts from the comfort of their own home – which may make it easier for some individuals to be more vulnerable.

Not only this, but virtual couples counselling is more convenient – sometimes it may be difficult to find time between working as well as personal commitments to travel to a counselling appointment. With couples counselling being online, it allows flexibility and can be tailored to an individual's schedule.

What do we offer?

Here at Hope Therapy, we offer UK-wide mental health and wellbeing support via relationship counselling with numerous in-person clinics across Oxford and Hertfordshire. Regardless of whether you're on your own, married, non-monogamous, or LGBTQIA+, we have access to a team of carefully selected counsellors who can offer you virtual, high-quality counselling support.

To get in touch, book a free 15-minute counselling consultation to discuss your needs on our website,, or alternatively contact us via telephone on 07379 538411 between the hours of 9am till 9pm from Monday to Sunday.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Wantage OX12 & Rickmansworth WD3
Written by Hope Therapy & Counselling Services, Offering Counselling, CBT, Hypnotherapy, EMDR & Mindfulness.
Wantage OX12 & Rickmansworth WD3

Ian Stockbridge is the founder and lead counsellor at Hope Therapy and Counselling Services. 

As an experienced Counsellor, Ian recognised a huge societal need for therapeutic services that were often not being met. As such the 'Hope Agency'was born and its counselling team now offers counselling and therapeutic support throughout the UK.

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