What happens in relationship counselling?
All relationship counsellors have their own style and individual ways of working. You could choose to see a counsellor face to face, or speak via telephone or email.
Some relationship counsellors offer creative arts and therapeutic exercises in addition to talking. Whichever approach you choose, broadly speaking, all counsellors will help you to work through the following three steps:
- Exploring your story - what the problems are and what impact they are having on you and your relationship. The history of how the problem arose and what changes you would like to see happen.
- Understanding your story - why you're struggling with this problem and things that might be preventing you from overcoming it.
- Rewriting your story - finding the strengths and resources to resolve your difficulties, or at least make them more bearable.
How relationship counselling works
First and foremost, counselling works by giving you the chance to be heard. Your counsellor will give you all the time you need to talk, sob, shout or just think. It's a chance to look at the problems you're facing in a different way with someone who will respect and encourage your opinions and decisions.
When you go as a couple, a counsellor will help you to hear each other. Not just the words you say, but also the feelings behind them. And they'll help you to think of other options and ways of addressing your situation that you not have thought of before.
For many couples, the solutions are right under their nose, but it takes someone objective to see what those solutions are. You know the saying, 'Can't see the wood for the trees'? Well, counsellors are trained wood-spotters.
- If you want to find out more, watch Paula Hall explain what happens in relationship counselling
- Alternatively, call 0300 100 1234 or talk to a counsellor in real time via our live chat service
The content on this page is supplied by Relate.
Last updated: over 3 years ago