People present with all kinds of problems felt in a range of ways from slightly unhappy to deeply distressed. None of these problems are unique. Commonly too, people can be feeling overwhelmed and then deepen their distress with frustration and guilt when they find they cannot resolve difficulties by themselves.

Sometimes, couples will describe the problem as going round in circles and getting nowhere, that improvements can’t be found in their repetitive behaviour despite the yearning for change. Other times, circumstances change and the pair’s coping strategies aren’t working so positively and again there is a sense of stuckness and not knowing where to go from there. Or, more urgently, a couple can see that without doing something differently the end might be in sight.

Taking up some counselling at whatever stage a relationship is in creates an organised setting that allows people to jointly explore and understand what’s happening and then with my support come up with realistic and workable changes. My many years of working with pairs allows both parties to be accepted equally in their differing views. Sometimes shifting the focus to flexibly agreeing one-to-one sessions with each participant is useful too.

The work may be about helping couples prepare for moving in together or marrying, learning how to tackle ongoing problems as allies or helping pairs to consider separating in a more amicable setting and equipping both parties to be more content to embark on a new relationship ahead.

Often, success with intimacy is very much wrapped up in the couple’s relationship. Whether the sexual dilemmas are at the root of the relationship or vice versa, or a bit of both, I can help assess the best way forward alongside couple work as I have an added specialism qualification in psychosexual therapy (PST), also known as sex therapy.