I believe that our most intimate relationships have the power to enable us to achieve our greatest potential. Yet they present us with the some of the most challenging aspects of ourselves and others. Society does little to support the transition from falling romantically in love, to a fulfilling life long relationship. Throw in children, infertility, life’s ups and downs and it often seems simpler to live alone. Sexual appetites and desires change over time in relationships. These can be difficult to make sense of and can often feel threatening and hard to resolve. We need to understand ourselves and our partners in these relationships. From there we can learn to transform our relationships.
It is my observation that we repeat negative patterns of relating in relationships. Couples work counselling is an opportunity to do something different to look at these patterns and gain a deeper understanding of ourselves and our partners. Even if the result is separation to have deeper understanding of these processes is beneficial and often crucial if children are involved.
Couples often present when feelings of goodwill have gone out of the relationship, things are feeling desperate and separation seems to be the only option. This can be as a result of stuck repetitive patterns, lack of mutual support, feelings of isolation in the relationship, a loss of desire, issues of intimacy, sexual problems, betrayal and general life events.
Some couples also look for a forum for support when they are considering making a deeper commitment towards eg: living together, pre-nuptial agreements, marriage, civil partnerships, having children. The time can be used to explore concerns and fears which arise from these steps.
Part of my task as a therapist is to support the re-engagement of each person with each other with the intention of finding a new way forwards.
Ruth works with people in both straight and gay relationships. Her practice is based in Totnes and Newton Abbot, Teignmouth, Torquay and the surrounding area.
I also work with couples who travel from further afield and come for some intensive relationships support , combined with a short break in Devon. This has proved a beneficial space to explore the issues of relationship and intimacy away from the pressures of life at home.