Who do we work with?
We work with all ages at Fifth World counselling. The youngest couple we have seen were in their early twenties and the oldest in their nineties. We work with couples of any sexual orientation. We also work with people who are in polyamorous relationships. We work with couples who have been in monogamous relationships and are thinking of exploring open relationships or polyamory and vice versa. We know that love comes in many flavours.
There are as many reasons why people come to couples or relationship counselling and therapy as there are people, possibly more as people frequently have more than one reason for coming!
What can you expect in relationship work?
Firstly, as we hope with any therapy, you will not be judged. This is about you, your relationship and your world and we do not seek to impose any kind of view of what a relationship should or should not look like.
Secondly, it is not like ‘individual therapy but with two (or more) people’. Here, the relationship itself is the client. When you come for couples or relationship counselling, the aim is not necessarily to keep the relationship together as it is. After all, if it was working perfectly you would not be looking for outside assistance. No, the aim is for change and growth for all parties. Any relationship in which only one of the parties is getting their growth needs met is a narcissistic relationship and not a healthy one.
It may be that you decide you would be best apart, in which case we can help with making that transition as smooth as possible for the sake of everyone involved in your lives.
Thirdly, it may seem in a session that we take the side of one of you. That is normal. It may even be true. From time to time, the therapist will take the side of one of you and seem to push against the other (s). But it is unlikely to be permanent- remember, the therapist is on the side of the relationship and not any one of those in it.
We will not be looking to play referee in a game of ‘Look how badly he/she/they is treating me.’ This is not a place for witnessing hurt but for providing the opportunity for new growth for all parties to the relationship. All voices will be heard here.
Fourthly, it won’t all be talking about feelings although there will certainly be a place for that. In addition, you’ll also learn other ways of communicating, other ways of getting your needs met in and out of the relationship. You will be doing some exercises, playing some games, talking about how you learned to be in a relationship, what you have learned from previous relationships and much more.
There will be occasions when you will be given tasks to perform both in the sessions and outside them. These will not be CBT style worksheets but practical experiences you can create together to give yourselves the chance to see each other differently.
It won’t be easy
Couples and those in polyamorous always hit obstacles, but they are rarely the ones they think they are. If you argue about the washing up or leaving the toilet seat up then you will find that these are not the issues we work on. We work at a deeper level, looking at causes not symptoms, at patterns of behaviour rather than isolated events. This is not a ‘quick fix’ or an ‘easy win’ where you just have to make a washing up rota or swear to listen to each other.
As with any therapy, it will not work with the commitment of all parties. It is very unlikely that you will be able to re-orientate your relationship into a growth one in just a single session but this does not mean it is a life-long or open ended commitment. We suggest that you allow for and commit to six sessions initially. It may be at that point you can continue growing by yourselves or you may like further space to grow. You decide.
We have had comments that relationship therapy and counselling is expensive. We can assure you that separation and possible divorce are far more expensive in terms of money and in terms of emotional upset for all those involved in your lives.
How do we work?
Our preference is all to be in the same room, in our therapy room here. There are times and circumstances in which that may not be possible. In those instances, we recommend Zoom calls but with separate access to the internet and separate spaces.
We are making the assumption that at one time you were in love with each other. Many people come here seeking that first rush of love experience again. We do not offer that. What we do offer is the chance to have a deeper understanding of yourself, your partner (s) and both the relationship you are creating and the one you can create in the future.
If this is interesting to you, then please get in touch via text or call on 07526980593 (it will go to answerphone), e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or by the contact form on this website. We look forward to hearing from you.
We work with all kinds of relationships