Relationship and Couples


Counselling for Individual and Couples with
Relationship Issues

Who Comes For Relationship Counselling?


We work with both individuals and couples who are experiencing problems with relationships. This includes:


  • problems forming relationships

  • stresses within an existing relationship

  • difficulties around the ending of a relationship.  


Some couples come for counselling because they're trying to save their partnership. Others will have no intention of separating but may want to improve the quality of their life together or are facing a particular difficulty in their relationship such as an affair or painful event. A couple may also be trying to navigate their way as amicably as possible through a separation or a divorce.  


Individuals seek counselling for similar reasons but may want to deal with a relationship issue on their own rather than with their partner.  Often it is because they are struggling to deal with the emotional fall-out following the end of a relationship.

Why Relationships Break Down


The reasons why relationships run into problems are many but can include financial difficulties, family bereavement, infidelity, loss of trust, compatibility problems, shifting career priorities, life changes, family pressures, issues with step-children or illness. It may just be the simple reality of two people growing apart over time. 


We are not the same people we were when we first met and were in the first throws of romantic love. Part of the purpose of couples counselling is to assist you in negotiating these changes and find new ways of moving forward and enjoying a fulfilling life together.

How Counselling Can Help


For couples coming to counselling the aims are help you to:


  • become more conscious of the unique factors which have shaped your relationship

  • be more alert to each other’s emotional needs and sensitivities 

  • learn to be supportive rather than defensive when issues arise

  • develop the trust needed to share feelings of vulnerability

  • learn to work together to resolve problems

  • be open and honest with each other

  • improve the ways you communicate with one another

  • develop a more self-aware and mindful attitude towards your ways of relating generally 

These aims will also have relevance if you are coming for relationship counselling as an individual. If you’ve broken up with your partner or are a couple deciding to go their own separate ways counselling can help you to: 


  • negotiate the difficulties of separation in a more amicable way

  • develop your sense of autonomy and independence

  • deal with the feelings of loss that follow the end of a relationship

  • learn from the experience of past relationships 

  • be clearer about the kind of personal relationship which will work for you in the future

  • Build-up your self-esteem and confidence

How Relationship Counselling Works


Key considerations for a couple at the start of therapy will be what brought you together in the first place, your reasons for coming for counselling, what you are looking for from your relationship, and what goals you now want to set yourselves.

Relationship counselling provides a setting in which you can express your feelings openly and honestly without fear of being judged by your counsellor. These may include feelings of betrayal, distrust, anger, rejection, loneliness, alienation, frustration, anxiety, fear and loss.


There are two important elements to relationship and couples counselling. The first involves dealing with day-to-day aspects including: communication, relational and emotional issues. This may include addressing stresses affecting the relationship such as affairs, bereavement or life-changes as well as common arguments and disputes. 


The second involves the exploration of your past and other circumstantial factors which may have influenced your partnership such as upbringing, previous relationships and your extended families. 


The purpose here is to understand more fully the determining factors which brought you together and have shaped your relationship. These will have played a part in the ways you interact with each other and the feelings and emotions which drive those interactions. 


By working on both these areas you can learn how to understand yourselves and each other better and develop strategies to handle the feelings and emotions that are triggered when things get heated or go awry.


Booking an Initial Consultation at Whitley Bay Therapy


An initial consultations for couples counselling is charged at the same rate as follow-up sessions, but last an hour and a quarter rather than the usual time of 60 minutes. (see Booking and Costs). Julian will be your therapist for couple counselling. 


Both Michaela and Julian work with individuals with relationship problems . For individuals we offer a free 30 minute initial consultation, as with other one-to-one therapy.