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Relationship Counselling

Relationship counselling is a therapy that focuses on helping couples or individuals work through the issues in their relationships. It can provide support and guidance to help strengthen connections, improve communication, resolve conflicts, and restore trust in the relationship. Relationship counselling can be beneficial for those experiencing difficulty adjusting to changes in their relationship, such as the addition of children or a shift in financial circumstances. It can also be used by couples who feel their relationship has become disconnected or strained due to a lack of communication or understanding.

Relationship counselling typically takes place over several sessions, with each session focused on exploring the underlying issues in the relationship and providing tools to help build stronger connections. In some cases, couples may choose to attend couples’s counselling together, while other individuals may prefer an individual approach.

During these sessions, counsellors may ask questions about the past and present experiences of both parties involved and discuss topics such as communication styles, trust issues, values and beliefs, family dynamics, expectations within the relationship, and any needs that aren't being met. The goal is to identify areas of strength that can be built upon as well as areas of tension that need to be worked through in order to reach an understanding.

If you are considering working with a counsellor for your relationship issues it is important to work with someone who you feel comfortable talking openly with. A good therapist should also demonstrate empathy towards both partners while providing constructive feedback throughout your conversations together. Ultimately, relationship counselling offers a safe space for individuals and couples to talk openly about their feelings without fear of
judgement from outside sources and ultimately find mutual understanding between one another.

​Our counsellors provide a caring, supportive and non-judgmental environment to help you find a way through any difficulties you may be facing in your relationship/s. Together, we will first help you to identify and clarify the issues or problems you are facing in your relationship/s. If couple counselling is the best way forward for both of you, you will embark on a series of counselling sessions. Six to twelve sessions is usual, but it will depend on the issues that you want to address. Both partners don’t always have the same goals and for counselling to be helpful we need to establish an agreed focus for the therapy. Our primary concern is that you get the best possible, appropriate source of help, and it may not always be Relate. In such cases, we will always try to help you find the support that you
need from another agency. For some couples, counselling is the start of a longer process of discovery while for others, a few sessions of counselling may be all they need to get through a rough patch. You will be able to discuss your expectations with your counsellor.

Counselling is not a ‘magic’ solution, it requires commitment, engagement and hard work. Many individuals and couples find the process leads to an improvement in their relationships; sometimes this involves separation and moving on apart and independently. If this is the case for you, it is likely that the two of you may experience different feelings, and it may not be the outcome that one of you wanted. If you do decide to separate, we can help you to manage that process as painlessly as possible. We can offer support to either or both of you with the grieving process and with issues around what and when to tell children about what is happening.

This is a service for people who are concerned about their relationship and want to do something about it. You don’t have to be married to take advantage of our service, and you certainly don’t have to come as a couple. In fact, it’s much better for you to come by yourself to seek help than to have no help at all. The best time to come is before things have reached a crisis point, but whatever stage your difficulties have reached, our counsellors will be able to offer you help and support.

Relate counselling can also be a great source of help and support for individuals who are going through the painful and lonely process of separation or divorce. At Relate Cross Pennine, we believe the purpose of counselling is to achieve changes in our clients lives and relationships. You can be reassured that you will be seeing a trained
counsellor whose work is professional, safe and appropriately supervised.

Case Study

S is a 60 year old heterosexual woman who requested counselling because she was having difficulties in her communication with her partner of 3 years and she feared the relationship was at risk of breaking down and this was impacting her mood.


We began to explore the couples communication patterns and S's experiences in previous intimate relationships. It became apparent that S had been very much affected by a previous 12 year relationship, which had elements of coercive control, and by her difficult childhood. Her childhood experiences had contributed to her life-long struggle with anxiety which she had tried to manage by means of various self help strategies.


Counsellor comments:

"One strand of the counselling sessions was to explore more deeply the origins of the anxiety and look at some different strategies to manage this. Secondly, by exploring with S her expectations of intimate partner relationships and her disappointment that these have not been fulfilled in this current relationship, she has been able to recognise many
positive aspects to the relationship that she has not experienced in previous intimate relationships. I shared with S my curiosity about some of her partners communication patterns and behaviours that she had described and told S that I wondered if he had some autistic spectrum condition(ASC) tendencies. She told me that friends had suggested this to her previously.


S went away and did some research on the subject, undertaking an online course, and said that this helped her to understand her partners needs and thinking patterns better. We have explored together the advantages and disadvantages of having an intimate relationship with a partner with ASC tendencies. This has helped her to have more realistic expectations of their relationship, value it more, and believe that it is sustainable.

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