Synergy Counselling

Relationship Counselling. Couples in therapy

Synergy works with couples and families

Perhaps it is important to acknowledge from the outset that relationships are difficult and incredibly complex and take a huge effort to make them work effectively. Healthy relationships are an important key to our emotional wellbeing and yet many of us accept unsatisfactory connections and fear sharing our feelings and needs.

Relationships are an important key for stability, affection, affirmation and emotional wellbeing and yet, the majority of couples put little energy into relationship building or growth. Couples often end up blaming the other for not meeting their needs without actually telling them what their needs were! With this lack of relational investment most relationships become functional.

People end up putting their energy into the wrong things sometimes to compensate for lack of relationship and instead get busy with their career, work, hobbies, home, holidays and physical fitness and just hope that their relationships will take care of themselves. Being functional can mean that couples may spend hours talking about home improvements, holidays, children and personal goals and yet spend no time discussing the state of their relationship. This is where the problem begins!

Typical things that couples are heard saying to our counsellors
'We have grown apart'
‘We don’t talk anymore’
‘S/He just seems angry all the time’
'We have fallen out of love’
‘There is no intimacy in the relationship – we are like good friends co-habiting’

How emotionally fit is your relationship?

1. When was the last time that you spoke to your partner/family about how you feel about your relationship?
2. How often do you talk about sexual intimacy?
3. Is your relationship developing or has it become functional?
4. How much time do you spend developing emotional intimacy?

Relationship Counselling. Couples therapy

Creating emotionally fit relationships.

There is a huge amount of advice and some excellent tips on making and sustaining a healthy relationship. Ultimately people will come to Synergy not for advice, but for how to move on from being stuck, moving beyond the anger and working on ways forward to a healthy relationship. There are many aspects to work on in a growing relationship and key aspects of a good relationship will no doubt rely on the couple and family. Things like mutual respect, stability, having common interests, trust or a having a commitment to going the distance, being affectionate or tender and establishing a healthy sense of space.

"James really nailed the core issue which enabled us to re frame and
re-energize our relationship - thank you"

Healthy relationships will have several components and include the following:

1. The ability to communicate which requires good active listening, speaking authentically and honestly.
2. Taking responsibility for what and how I talk.
3. Talking about things that matter!
4. Being affirming and encouraging and expressing your love to each other.
5. Touch and affection are massively important in maintaining relational health.
6. Equitable patterns of behavior is also incredibly important.

The top 10 reasons couples and families come to Synergy

1. Communication issues
2. Unhealthy anger expression
3. Infidelity and trust issues
4. Managing children
5. Sex and sexuality issues
6. Midlife transitions (drifting apart)
7. Lack of intimacy /affection
8. Struggling with grief/loss/ bereavement
9. Mental health issues
10. Relational emotional growth.

Relationship Counselling. Family hands

Time to build relational muscles

If we are going to maintain a healthy relationship you will need to exercise your emotions, employ a relational coach and enter an emotional and relational gym programme. If we don’t work on our relationship it will not provide us with what we want or desire. There are some key moments of relational stretching creating a tension that provide opportunities for growth or death! One of the key stretch times is having children – couples move into survival and the focus naturally goes outward and one does what has to be done to look after the children, get to work and somehow get personal needs met. Typically intimacy can falter, disappear and internal separation occurs with an expectation that personal and sexual needs are shelved.

"I never thought our relationship would recover from the affair - but James gave us tools to learn to trust and grow again"

This can often be the start of an internal separation and the beginning of infidelity either psychologically or physically. Another key point is in the years after the first flush of childhood when the relationship settles into a pattern of functionality and a kind of emotional deadlock. Another key time is the beginning of the second half of life or the Middle passage when the children have left home (if they ever do!!) and the focus becomes more on just the two of you. Other key high points can be losing and moving jobs, moving house and any other key stressors that tend to test the outward presentation of relationships.

Short Course on relationships

# Hug More - Yell Less
# Listen more - Criticize less
# Smile more - Gripe Less
# Touch more - Judge less
Larry Wright

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