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Couple Relationships FAQ

On Bringing Couple Counselling to a Close

Couple Relationship Counselling is about working in therapy with conflicts in a couple’s relationship.  The couple can be married, in a civil-partnership, being romantically involved or just simply colleagues who have a relationship (business or personal) that has developed conflicts (read more…).

Closing States of Couple Counselling.

There are two states for the end of couple counselling: resolved and unresolved.

Resolved: when the initial conflicts – plus conflicts that appeared during the course of couple counselling – have been worked through to the couple’s satisfaction. Satisfaction may mean: enough so that the couple can work on the issues themselves without further therapeutic intervention.

Unresolved: when the initial conflicts – or conflicts that appeared during the course of couple counselling – have only been partially worked  through & the couple are still distressed at – or helpless from – the conflicts.

Both of these states can be worked with during an ending to couple counselling. Although resolved might appear to be a better state, it depends upon what the couple want as it’s their relationship (and always has been even with therapeutic intervention).

When a couple decide to end counselling, working toward an ending is an appropriate choice (rather than simply stopping counselling without notice).

Topics for Closing Sessions.

In the final sessions it can be helpful to discuss the following:

  • What matters presented at the assessment for couple counselling (read more…).
  • What matters came up during the couple counselling?
  • What matters do both partners agree that we have worked through?
  • What matters do partners disagree on.
  • What matters are left outstanding (any “unfinished business”) – for both partners together, or for each individual partner?
  • What might the couple wish to do about the unfinished business?
  • What has been gained from the counselling process … and what is being lost as it ends.

A purpose of such a review is so that couples counselling can end with the work being reviewed openly.  Both partners can leave therapy knowing what is agreed as being resolved, and what matters are left unresolved.  Knowing what work is left to do means the couple can consciously continue to work on further matters in their own time and their own way.

Number of Sessions.

The number of sessions to bring couple counselling to a close will be decided in a discussion with the couple.  It’s preferable that an ending to counselling is brought about once the presenting issues have been worked through – so the ending is a case of how many sessions would be required to discuss sufficiently the closing sessions topics.

This, plus any outstanding matters the couple wish to talk about.

Ending Counselling without Final Sessions.

Leaving counselling without such an ending as discussed above can be unhelpful to the couple’s relationship.  Unresolved conflicts can continue in the relationship – assuming that the relationship continues.

Sometimes the couple decide they wish to separate and they leave the relationship (couple counselling can also be used to help a couple to separate) and when the couple no longer maintains the relationship, the counsellor’s “client” (the relationship) can no longer be brought to counselling.  Other types of endings can then be discussed.

So, working towards an ending in couple counselling are an important part of the counselling process.  whether the couple involve the counsellor in the ending or not.

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Couple Relationships LGBT

Mixed-Orientation/Sexuality Relationship Counselling

Relationship Counselling for Mixed Sexual-Orientation Couples.

Couples who are in an intimate, mixed-sexuality relationship or an intimate mixed gender-orientation marriage can experience relationship problems in just the same way as any other couple relationship.

Whist any trained & qualified couples counsellor could be able to work with your relationship,  sometimes mixed-orientation couples choose to work with a systemic couples relationship therapist who specialises in working with mixed-orientation couples.

In Hampshire, and on Skype, that therapist is Dean Richardson.

What is a mixed-sexuality / mixed-orientation relationship?

Not all intimate couple relationships have be composed of people of the same sexuality.  Mixed-sexuality relationships are when both partners identify with a different sexuality to their partner; for example a gay man and a straight woman.

Whilst such relationships work perfectly fine without therapeutic intervention, they can also develop conflicts that are particular to this type of relationships.  As an example, whilst sex does not have to be the centre of an intimate relationship, when sexual intimacy becomes a problem, mixed-sexuality couples may require a special kind of support in helping the couple to find  their own solutions to such difficult problems.

Dean Richardson – Mixed-Orientation Couple Counsellor.

Dean Richardson is a fully qualified and experienced couple relationship therapist.  He specialises in working with LGBT couples and couple relationships of mixed-sexualities and mixed-orientations.  He doesn’t impose traditional values on relationships that are incomparable with heteronormative standards.

Working with Dean means the mixed-sexuality/mixed-gender-identified couple can continue to feel proud of their relationship. They can regard their relationship problems as an interesting obstacle to be worked with curiosity & inspiration – a healthy approach through systemic couples counselling.

You, your partner and Dean will work with the relationship style that you bring to counselling, and we’ll work with resolving the problems that you bring too.

How to begin Couple Counselling.

Long Distance Counselling.

Couples who are separated by distance – or away from Dean’s Portsmouth practice – but who still want couple counselling – may find Dean Richardson’s Skype Couple Counselling Service useful (read more…)

1) Pick a date/time from Dean’s availability.  You and your partner will be attending together – and if you and Dean agree that couple counselling is a suitable form of treatment for you, you will both be attending with your partner for each week’s session.

2) Contact Dean to arrange an assessment for couple counselling – or to discuss with Dean your questions or concerns for couple counselling.

Couples counselling for mixed-orientation couples can be a helpful resource to a couple who are struggling with problems that seem unique and insurmountable.  Choose Dean Richardson to help you attend to your unique relationship … together.

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FAQ

Do I ask my Doctor/GP to refer me for Private Counselling?

No – you are not required to ask your doctor/GP to refer you to Dean Richardson for private counselling.

As a BACP Accredited counsellor/psychotherapist with his own private practice in Portsmouth (Hampshire) and via video conference through Skype, Dean is fully qualified and experienced to work with individuals, couples and groups.

Dean offers individual the following services:-

… all are in his private practice in Portsmouth & Southsea and online through the Internet via Skype video conference.

You can make your own appointment for counselling to discuss your options for counselling with Dean Richardson – you do not need to seek a referral by your GP (general practitioner / doctor) and your doctor is not automatically informed of any decision you make to enter counselling.

Dean is qualified to make his own judgements & recommendations to you on suitability for counselling through a process called the “counselling assessment”.  This assessment session is a 50 minute appointment for individuals (or individuals wishing to join a therapy group), and 4×50 minute sessions for couples. What you need from counselling will be discussed to help you identify the focus for counselling work before any counselling begins (although many find the assessment process therapeutic too).

If counselling may not be a suitable therapy for you (or your partner when considering couple relationship counselling) other options can be discussed including referrals to therapies and therapists who may be more appropriate for your needs.