Love on the Rocks?

What does love mean to you?

How do you define when a relationship is going well or seemingly headed towards the rocks?

A recent study shows that around 42% of marriages end in divorce citing issues such as money problems, infidelity, interference from ex-partners and parents, differences in sexual libido, children from previous relationships, differences in communication and conflict resolution, and keeping trust and privacy within the relationship.

If you’re reading this perhaps you are feeling strain within your relationship – maybe you’re even at the point of make-or-break. Perhaps you are deeply committed to your partner and want to take things to the next level and strengthen your connection but are not sure how.

I’ve worked with lots of couples within my practice helping them to open up and start honestly communicating with one another. To achieve this I like to use a combined approach which incorporates aspects of counselling, psychotherapy and elements of practical coaching:

Learning – teaching you how to communicate effectively and listen to one another without desire to attack or defend (developing active listening skills).
Strategies– 1) Looking closely at what our needs are and seeing where they are currently being met 2) Understanding what our partner’s needs are and seeing where we meet them.
Emotional – Moving towards a state of empathy, vulnerability, intimacy and passion. Learning to let go and move towards compassion and forgiveness.
Practical – Defining our own boundaries and building autonomy within the relationship (security).
Self-reflection – Identifying patterns (and replacing negative transactions with positive solution-based communication).
Attachment styles – Understanding how our own blueprint of relationships is impacting on our current situation.
Power – Understanding power in a relationship and working towards equalising/ restoring or creating balance.

My role will be to help facilitate positive dialogue and ensure that both partners feel actively engaged in the process. In some cases – for example if one partner has cheated – they might be fearful of entering into therapy worrying it will be a ‘blame and shame’ campaign with the counsellor holding court. Although it is important to self-reflect and address our own behaviour, there will certainly be no judgement on my part – I will remain impartial throughout and gently guide you both through the process.

It is important to consider that not all relationship counselling result in things ‘working out’. In some cases, both parties feel happier and healthier to end the relationship after all avenues have been explored, and in such instances we will work together to make sure that any separation is amicable, fair and respectful, paying close attention to shared commitments and responsibilities (e.g. co-parenting).

Feel free to get in touch with me via my contact page.


Support for Young Adults (16+)

For a lot of young people I see, it is usually their family who have suggested they look for some help. It can then feel all the more stressful when they come to meet me- not really knowing where to start and feeling pressure to sort things out.

Like with all my clients, I promise to treat you as an equal, to never patronise or talk down to you, or make you feel alienated and confused by speaking in technical terms you might not understand.

Our therapy together will be relaxed, straightforward and help you unravel whatever is at the core of your feelings. I have worked with lots of young people who come to discuss things like academic stress, relationships, loneliness, self-esteem, self-confidence, shyness, identity, family difficulties, mood swings, sexuality, drugs and alcohol, anxiety, depression, feeling like they have no direction and self-harm.

Unsurprisingly one of the key themes I find working with young people is that they don’t feel listened to or taken seriously. Within the sessions I encourage you to speak freely about anything you want. It might seem scary and embarrassing at first but opening up can provide a massive feeling of release.

Sadly I still see that there is a bit of a stigma around ‘mental health’ and that some people are afraid to ask for help in case they get labelled. We all have mental health just like we have physical health, and going through a tough period doesn’t mean you are labelled for life. I personally view therapy as a healthy and positive investment in personal development. Much in the same way people work out if they want to keep their bodies fit and well, why not treat your mind to the same level of care?

Counselling for Stockport

Feel free to get in touch with me through my contact page or call/text me on 07545 339 175. I charge a lower fee for students/ young people and keep this at £30 per 50-minute session.

Mental Health in the Workplace

A recent survey carried out on 3,000 workers suggests that 60% had experienced struggles in their mental health as a direct consequence of their job.

Sound familiar?

Alarmingly, only one in ten felt they could discuss their work-related mental health concerns with their line manager.

It’s important to remember that like physical health, we ALL have mental health on a sliding scale. Struggling with stress, anxiety and depression in the workplace doesn’t make you ‘weak’, ‘incompetent’ or ‘incapable’- it means your emotional state has reached its limit and needs to be addressed.

All too often we ignore these internal warnings and convince ourselves to “stop complaining and get on with it!” Not exactly an effective long-term strategy!

Make sure you are doing all you can in work to look after yourself- wherever possible take regular breaks, eat lunch, interact with others (on non work-related topics!) and prioritise and delegate what you can. If you still haven’t got time to do everything you need to get done, speak to your management- it’s certainly no reflection on your capabilities- after all you’re not a machine on overdrive!!