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HOW DOES IT WORK?

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COUPLES THERAPY

 

Working with a relationship means (at least) three people will be in the room. The process is similar to conventional therapy. There is an assessment at the beginning, with all partners, and each will need to be committed to working on tasks between sessions. But there are differences as well. In couples therapy, the relationship is the client, so the emphasis moves from focusing on individuals to focusing on a relational system with individuals in it. I don't usually see clients in relationship therapy individually, for this reason.

A relationship is like any other client – it needs to develop and grow in order to be fulfilled. And like a person, a relationship can get stuck, for many different reasons. Understanding where and how the relationship is stuck is important, therefore, as this tells us how each individual in the system needs to grow in order to resolve relationship issues. As well as work in sessions, this means learning or re-learning skills in relating – whether that be in intimacy, communication, trust, or how to conflict in healthier ways. Every relationship client will have unique goals to work towards. But my aim is always the same – to help resolve relationship issues and help the people in the relationship to grow as individuals and connect as partners.

SEX THERAPY

 

Sex therapy works through a carefully constructed treatment plan – a plan which combines therapeutic work on the mental and emotional difficulties around the main sexual issue – and a programme of psychosexual exercises. Such tasks are undertaken by the client between sessions, and results are discussed in the sessions. Sex therapy often means a commitment of more than one hour a week, therefore. The nature and length of treatment varies from client to client.

I begin with a detailed assessment as this allows me to plan the work with the client. Therapy works best when the relationship between client and therapist is effective, and for me that means establishing a collaborative process. Sex therapy is often more structured than other ways of doing therapy, because of the tasks involved between sessions. And the sessions can be more guided than other ways of working because of the material involved. As with any process, time and trust are also factors, and that’s why it’s important to find the right sex therapist for you.

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