“Behind every great relationship are difficult conversations we rarely get to see. Great relationships don’t just fall into our laps. They require people to move through fears and insecurities and to do the hard work to move wounds into healing.”
Couple counselling offers neutral space for couples to work on the various challenges experienced in a relationship – giving them the skills to navigate future challenges with confidence.
INTIMATE AND SEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS
For so long talking about sex and intimacy been considered ‘taboo’ and many romantic relationships have suffered as a result. Counselling provides a safe space for couples to discuss topics like sex, sexual dysfunction, sexuality, sexual preferences, body confidence, and infidelity. The process of deciding to embark on couple counselling and admitting that an intimate relationship needs work can be difficult but engaging with an unbiased third party (a counsellor/therapist) has proven to be an extremely effective way of helping couples to get through trying times in their relationship, allowing them to move forward as a healthier and happier unit.
Marital / Long-Term relationships
Choosing to be with one person for the rest of your life is a big decision and, although it isn’t for everyone, monogamy has many been shown to have many benefits. Having a partner who can offer ongoing emotional support and having a teammate when raising children frequently results in happier individuals – and there are financial benefits of being in a long-term partnership too. However, after being with one person for a long period of time, the relationship may begin to feel mundane or unexciting – especially when the relationship has weathered the many storms of life. Counselling offers couples the space to develop the skills needed to reinvigorate relationships that have become ‘stuck in a rut’ and helps couples to put measures in place to ensure the relationship is filled with compassion, excitement and positivity going forward.
post-partum / loss support
The journey to parenthood and parenthood itself is rarely turbulence-free, and there is no shame in reaching out for professional support. Bringing a human into the world is one of the most profound things that any two people can do, and this can be very overwhelming, especially when mixing stressors like finances, lack of sleep, extended family pressure, hormone fluctuations, learning to love your post-partum body/ learning to love your partner’s post-partum body, and navigating the post-baby sex life reality. Counselling can be an excellent source of non-judgemental support for both new parents and parents who have experienced a miscarriage. This kind of counselling is especially effective when couples engage in the therapeutic process together – allowing them to draw on each other’s strength and become comfortable confiding in their partner during the many trials that are experienced when being partners and parents.
CRISIS AND TRAUMA
Experiences like domestic abuse, muggings, xenophobic attacks, bullying, home invasions, sexual assault and rape, hijackings, and other deeply traumatising events can have a profoundly negative impact on a person’s overall ability to function on a daily basis. Similarly, crises like becoming HIV-Positive, losing a child, becoming bankrupt, and being retrenched can be extremely difficult experiences to overcome without a safe space to process your feelings about what has happened. Whether the crisis/trauma has affected one person in the relationship or if the experience was shared, counselling can be a great place learn to how to cope with having experienced a trauma and learn skills to navigate an ongoing crisis. Embarking on crisis and trauma counselling as a couple can be particularly effective because you can go through the process with the support of your partner. If you are experiencing symptoms like sleeplessness, hypervigilance, irritability, irrational fear, mistrust, depressed mood, flashbacks, nightmares, and intrusive thoughts after going through a trauma or a crisis, it may be a good idea to seek help in the form of counselling.
If you are in state of acute crisis or you have experienced a trauma, please contact one of the following organisations for immediate support:
South African Police Services – Report a Crime
Rape Crisis – Rape, Sexual Assault, Gender-Based Violence, Domestic Abuse
Lifeline Telephonic Counselling Hotline – Depression, Anxiety, Suicide.
South African Depression and Anxiety Group – Depression, Anxiety, Suicide.
ER 24 – Emergency Services
Akeso – In-patient Psychiatric Care
“Parenting isn’t for sissies,” said every parent, ever. And it’s true, raising a human being is an incredibly tough yet rewarding job. However, very few people speak about what happens afterwards. You’ve spent +/- 25 years raising a child; you’ve loved them, taught them, cared for them, and guided them, and then, almost overnight, they’re an independent adult themselves. Your children, who for many years needed you to feed them, transport them, and bathe them, now depend on you less, and they don’t spend nearly as much time with you as they used to. You and your partner are left feeling purposeless, frustrated, and deflated – and understandably so. After nearly three decades of constantly having to worry about others, always putting your children first, it’s your turn to put yourself first, but you’re left wondering ‘how’. Counselling is the ideal environment for you and your partner to talk about the new roles you are taking on – either as ‘parents of adults’ or grandparents. Understanding your new role and what you want from this next stage of life is an essential part of ensuring a happy and healthy relationship going forward.