Individual & Relationship Counselling. Wimbledon - Kingston Upon Thames - Putney - Surbiton


Category Three

Help! My Partner Refuses to Come to Couples Counselling

Sometimes with the best will in the world our partner refuses to do couples therapy. You know that the time has come to make some changes as your relationship is in trouble. You have asked nicely, you have cajoled and still your partner wont budge.

There are a number of reasons they may not want to join you – too busy, tried it before and it didn’t work, they hope that things will just blow over or perhaps they cant see how a stranger can help. Before you start thinking you are sunk with no way out of your situation; there is another way and that is to go by yourself.

There is simply no upside to dragging a reluctant partner to therapy as the process can be easily derailed and sabotaged. It may be time for you to take back your power and start the process by yourself. Going alone does not say that you are the “problem” but it does say that you are prepared to do what ever it takes.

Relationship issues don’t belong to just one person but to “the relationship” which you both are equally responsible for. Deciding to get support is simply saying I am willing to make the first move. Taking personal responsibility may feel unbalanced but the extraordinary thing is that each little shift that you make will have an impact on your relationship system.

What we understand in systemic therapy is that any shift will make a shift in the whole. This is true for all systems wether it is an ecosystem or a flow diagram. So as you work towards supporting yourself in making healthy changes in our relationship so it will inevitably make changes with in your relationship as a whole. As you start relating differently so will your partner.

The key to success here is to choose a therapist who is trained in relationship work. It is vital that the therapist does not take sides but has the ability to think in terms of what is in the best interests of the relationship. One of the most powerful things to do is to reach out for support doing nothing simply means nothing will change.

Pam Custers is an experienced therapist working with individuals, couples and families. MABA (Psych) Hons and is a RELATE trained.

MBACP (accredited). Contact 07572 841 388, www.pamcusters.co.uk

Making Love Last

It is that time of year, the sun is shining and days are longer. My life is spent thinking, talking and researching love and what makes it last. I was fascinated to read John Gottman’s psychological research into what makes love last and the five indicators he identified. His work in his relationship lab is able to tell within 94% accuracy if a relationship will last or not.

So, what are these five areas and how can we cultivate and strengthen them in order to bolster the love?

Love lasts if we are able to relate tales that have warmth, affection and respect for each other. If we think and speak about our relationship with fondness and admiration we foster it.

Keeping the focus on “we” as opposed to “me”. Having a clear sense of being in this together and working as a team even if there are disagreements.

Truly knowing our partner. The trick here is keeping a real connection and understanding how our partner ticks. Being curious about what our partner thinks or feels about things keeps us connected.

All relationships face hardships along the way. Love thrives if they can be seen as a way in which a couple pulls together and over comes adversity.

Having a relationship that lives up to expectation or better still perhaps surpasses it in some ways, bodes well. Feeling satisfied and letting our partner know engenders love.

So, before you rush off to buy your card perhaps we could all look towards these five areas. Genuine fondness, making the relationship central, keeping connected, pulling together through tough times and feeling satisfied.

If you are struggling to keep the love alive take heart and know that if we take charge of our relationships we are able to turn things around. In my experience, small changes make all the difference.

Pam Custers

Relationship Therapist
www.pamcusters.co.uk

Addictions

Addictions impact on both physical and psychological health. Symptoms of addictions may include depression, panic attacks, sleep disturbance, obsessive-compulsive traits, bad relationships and poor work performance.
Often what starts out as a social release can have dangerous consequences. The last place we expect to find this is when we are making choices during or after work.

The pressure that we face at work maybe so hard that we may just want some “down time” to escape the pressure at the end of the day. We may feel we have to work and play hard. This may take the form of a large glass of something wet or a line of cocaine. When does the letting the hair down all turn horribly wrong. Substances help us escape feelings of pressure and stress however they can become highly addictive.

Here are the “Alarm Bells” signal for addiction:

  • Needing more of a substance in order to achieve the desired effect.
  • Having strong feelings to use the substance in order to combat feelings of low mood, insomnia, anxiety, or even physical symptoms such as runny nose, shakes, headaches
  • Spending lots of time thinking about getting high/drunk.
  • Legal, financial, or emotional issues related to substance use.
  • Feeling powerless over the use of a substance.
  • Spending less time on activities that once were enjoyable.
  • Use of a substance despite the knowledge it is hurting you or others.
  • Using a substance in order to avoid or lessen the effects of withdrawal.

Does any of this sound familiar? Admitting you have a problem and that you may be addicted is the first step towards recovery. So what is the next step?

Talk! Speak to someone you trust such as your GP or a therapist who is experienced in helping people with substance abuse issues.
Act now! Addiction gets worse over time and can lead to family breakdowns, financial crises and sometimes death.