- Who can come?Couples, married or partners. We also see other combinations. Mother and adult child, Father and adult child. (over 16). Family groups. People who work together and are finding their relationship difficult.
- Will you see us separately first?No, it is rare for us to see couples individually. The counsellor will not take sides or negotiate solutions. The difficulty is in the relationship and so the solution is in each person 'hearing' and understanding each other. This is unlikely to be achieved by seeing clients individually.
- I don't know if I want to stay with my Partner, is couple counselling suitable for us?Leaving a relationship is a big, and often painful, step. Always difficult, but all the more so if you have children. We will not try to steer you in any direction but we do understand that you have important things to explore and understand about each other, even if you are separating.
- What is it like seeing a couple's-counsellor?
Our couples-counsellor will listen objectively and fairly to both clients. Obviously the counsellor mustn’t take sides but they need to genuinely understand the position and feelings of each client and frequently will need to clearly communicate that position to the other partner in a way the other can non-defensively hear it. The counsellor must genuinely value and understand both clients equally.
In most cases the clients will have different positions, and often different things they hope to get from counselling. It is not at all unusual for one client to suspect that the relationship is finished, whilst the other one desperately wants it to continue. The couples-counsellor must genuinely honour and value both positions, without trying to tilt in either direction.
- We both have the same problem, but come at it differently.Sometimes there is no fundamental difference between the clients - the death of a child or fertility problems are examples. The counsellor must genuinely understand the position that each client finds himself or herself in. Whilst they are likely to both want the same thing, they will probably feel differently. The counsellor will help them to understand each other better.
- Training for our Couple's-counsellors.
We select our couples-counsellors very carefully. They must must be eligible for BACP* Accreditation prior to starting our training. Our own specialist couples training includes:
a theoretical understanding of the special issues of couples-counselling,
special consideration of confidentiality for couples,
the Data Protection Act,
consideration of clients with social communication difficulties (Asperger’s Syndrome is an example),
sensitivity to sexual issues,
anger in the counselling room and much more.
We have trained couples counsellors from all over the UK and Ireland. Whilst we see most of our clients in the Bedford and Milton Keynes areas, there is a good chance that we can refer you to a couples-counsellor, who we have trained, in other parts of these countries too. If we can help we will collect the first fee from you (by credit/debit card) and then make all the arrangements to put you in touch with the counsellor. If we do not have a counsellor who meets our exacting standards in your area, we will tell you.
- Will the counsellor tell us what to do?
No, it is vital that the couple's-counsellor does not take sides, does not issue instructions and does not complicate an already difficult situation with their own views and prejudices. What the counsellor is going to do is to help you to communicate with each other more clearly. This lets you each get your own message across, but equally importantly, understand the other one’s position. The counsellor will try very hard to ensure that each client feels genuinely heard and understood by their partner.
It is also likely that the clients are not completely certain about their own feelings and wishes for the future. The couple’s-counsellor will create a safe environment in which partners can start to get a clearer picture in their own head.
- Waiting lists
Simple –we don’t have them! We will offer you an appointment, with a suitable counsellor, within 7 days! We realise that crisis’s don’t happen by appointment - if you have a problem you need help quickly. If we can’t provide a suitable counsellor quickly we will say so. We are confident about this because we help hundreds of new clients every year and we have never had to turn anyone away or break our seven day guarantee (the only exceptions are when the clients have phoned to say that they would like an appointment after their holiday!).
When you first contact us we will spend time talking on the phone to you. We will work hard to understand your needs and match you to a suitably experienced counsellor – you don’t just get the next counsellor on the list.
- What do sessions cost?Between £40 and £50 (additional £10 after 18:00 hrs or at the weekend).
- If you want to be a couple's-counsellor
If you are an experienced counsellor yourself and would like to receive a solid Person-centred training in this important field Counselling Works runs training courses twice a year in Milton Keynes. (Spring and Autumn.)
In addition we will provide training for other organisations that will typically buy our service as a package. Some charities will purchase a course from us – fund some places for their own experienced counsellors and then sell individual places to other local counsellors. (We still choose the people on the course because we cannot afford to dilute our high standards.)
In the past we have run courses in Ipswich, Norwich (twice), Perth (twice) and Stirling as well as the regular courses in Milton Keynes.
Call us on 01908 263800.