The terms “couples counselling”, “marriage guidance” or “couples therapy” are often used as synonyms. We prefer the term “couples counselling”. Firstly, we assume that a couple – as a system – can only be dysfunctional and not sick. Secondly, a couple will not necessarily be married.
We address a variety of fields within couples counselling:
1. Crisis prevention
Crisis prevention is aimed at couples who are facing a new phase in their lives together that will require fundamental adjustments. Professional guidance helps the couple to acquire the skills that contribute to a successful and happy relationship. The challenges for the couple can be very different: shared household management, the desire to have children, first parenthood, children leaving home, retirement, etc.
2. Crisis intervention
In crisis intervention, couples counselling focuses on identifying fresh solutions for relationships that are trapped in seemingly hopeless crises and gripped by relentless tension. Often the relationship will be paralysed in virtually all areas of life. Overcoming this stasis means reinvigorating the relationship in the truest sense of the word. Individual factors may also make relationships precarious, for instance: unfaithfulness, unemployment, severe illness, the unfulfilled desire to have children, the loss of children, etc.
3. Separation counselling
Professional guidance can be helpful during separation as well. The following things can be achieved within a structured and safe space: peaceful and constructive communication, fair terms of separation, avoidance of continued hurt, etc.