As a couples counsellor I think it is important that each of you feels they are being listened to, by me, and by each other. We will explore why you have come for counselling, and work out together the main areas you would like to cover in our sessions. This may include looking at issues such as communication, conflict, trust, sexual difficulties, affairs, and domestic violence. I aim to help you to be honest with each other about your needs and expectations, and to negotiate how you might each work to improve your relationship. We may identify that a certain pattern of behaviour occurs between you, and we can think about how this pattern affects how you engage with each other. It may be influenced by experiences that you’ve each had in your past. Understanding this can help you to see how you can reduce the impact of the past on your current relationship.
It may be that you’re not sure if you want to stay in your relationship, or you may be quite certain that you want to separate. Either way we can use the sessions to explore how you can cope with the difficult feelings you may be experiencing.
How will we work together?
The first step is to call or email Cheltenham Trauma Clinic. You can say a little about the issues you’re facing, and we can arrange a time to meet, usually within a few days. We’ll then have two preliminary sessions where we think about how we might work together. You’ll get a clear idea of how I work and whether you feel I can help. I’ll refer you to an appropriate colleague or service if I don’t think I’m the right person for you to see.
Couples counselling tends to be fairly short-term, typically lasting around 12 weeks, but I have a flexible approach, and we can discuss this in our first session. I find it can be helpful to agree to meet for a set number of weeks, perhaps four or five, at which point we can all review the situation to see how things are going.
Nicola has a diploma in psychodynamic counselling, and also trained at Relate as a couples counsellor, where she currently works part-time. She has worked for two of the largest providers of counselling services in the county for several years, gaining experience with a wide range of clients with many different issues. She is an accredited member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and as such adheres to the BACP ethical framework. This means you can be confident that Nicola abides by a strict code of confidentiality, that she undertakes regular ongoing training and is appropriately supervised.