Relationship Counselling

In a country that has at present a divorce rate of 1 in 3 it would make perfect sense to have a prevention system in place for relationship breakdown, to enable people to build stronger relationships from the start!

There is a great desire to form lasting bonds, a need we have for attachments that do not get broken, for a partner whom we can trust. I find an increasing number of couples who want to strengthen their bonds, are ready to invest their energy into this work - but don't know how. Having been unable to observe what a 'happy couple ' looks like, how a long term relationship works, as their own parents broke up, they are desperate to get it right.

As an Integrative Psychotherapist it is central for me to hear the story of their lives so far, including their family system, and their ideas of what a 'good relationship' feels like. Only then will I offer some strategies and try to find a way that suits them to optimise what they have. This may include information on sexual behaviour, on how to create greater intimacy, how to negotiate more elegantly and often includes a reminder to celebrate their achievements.

I offer relationship counselling in a brief-term model over ten sessions usually. As it is often hard for couples to agree a good time to meet, I have found that lunchtime at my rooms in South Bank are very suitable as SE1 is so central. The location between Westminster Bridge and Waterloo Bridge seems to be manageable for most people.

After 30 years of modern Psychology there are some research results that stand out for their efficacy, yet are little known unfortunately. It is sadly only when couples experience difficulties that they even consider the mechanisms of how relationships work. All too often we fall for the romatic images sold to us by media and poetic traditions.But we all know that a long lasting relationship needs a skill set - just like any other task accomplished.

If this sounds like work rather than walking into the sunset - that is how I conceptualise it and that is what Marriage Guidance, Partnership Advice etc is about. Learning the vital task of how to be a good partner - probably the most central one of our lives beside becoming a decent parent! But I do think that Learning is fun!

The exploration of such an important part of our life, noticing how we improve our skills, how we become more elegant and safe in exchanges with the people we cherish is a great joy. As all couples have different needs and skills I first hear their story, try to understand how they came to be together, then try to show them better solutions for their particular 'impasse', the point where they repeat their difficulty. When they can smile at this 'stuckpoint', they usually have found their own way out- and can negotiate their way out of similar points more elegantly from then on. I use Cognitive-Behavioural as well as Gestalt and Psychodymnamic interventions for this process - whatever is useful for the particular couple I am with.

For more information or to book an appointment contact Annegret on 0207 6 200 300 or via