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Couples counselling

with Brenda Howlett
Certified CC Relate, Adv. Dip. Therapeutic Counselling, BA(Hons) Psychology, MBACP, CPC Reg.

Could Relationship Counselling help you?

All relationships go through difficult times. It’s how you handle those times that can make the difference between staying together and splitting up. If you can answer ‘Yes’ to any of the following questions, now may be the time to consider counselling:


  • When you talk to your partner, does it feel as though you’re hitting a brick wall?
  • Do your conversations just go round and round in never-ending circles?
  • After you’ve talked, do you feel frustrated and confused?
  • Do you find that you can’t talk for more than a few minutes without it turning into a shouting match?
  • Are you afraid that, if you bring up a certain subject, things will get even worse?
  • Do you feel that there is nothing left to say?

What can you expect from Relationship Counselling?

Firstly, and most importantly, you will not be judged. Whether you are married or in a partnership, living together or not, gay or straight, separated, divorced or divorcing, you are welcome to come for an initial counselling session, where we will discuss whether couple counselling is the best way forward for you at the moment.

If we decide to carry on, you can then expect to come for several more sessions before reviewing whether the counselling seems to be helpful. Counselling sessions will normally (but not necessarily) be weekly.

Each counselling session will last for about 50 minutes. We will plan to use the early sessions to explore your current situation, including the problems that you have, how you came to this point, and where you want to go from here. Over time we will move on to look in greater depth at possible underlying causes which may be preventing you from changing things, and finally, using this new understanding, look at ways that you may be able use your strengths and resources to improve things.

Possible Results of Relationship Counselling

The result that most people are hoping for when they come for couple counselling is that their relationship will improve, making it possible for them to stay together.

This often happens, but there are other possibilities. It may be that, despite the counselling, nothing changes; in this case they may decide that, even so, there is enough that is good about the relationship to make it worth staying together. Alternatively, if nothing changes, they may decide to split up.

Some people have already decided, before they come for counselling, to separate. If this is the case, or if they reach this conclusion as a result of counselling, counselling can also help in achieving a calmer, more carefully considered, separation.

Can one person have Relationship Counselling?

Relationship counselling is generally more effective if both members of the couple attend together. However, if only one partner wants, or is able, to come, there are a lot of things that they may be able to sort out on their own.

If you are a patient at Sett Valley Medical Centre, you are entitled to come as an individual to see the Practice Counsellor free of charge, by asking your doctor to refer you.

If you are not a patient at Sett Valley, you can still come for individual relationship counselling by paying for a private consultation (see below).

Cost (for unregistered patients)

The fee for a session of relationship counselling (individual or couple) is £45.00.