The couple usually attend the session together. I will gather as much information as I can about the relationship and how it got to where it is. I will also watch how they interact and listen to their concerns. My role is not necessarily to referee arguments, rather, I try help the couple understand the sources of the conflicts. Once this has been achieved we try to resolves the conflicts as a collaborative team.
An important aspect of the counselling is that it can help you to learn skills that will strengthen your relationship into the future. These may include communicating more openly, problem solving together and discussing differences rationally. I may refer either both or one of the couple for individual therapy or for another professional intervention if other issues become apparent.
Sometimes people’s relationships improve quickly while at others, the couple may discover that their differences are irreconcilable and that it is best to end the relationship. In this instance, my task will be to help the couple to separate amicably and in a way that is mindful of the children’s best interests should any be involved.