Relationships

Pre-Marital Counselling

Congratulations on your decision to uphold a life long promise to one another as a couple. Counselling prior to such a big commitment can be very helpful in assisting you to learn various skills that are helpful when more challenging moments arise as your relationship grows and matures. Learned skills such as communication, fight control and problem solving can be invaluable tools to utilise when difficulties arise such as financial concerns, having children or managing blended families.

Relational expectations also play an important part of pre marital counselling.  Expectations you may not have thought of yet but may deeply effect the mutual satisfaction and emotional ‘closeness’ of your relationship include: What does sexual fidelity mean to you?; What does ‘feeling loved‘ mean to you?; Do you want children?; Will you both work when you have children?; Do you view your  relationship like a good team or do you see yourselves as two separate people who function independently?;  How will finances be controlled?; How will household jobs be managed?; Do we want our children to go to private or state schools?  How much time should we spend together?  What relationships are OK with the opposite sex?

At Richmond Hill Psychology we recognise that these questions seem a little overwhelming and possibly ‘not worth worrying about’ at first but they may, at some point, become an issue within your relationship.  We can assist you with the ‘foundations’ to handling these tricky issues as they present themselves throughout your relationship and consequently prepare you for a long lasting, committed and emotionally ‘connected’ lifetime together.

Intimacy

Regular sex is an important part of a healthy adult relationship and often leads to a feeling of emotional ‘connectedness’ with a partner.  Sexual difficulties within a relationship, such as infrequent or unsatisfactory sex, are not uncommon with couples often stating they no longer feel ‘close’ to their partners.

For instance, it’s not uncommon to hear a couple say their daily ‘functional’ relationship is great such as getting kids ready for school and household chores done, but they don’t share the passion they once did.

At Richmond Hill Psychology we understand that there are many reasons for sexual difficulties in a relationship.  For instance, it could be that you haven’t nurtured your sexual relationship or one partner grew up in a family who was sexually expressive and the other grew up in a family that was more conservative, it could be that one or both of you are feeding into a sexual myth that may be affecting a good sex life between you or perhaps your libido is mismatched?  Alternatively, sometimes other sexual problems may be causing significant unhappiness in your relationship.  Problems such as vaginismus, vulvodynia, dyspareunia or erectile dysfunction can cause significant distress.  All consultants at Richmond Hill Psychology understand how sensitive intimacy and sexual difficulties may be and therefore give our assurance that any issue will be maintained professionally with care, privacy and understanding.

Your RHP expert therapists in this area are: Dr Janet Hall, Simon Candlish, Kylie Jeffery, Vikki Prior and Alexandra Augustine.

Communication

Most of us want a long lasting and satisfying relationship with our partner and while there are many different components to having a good relationship, communication is one of the most important. Let’s face it, when we’re not communicating well with our partner we tend to lose that feeling of ‘connectedness’ and then perhaps lose faith that our relationship is secure.

Many completely avoid communication because it’s not pleasant, such as staying back late at work.  It’s also not uncommon for clients to arrive to therapy saying that they communicate well most of the time but that they still can’t get along, this may be because they communicate well about most day to day things but that they avoid the more emotional ‘hot topics’ that are preventing them from having their emotional needs met.  Unfortunately, this kind of communication corrodes many relationships but, with practice, good communication can help you to feel a deeper sense of companionship and intimacy within your relationship.

It’s important to recognise that good communication skills are not something we are born with, rather something we learn and sometimes our parents or teachers, despite sometimes well intended, weren’t the best role models.  At Richmond Hill Psychology we can help you rediscover those feelings of ‘connectedness’ again through having a greater understanding and appreciation of skills that will enhance your relationship, by nurturing what works now and replacing what doesn’t with learned skills such as positive communication, problem solving and conflict resolution.

Your RHP expert therapists in this area are: Dr Janet Hall and Alexandra Augustine.