ABOUT COUPLES & MARRIAGE COUNSELLING | HOW I WORK | FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
About couples & marriage counselling
Note: I am not currently taking new couples.
Couples frequently come to counselling with different intentions for their relationship. Couples and marriage counselling offers a safe place where each partner can explore issues from their point of view along with hopes for the relationship.
Couples often seek help to:
- Rekindle love
- Repair past hurts
- Restore sex and intimacy
- Decide whether to stay together
- Communicate well after separating to support parenting
Couples also seek help with:
- Grief and loss
- Difficult life events
- Trauma and addictions
- Power and control
How I Work
I use an approach called Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) to help couples break cycles of conflict and disconnection, and recreate love, connection and intimacy. EFT is backed by 20 years of evidence based couples research. It is respectful of people’s cultures, sexual preferences, spirituality and beliefs about relationships. Couples feel safe to explore the issues in their relationship, it works and the New Zealand couples I work with like this approach. Click here to read about one couple’s journey through therapy: Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy by Wayne Reiger, PhD.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does couples and marriage counselling work?
Couples who are prepared to do the work in sessions frequently find love again. Here are two articles that deal with this topic: Does marriage counselling work? By Racheal Tasker (Writer for www.guidedoc.com); and 5 Principles of effective couples therapy by Susan Krauss Whitbourne Ph.D.
Is couples and marriage counselling only for those who want to stay together?
Partners often come to counselling at different places to one another. For instance, some have already decided to separate but get help so they communicate better for their children’s sake. Others wish to stay together and have tried to fix their relationship issues and have simply run out of steam. Over the course of counselling, partners often reassess their goals. Sometimes couples decide it is best to separate. Many couples however decide to stay together. As long as couples are both in the room, there is always hope.
What if my partner is unsure if he/she wants us to stay together?
This is a common scenario when couples first come to counselling. Often when partners express how they are feeling about their relationship it can open new possibilities for them in their relationship that they had not considered before.
Is couples and marriage counselling worthwhile if you have separated?
Yes. Some couples come to counselling having decided to separate but end up changing their minds and rekindling love. Others come to counselling deciding to separate and undergo counselling so they can get along better with one another so they can be better parents.
Do you think couples should try to stay together no matter what?
Every couple is unique. It is not about what I believe is important for the couple, it is what the couples want. When there is violence or abuse in the relationship then it may be unsafe for partners to remain together until the violence and abuse stops.
Will your religious or spiritual beliefs about relationships influence your work with us?
In couples counselling I take a ‘faith neutral’ position which enables me to put aside my own beliefs and walk alongside the religious/spiritual beliefs and values each partner holds about relationships. I have experience working with many religious and spiritual viewpoints.
Will you be biased towards the female partner because you are a woman?
I aim to be there for both partners equally. If either partner feels I am not being even handed then they can let me know and I will do what I need to do to get back on track. The approach I use when working with couples values partners equally, no matter what gender they are, type of relationship they are in (gay, straight), cultural background, religious or spiritual belief they hold about relationships.
Are you married or in a relationship and how long have you been with your partner?
I have been with my husband for 27 years and married for 25 of those years. We are very happy together.
Will you understand our difficulties if you are happy in your own relationship?
Over the years my husband and I have been to some very difficult places in our relationship which helps me understand the pain many of the couples feel when they come to counselling. We still have our ups and downs but over the years we have become better at recognising when we are getting in to a negative cycle so we can get back in to a positive cycle more easily. It is normal for even the happiest of couples to experience conflict and disconnection from time to time.
Providing counselling services throughout the Greater Wellington region including Wellington CBD, Johnsonville, Newlands, Churton Park, Tawa, Porirua, Petone, Lower Hutt.
Belinda Hodson Counsellor: Phone 027 659 4450.