Couples Counselling

I recently worked with adoptive parents who were struggling to come to terms with adoption and dealing with attachment issues, which were having a subsequent affect on their 20-year marriage.

The couple, from Calne, Wiltshire, are in their early forties and recently adopted a child having tried unsuccessfully to have children, both naturally and with IVF. One parent is a business owner, while the other is employed part time. As busy individuals, it’s understandable that they might struggle to adjust to their new roles as adoptive parents.

Early meetings

At first, both were wary of the idea of couples counselling, but Jonathan explained the process clearly, including the guarantee of complete confidentiality.

“I felt very uncomfortable,” said Michael, “but that passed very quickly. Jonathan made sure we were both listened to and didn’t push. When he did speak it was to ask us about ourselves, our lives and what we wanted.”

“Jonathan somehow coaxed things out of the woodwork gently,” said Jane, “in a way that made it feel like Michael and I were working together, on the same side.”

Growing together

As the sessions continued, both Michael and Jane found themselves understanding wants and needs – their own and each other’s.

“It seems so obvious now,” said Jane “to be asking each other what we want, but over twenty-five years and the pressures of looking after two fantastic girls, we’d got into the habit of doing what we always did, without wondering why, or even if it was the right thing to do.”

As sessions progressed, a way forward became clearer. Jane and Michael became more comfortable with the idea that it’s reasonable to expect people to change over the years.

Moving forward

At the end of the sessions, both Jane and Michael felt the process had been well worthwhile.

“We are more likely now to ask each other how we feel about situations and to make sure we are doing what we should do, what we want to do,” said Jane, “both individually and as a couple.”

Michael agreed: “We now have a framework for making sure that our lives will be pleasurable and more fulfilling, and we’re more able to deal with problems when they arise. Like many people, the idea of ‘psychotherapy’ was a bit off-putting, but I’m so glad we went to Jonathan and what we learned with him will stay with us forever.”

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