Relationship Counselling & Psychotherapy

Understanding Relationships, Couples and Family Counselling

 We are all born into relationships. From the mother or carer who first held you, to the boy or girl you shared a desk with on the first day of school. Many of us find that we are already committed to or invested in another long before we realise that we also need to be committed to or invested in ourselves. Whether it is a partner, a wife, a sibling, a child or a person in need of care, we also need to have a relationship with our self. A ‘me’ relationship.



How I Can Help

Relationship difficulties manifest for many reasons. How we interpret, engage with and come to terms with these difficulties can feel like a complex and emotional challenge.

Some of the skills we learned from our caregivers, parents, guardians and peers may need retuning, renewing or rethinking –  depending on the experiences we encounter with another. How these skills are used and relied upon also change (and need to change) as we move through the different stages of our lifetime.



Think about how you relate to yourself. What you think and feel about yourself? How do you experience your self in the world, with the people you have encountered in the various stages of your lifetime so far.

This relationship with your self already exists, it is the relationship you have come to know and rely on. It informs and affects how you relate, interact, enjoy, nurture, and evolve with the people in your life.

Negotiating your needs with someone else requires a skill set that does not come naturally, it is learned and it is taught.

Most people will at some stage find themselves in a relationship which is having difficulties. Rarely is the road continuously smooth. Life will inevitably present relationship challenges which will test the deepest faculties of who you are as an intelligent, emotional, feeling, thinking individual.

Communication breaks down, patterns reemerge, mistakes are made, arguments replace conversations, boundaries are not respected, trust is lost.

Counselling will offer support and impartiality to individuals, couples and families to help understand and resolve these difficulties in a confidential, non-directive and neutral environment.

Our earliest experience of relationships; how we learned to communicate, to understand and relate to each other echoes right through to our present lives.


Thinking About Your Relationships

Have a look at Types of Relationships – how many do you identify with – notice your reaction to what is listed as a ‘relationship’ – Ask Yourself? Which relationships are you finding difficult to engage with or to be part of?

Which relationships are nurturing, which ones make you feel actively and positively challenged, heard, loved?

What challenges are you facing in your relationships? What is working and what is not? How are you coping? Are you getting what you need?

Relationship Challenges: 

Ask Yourself
is there..

  • a breakdown in communication
  • feelings of drifting apart
  • arguing, fighting, ignoring
  • financial stress
  • roles and responsibilities
  • becoming a parent, being pregnant
  • bereavement, loss, grief
  • adolescents, child leaving home
  • addictions, dependant relationships
  • periods of anger, mistrust, conflict
  • assumptions, family rules & patterns
  • Infidelity, cheating, pornography,
  • domestic violence
  • Change: work, home, health
  • frequency & quality of time together


Types of Relationships:

 Ask Yourself 

  • Family, Parent, Sibling or Ancestry
  • Biological or Guardian
  • Friendship
  • Doctor, Therapist, Dentist
  • Services: Bank Manger, Postman etc.
  • Acquaintances, Neighbour
  • Work Colleagues, Employer
  • Dating, Separated Couple
  • Casual, regular sex partner
  • God, religious, spiritual, universe
  • Committed, Married, Civil Partnered
  • Widow, Widower
  • Orphan
  • Relationship with ‘me’


utcomes of Relationship, Couples and Individual Family Counselling 

  • Craft new ways to cope in challenging relationships
  • Learn and appreciate the history of your coping behaviours, why you do what you
  • Begin an honest conversation with those you care about
  • Change your defensive stress stances, stop the blaming, stop the placating
  • Understand and engage with the Self, the Other and the Context as three separate parts
  • Become congruent or authentic in your interactions, feelings and behaviour with yourself and others
  • Move toward new ways of coping & let go of old learned habits, behaviours and coping strategies
  • Encounter your ‘family’ through psychotherapy tools – Genogram, Family Rules, Satir’s Mandala


Relationship Counselling & Psychotherapy involves individual one-to-one counselling for difficulties and challenges concerning relationships, your family members and partners or spouse. Couples counselling is also available.

Relationship counselling and psychotherapy will help you to revisit those skill sets, to fine tune them or throw them out and find new skills which are personal, individual and tailor made for you.

For counselling which involves family members attending as a group, please contact the Family Therapy Association of Ireland fully accredited and qualified Systemic Family Psychotherapists.


Family Therapy

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