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Relationship Counselling for One

Relationship counselling for one is helpful when there’s unresolved conflict in your couple relationship; when you or your partner are not willing to go to couples counselling or you don’t find couples counselling helpful AND if you want to talk about and work on your relationship without your partner.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

Women in Relationship

Many of the women I see in counselling are seeking meaningful connections with others and enjoy relationships. We see girls desire for connection and relationship more clearly in childhood. Remember when you were a little girl? Did you ask others something like, “will you be my friend”? Do you remember others asking you, “will you play with me”? These ways of connecting and being in relationship are pretty “normal” for female children but, needing anything as an adult women often feels weak or needy.

I’m sure you’ll remember hearing “you’re not my friend anymore” or “we don’t like her” from childhood. I don’t know about you but thinking about little girls hearing and saying those words still feels awful to me.

This early developmental learning about feelings, connection and relationships shapes how girls are in relationships. It’s where girls learn to be likeable; learn what to say and not say and where they learn to “go along to get along” regardless of what they thing or feel. And it could be where the “need to be liked” and “caring what people think of you” comes from.

From the beginning of time women have compromised or misrepresented who they are and what they think or feel to maintain connection, to be liked, to fit in and to be accepted by the popular girls and keep the peace in relationships.

The Couple Relationship

Adult ways of relating are generally more sophisticated but the above needs are still present for women. For women in heterosexual relationships their male partners weren’t socialized the same way and often don’t understand their needs or distress.

Early in my career as a couples therapist I studied with relationship expert Dr. David Schnarch. He said, “Relationship is a people growing machine” and “Nobody is ready for marriage. Marriage makes you ready for marriage.” After more than a decade working with couples, I couldn’t agree more. Whether it’s women needing to talk or men wanting to fix things, the couple relationship is definitely a people growing machine.

Connection & Disconnection

Disconnection or reluctance to connect or reconnect from their partner causes women a lot of heart ache in couple relationship. The same way it did for them as little girls on the playground but with much higher stakes. While women know this on a gut level they often can’t explain it very well to a partner that doesn’t get it without blaming the partner for causing their distress.

Relationship Counselling for One

While I no longer do marriage counselling, I still do relationship counselling for one with women. Couples’ therapy is not helpful for women if their needs are dismissed by a partner that doesn’t get it and needs to fix things.

Sometimes couples can navigate this by being clear about what they need when asking their partner to talk. For example, a woman might say “can we talk about what happened at the party”? Her partner might respond, “sure, but just to be clear do you want me to listen or do you want my help in fixing it”? This can work as long as couples are able to pause if it escalates and resume when both are calm enough to do so.

Does this sound like you in relationship?

If you and your partner get caught in the above cycle leaving you both feeling invalidated or frustrated? Do you get further and further apart and believe you can’t talk anymore?

Relationship counselling for one is helpful because talk therapy fits well with women’s needs to talk and to make sense of things. When their needs are met in counselling women are more likely to talk with their partner and more able to resolve relationship problems.

What Happens in Counselling for One?

Relationship counselling for one can help women in their own lives and within their couple relationship. These sessions help in the following ways:

  • having a safe space to process experiences allows women to make sense of what happened, their feeling about it and what they needs
  • helping women find ways to discuss problems and possible solutions with a partner that doesn’t understand them or meet their needs
  • helping women increase their distress tolerance and learn how to be with their feelings instead of being driven by them
  • helping women reduce emotionally reactive communication
  • helping women tolerate the vulnerability of connected relationship with their partner again
  • teaching women about self soothing, self care and self compassion and encouraging them to make time to take care of themselves
  • helping women reduce people pleasing and peace keeping behaviours and managing the consequences of not doing the behaviours
  • helping women develop healthy spoken boundaries and ways to manage the consequences of boundary setting

Relationship Counselling for One

If you would like to learn more about relationship counselling for one you can book a free consult call online today ๐Ÿ™‚

You don’t have to settle for being misunderstood, shutting down or keeping everything in to keep the peace. Your experiences and feelings are valid and you can makes sense of things and feel better. You and your partner can do it better too – YES YOU REALLY CAN!

Maybe you tried couples counselling and it helped for a while, or it didn’t help at all and now you feel stuck. Or maybe you want to try couples counselling but your partner won’t go. Either way, relationship counselling for one might be something you could do for yourself. It would allow you to get the help you need and want and it may even improve your couple relationship.

You can get started with a Free 15 minute Consult Call and decide if you want to do anything more after that.

And you are welcome to book a phone, online or in-person (Tuesdays only) session and get started right away. You don’t have to do a consult call first.

Please feel free to email Elizabeth with any questions or concerns you have. Elizabeth will respond personally within 1-3 business days.

Elizabeth Lacey RSW leaning on a chari back relationship counselling for one in London Ontario

About Elizabeth Lacey

Oakridge Counselling offers in-person, phone and online counselling in London Ontario. And Clinical Supervision and Consultation online throughout Ontario

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