Ashley Parker MA Relationship Therapy, Dip Hyp, Dip HB, MHA, MBACP
Ashley Parker Therapy Space
Off the Mount
Telephone: 07707 151 239
Relationships are a crucial part of our lives and can contribute to our wellbeing. Sometimes relationships can come under strain and often couples take action when things have become too difficult to manage on their own.
Couples counselling can provide the space to facilitate the difficult conversations that you have either
been putting off or may be contributing to your unhappiness and the impasse you find yourselves in. It isn't about keeping a couple together, although that is often the desired outcome, some couples come to counselling to explore separation or in fact after the decision to separate has been made.
It can be useful in working through day to day niggles or tackling bigger issues such as infidelity or separation. Having a person who isn't emotionally invested like perhaps a family member or friend is useful, especially in helping you to make sense of emotionally charged issues.
Often one or both of a couple may be concerned that they are going to be blamed or viewed as the 'guilty' party, especially when there has been infidelity for example. This is simply not the case and is why the counselling relationship is so unique compared to that of a friend or family member, as we are a neutral party who views any relational difficulty as a couple issue. A friend may side with you and give you the confirmation you are looking for in terms of who is right or wrong and this might be the quick fix you need, but this can more often than not 'fuel the fire' and a neutral party is more likely able to help each person see the other's perspective.
It is important that you find the right counsellor to work with you and who is appropriately qualified and experienced in working with couples as it is a very different way of working with two people.
We will meet together for an initial consultation where each of you will have the opportunity to tell me what has brought you to counselling. In addition to this, I will tell you a little bit about how I work and you can decide whether I am the right person for you. Sometimes one person in the relationship doesn't want to attend and although it's always helpful to work with the couple, it is possible to work with the individual too.
If we decide that ongoing counselling is suitable, we will arrange ongoing appointments which will be at the same time each week or sometimes fortnightly depending on your needs.
The sessions are confidential and a full confidentiality statement will be given at the appointment.
I work with an integrative model of therapy which is underpinned by both systemic and psychodynamic theory. This allows me to be flexible and meet your individual needs.
Working systemically allows me to look at a person’s wider framework, considering all impacting systems which can include culture, gender, age, religion, wider family systems, sexuality, spirituality, education etc. The psychodynamic part of this approach is looking at conscious and unconscious processes and the way in which a person’s past may influence their present. This model of therapy lends itself well to human interaction.