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Family / Marital / Sex Counselling

Family counseling often occurs with all members of the family unit present. This may not always be the case. A family member who suffers from alcoholism or drug addiction might not attend sessions, and might actually be the reason why other family members seek out family counseling.

Part of the goal of the therapist is to observe interactions between family members. Another part is to observe the perception of non-interacting family members. Thus if two family members get into an argument in a session, the therapist might want to know how the other family members are dealing with the disagreement or the way in which the two fighting members comport themselves.

In addition to observation, the therapist often helps the family reflect on better ways of communicating with each other. So family counseling may in part be instruction and encouragement. In fact, family counseling often teaches family members new and more positive ways to communicate to replace old, negative communication patterns.

Marriage Counseling?

Communication problems, sex, anger, even illness can contribute to problems in a marriage or relationship. To manage conflicts and stress, couples sometimes turn to marriage counseling or couples counseling to help heal the relationship.

Marriage counseling, also called couples therapy, helps couples — married or not — understand and resolve conflicts and improve their relationship. Marriage counseling gives couples the tools to communicate better, negotiate differences, problem solve and even argue in a healthier way.

Marriage counseling is often short term. You may need only a few sessions to help you weather a crisis. Or you may need marriage counseling for several months, particularly if your relationship has greatly deteriorated. As with individual psychotherapy, you typically see a marriage counselor once a week.

Sex Therapy

Sex therapyis a specialized form of counseling for adults that focuses on sexual issues, most often for individuals in relationships.

Sex therapy is usually goal-oriented, meaning that the sex therapist will try to help you develop a definitive issue and the goal of therapy will be to work on that specific issue and resolve it, or find a way to make whatever problems it causes have less of an impact on your life and sex life. Commonly, sex therapy will focus on a sexual dysfunction or major sexual communication problems between partners.

Sex therapy is usually directive. Sex therapists will be active, asking questions and often giving direct suggestions, homwork exercises, and information in an effort to support your goals for the therapy.

Signs of a relationship sex issue

Families pass on unspoken messages about sex which can cause unnecessary distress in couples. Often individuals need to explore their own sexuality away from such pressures.

What feels good and what feels disappointing? Attitudes inherited from childhood or out of ignorance can cause unnecessary misery. Cultural pressure may require a detached and analytical re-examination to allow a couple to make their own rules.

Sometimes traumatic sexual experiences from childhood or past relationships can emerge in a present relationship. With trust these can be explored and resolved.

Causes of Sex Issues

How can counselling help sex issues?

Relationship Counselling can help explore the physical communication and the understanding of what sex means to two particular people. Sex may be mechanical and a way to maintain a safe distance for one person. In such cases, the partner may mourn the lack of intimacy and trust which would allow them to feel safe and enjoy sex.

Withdrawal of sex can happen when a person has no alternative way to express their anger and disappointment – so the forbidden feelings are acted out in the bedroom. Control and power are often issues in difficult sexual relationships as one partner may be unconsciously exerting the control and power they feel they lack outside the bedroom.

If the problem is around a dysfunction, a couple can be referred for Psychosexual Therapy with a suitably qualified person.

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