Relationship problems are one of the top issues that people come to therapists with. Therapists have reported that the COVID-19 pandemic opened the floodgates to relationship work as couples were confined to their homes, causing underlying issues to be brought to the surface.
Our latest Mindometer survey of 3,000 of our members found that 57% of therapists reported an increase in clients presenting with relationship issues in the past year, while 29% of therapists noticed an increase in the number of enquiries for counselling services from couples.
Couples today are dealing with different issues compared to five years ago. While issues with communication, intimacy, finance and commitment are still there, couples now need to navigate the pressures of social media, effects of lockdown and the pandemic, sexuality and other socio-economic challenges such as the cost-of-living crisis.
The couples collective, formed by BACP therapists, has put together a comprehensive booklet that addresses some of these issues, and shares their top tips and guidance on how to navigate them. The booklet provides a starting point to guide you and your partner towards steps which can improve your relationship, but by no means provides an exhaustive solution to all relationship problems.
Family and pressurised environments
Find out about the most common causes of conflict, how to resolve them and when it’s time to seek therapy
Cost-of-living crisis and financial struggles
If money is causing you anxiety and conflicts within your relationships, we've some tips to help you deal with life's pressures
If social media is coming between you, find out how what can help you rebuild your real life connection
Sex, intimacy and sexuality
When you sense something isn’t right in your relationship, we've some advice on what might help you reconnect with your partner
Commitment and open relationships
If you feel something is missing from your relationship, therapy may be able to help you find what it is you really need
How to seek couples therapy
If things have got to the stage where you can’t talk to one another without getting upset or arguing, then maybe it’s time to seek professional support
Who is in the couples collective?
This booklet has been carefully co-created with experienced therapists. Together they are the couples collective. Each therapist has shared their one key piece of advice for couples.
We’d also like to thank BACP therapists Lara Waycot, Nicola Vanlint, Jenny Warwick and Sylvia Sterling for their contribution to the couples collective booklet.
MA MBACP, BACP therapist at The Counselling Living Room
“If I could only give one piece of advice, I would ask couples to ask themselves – Is what I’m asking of my partner reasonable?’. It’s a simple question but it’s important to take a step back and put things into perspective.”
“Try not to work against each other but rather work together when faced with a problem. Reposition this problem as an opportunity for you to do better and improve your relationship in the long term.”
BACP therapist at Kentish Town Counselling
“A fundamental aim of being with a partner is to be kind to each other - you want your relationship to be your grounded place, albeit with exciting moments thrown in for laughs and thrills. Living with any other human being will involve disagreements and the key is how these are handled.”
“Come from a place of open mindedness and mutual respect. By doing so, you will continue to grow in your relationship and avoid some of the pitfalls, such as taking each other for granted.”
“We routinely service our cars and other goods. Why don’t we give our relationship the same attention? Our emotional and physical wellbeing is informed by the quality of our couple connection. Tuning up that connection in couples therapy can lead to very powerful change.”
BACP therapist at Harley Therapy
“Discuss your vision for how the relationship is doing and where it’s headed. A shared vision is crucial to ensure that you both feel connected and continue to work towards a common goal. Love is a verb, and takes ongoing mutual effort.”