A new BBC show features a cast of celebrity couples taking part in a series of challenges aiming to test their relationships.
The programme, hosted by comedian Rob Beckett, includes celebrities such as Loose Women star Denise Welch, Falklands veteran and author Simon Weston CBE, Olympic BMX racer, comedian and Strictly Come Dancing head judge Shirley Ballas.
Along with their partners they’re put through a string of mental, physical and emotional challenges.
And at the heart of the show is our member Anjula Mutanda who is one of two relationship experts on the programme.
The show has given Anjula an opportunity to highlight on primetime TV some of topics and challenges that couples often face.
These are things that are often brought into the therapy room by partners who come for couples counselling.
“My role as a relationship psychotherapist is to help couples to resolve all kinds of interpersonal issues and conflicts. These can vary in severity and be things like feeling dissatisfied or unfulfilled in the relationship, wanting a stronger connection, or having difficulty expressing feelings to one another,” she says.
“Often couples can get stuck in unhelpful patterns of behaviour and psychological distress which can lead to communication breakdowns and conflict.
Supportive and accepting
"The role of therapy is to create a supportive and accepting space in order to help them to improve their relationship.”
Observing the couples taking part in the different challenges, she looked for how they worked together and how respectful and kind they were to each other when they were stressed.
She also looked at how they coped under pressure, handled situations that weren’t in their control, how they communicated and whether they blamed each other.
She says “A lot of the games were time pressured, which meant that the couples were put under physical and emotional stress. How they treated each other when they were in these circumstances spoke volumes about their strengths and challenges as a couple.”
When asked about what the most important piece of advice she’d give for a happy relationship, Anjula says: “Every couple is different, but I would say, have each other’s backs. Be willing to be flexible. Engage in regular relationship maintenance. Strengthen your bond by doing the dance of give and take. Be each other’s safe space and be respectful to one another and have lots of fun and regular belly laughs along the way.”
Unbreakable is on Thursdays on BBC One and available on catch-up on BBC iPlayer.
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