Not sure about counselling?

Pertinent questions answered for those who are unsure relation-ship counselling is for them

Your partner wants you to go come to Duo Coaching with them and you are reluctant.

Yet communication is so much better when both people in the relationship come to us.

That way both of you can be heard and allowed to express what you want for yourself and from the relationship. We can work with you to help you get what you, as an individual, want as well as the ‘us’ of the relationship.

Seeing you both together allows us to see all perspectives, not just one.

We are used to one of the people in the relationship being reluctant to come, and, in every case, once they both come they are very glad they did because it allows them to deal with all the stuff from the past, quickly, and create the relationship that both of you want to have.

Is your reluctance because:

I don’t want to be blamed or marginalised

That is why there are two of us working with two of you. This gives us the flexibility to work with you both together and also separately, in different rooms, so that we hear both stories. We will ensure that you are listened to and are able to express your feelings and desires. We will help you to get in touch with what is important for you, as an individual, and what you want out of the relationship.

We are unique in the way in which we work. We do this because we know it works and our clients value our approach. To quote some of our clients:

‘Neil and Maria work fabulously together. They have great complementary skills that mean you get a well rounded approach with real results.’

‘It is definitely a case of two heads being better than one.’

‘If we had gone to conventional counselling we would have taken a long time getting nowhere. It would have been tedious and my husband would have felt marginalised. This has worked wonderfully well for us.’

‘We liked the unique service of two of you working with two of us. From Day 1 the journey has turned into a positive one rather than negative. You are both very skilled but in different ways.’

I am fed up with being told it’s all my fault

Inevitably both people in a relationship have different perspectives.

Do you want to continue to be blamed or would you like your partner to hear how you really feel and be able to work together to resolve the problems?

We try and create a blame-free environment so that both of you are free to express how you really feel and then are able to move onto the future that you both want.

It is them that is being unreasonable

It is normal for one of the partners to feel that the other is being unreasonable. So often they just won’t listen properly. Unless this is dealt with there is just stalemate.

I just want the relationship to end because it cannot be fixed

Our role is to help both of you to find what it is that you truly want, as an individual and also as a couple. You choose what your outcome will be, not us. Our job is to help you clarify what this will be so there are no regrets. 

If you have been unable to find any hope for a future together, you might find it hard to let go of the decision to end things. You might want to think about what it will be like if you haven’t sought professional help. If it really isn’t working you can stop any time without any judgement or financial penalty. And, whatever happens, you will gain more understanding about how you got to where you are, which will help you with any relationships you enter into.

If the decision is to separate or divorce then our role will be to help you get there as reasonably and amicably as possible without the unnecessary cost and strain from fighting legal battles with each other.  We also provide support and practical help.

Working out the ending of your relationship in the neutral territory provided by Neil and Maria costs a lot less than fighting it out in court while the lawyers cash in your money.

I'm too busy. There are more important things to worry about right now.

Being in a relationship where one of the partners is unhappy can be very draining and debilitating. Can you be effective at work when you know that you will be returning to an unhappy home?

If you don’t deal with the problem now, it may just get worse and worse.

We can help you to deal with your relationship issues at the same time as dealing with whatever else is criticial in your life right now, so that you have a relationship to return to when your crisis is over.

We are different from other traditional counselling organisations because we work more intensively and have longer individual sessions at times to suit you, rather than regular weekly sessions. Because of this we do have clients who travel long distances to see us. We can also work very intensively over, say a weekend, for couples who need to be able to resolve matters very quickly.

We also recognise that couples often need to resolve problems now, rather than being on an extended waiting list so we are normally able to respond quickly to our clients needs.

They’ll get over it; just give them time

Maybe; time can heal over some problems. However, it can be so much better to deal with problems when they first appear. If they are not dealt with, your relationship may just get into a downward spiral where small problems become big problems and everything starts to get blown out of proportion because of the underlying problems not being dealt with.

If your car engine started making horrible noises; would you carry on driving until it seized up? 

Sex, or lack of it, is the problem. I can't talk to strangers about that!

We are experienced counsellors. We help you to talk about your sex life by being open and frank, using explicit yet appropriate language. As a couple, you get the benefit of having both a male and female counsellor to talk to and we support both of you as you explore and develop the sexual side of your relationship (with clothes on).

I love them, but I can’t live with them

Sometimes love cannot overcome the habits of a lifetime. Or sometimes, the intensity of loving can bring out behaviours that are destructive to a relationship. Sometimes you both spark off regrettable responses in each other.

This can be fixed as long as there is the will to do so. 

Sometimes it may seem that the problem is all with one person, which then de-stabilises the relationship. We may do some specific remedial work on that issue. Yet in order to bring balance back into the relationship, we find it is best that both people come in order to create into a better way of being together.

It’s a lot of money for something we can sort out ourselves.

If you could have sorted it out yourselves, you would have done so by now.

Something is badly wrong for your partner to go to the lengths of searching for a counsellor. They know that the process will involve letting strangers into things that are private to you both. While it may feel uncomfortable even thinking of sharing what has happened with anyone else, trust your partner’s instincts that talking it out will help you both.

The fact is that while you would never share the details of your intimate relationship with your family or best friend, it is easier to do so with a stranger. Neil and Maria are in the position to be able to help you gain perspective on the issues, to find ways of working through the problems and are professionals – trained to keep things confidential.

Would you trust something as delicately balanced as an intimate human partnership to someone with less credentials? The benefit of having a productive relationship and being back on an even keel far outweighs the investment of cost and time in working with us.

What I have to share is deeply shaming to me

Neil and Maria have considerable experience. We don’t make judgments, and work confidentially. If your issue is outside their capability to work with, we will, where possible, refer you on to a suitable source. Even so, if the issue is causing problems with your partner, then your relationship still needs help. In which case, we can help you both deal with the knowledge of the problem, and work through the painful disclosure to whatever comes out the other side. We can’t promise everything will be exactly what you want but we can give you support as you both work your way towards a new future.

I don’t want to talk about it; it’s just too painful

Our approach ensures that we do not dwell on the bad things in the past but very quickly engage with all the good things that there have been in the relationship and find what each of you, as individuals and also as part of a relationship, want in the future. We have many ways of allowing partners that are reluctant to speak or open up, to fully engage at their own pace without being forced.

It can be so much better to express your true feelings rather than trying to bury them. We will help you to express them and then move on, positively, to the future that you want.

There may be things you want to hide simply because you cannot resolve them yet.  Perhaps somebody else is involved, perhaps not.  Yet distress is being caused.  Perhaps you can envisage even more distress in the future, and finding a way forward is difficult.  We can help you sort out what ever needs to be done, so that pain and suffering is minimised for all concerned.

I am determined to split, but the emotional fallout is making it all difficult

Maybe your partner is seeking professional help for you both when it’s already too late, and you know it.  Yet perhaps having a safe and neutral place to talk, both together and separately, might be beneficial.  You will both need to make decisions, and it is far better to work these out together elsewhere before instructing lawyers.  Lawyers make their money by charging their time, often by the minute, so they can be very happy for you to have discussions and disagreements in front to them before coming to decisions.

Furthermore, you may wish to keep some sort of relationship going between you, such as friendship or a business partnership. If you have children,it is likely you will want your kids are protected as much as possible.  After all, you will be parents, and maybe grandparents for all your lives, even if you no longer have a love relationship between you. We can help you stay talking in ways that get you to the relationship you want, even after love has gone.  Furthermore, we give you recommendations for any professional help you may need going forwards.


If you have a question not shown here, you are welcome to ask us directly with no obligation.  Contact us by phone 0238 168 0008 or by email.


Whatever the reason and whatever outcome you want, we are here to help both of you.

We know it’s important to feel that we can work with you, so if you want to meet us, maybe for a coffee in a location easy for all of us, we can talk for a short while with no obligation, leaving you free to decide what’s best for you.