My studies and subsequent work with Relate have made
it clear to me that we make a mistake when dealing with
relationship problems if we consider only the individual in
isolation. It is essential that we bear in mind the effect
that the different parties to the relationship have upon one
another. If partner A changes, then partner B will
inevitably be affected in some way. Similarly, if one
member of a family behaves in a certain way the other
members cannot but respond to it in some way. Any
disturbance for one family member has implications for
the whole family. Recognising this phenomenon and
inviting the couple to examine the implications of existing
behaviours and beliefs, and the impact of change, is
central to the way in which I work with couples. I do not
work with family groups but am happy to offer referrals
to therapists who do work in this way. Similarly, I am not
qualified to work as a
psychosexual therapist but will
refer to relevantly qualified therapists where appropriate.

Where do our beliefs and behaviours come from? I
am convinced of the importance of recognising the social
dimension of our mental and emotional well-being. This
includes being prepared to examine with clients not only
what they have learned within their family but also the
assumptions within the wider society - the world of work,
for example, or advertising - which sometimes act as
sources of distress and disturbance.