Silvia Camastral PhD

Psychotherapy Counselling - Individuals - Couples - Supervision Training

Relationship and Couple Work

Relationship therapy focuses on a client's relationships with their partner, family, friends, peers or work colleagues.

A process oriented approach to couple and relationships work is to look at the dynamic between two or more people.

Relationship and Couple Counselling


Package of six sessions:

What is the advantage of committing to a minimum of six sessions?

By paying up front for six sessions for your relationship you make an intentional psychological commitment to your relationship for change and growth.

Research says that intentional change takes three months to manifest as integrated new behaviour.

Committing to six fortnightly sessions will take you to that time frame and you will be able to have exercised many new ways of dealing with your relationship challenges. 

What can I learn in six sessions?

  • Defining goals for the relationship

  • Insight into the dynamic of our relationship

  • Insight how our past patterns influence the present

  • Insight in what roles you occupy in your relationship

  • Learning to grow into new roles

  • Exploration of unhelpful dynamics and how to change them

  • Practicing new relationship interactions in the session

  • Learning to bring out needs and be heard by each other

  • Homework to try out new behaviour and interactions

  • Learning better communication: the “how” and the “what” we say – and how that gets heard by the partner.


Some of the issues that bring you to couple counselling could be:

  • Life style changes

  • Grief and Loss

  • Emotional disconnection 

  • Different belief systems

  • Not feeling understood by your partner

  • Too much conflict

  • Not enough communication 

  •  Not knowing how to process differences of opinions

  • Family of origin patterns

  • Issues that are impacting on the relationship (work, use substances, friends, extended family) etc

  • Stress due to Life cycle transitions: marriage, buying a new house, new baby, going back to work etc. 


What can help strengthening your relationship: 

  • Listening while in an argument 

  • Respecting the other person 

  • Doing things together 

  • Showing commitment to the relationship 

  • Sharing a similar life philosophy is helpful 

  • Sharing a similar sense of humour



When a relationship has come to a point where two people are happier apart, it will be useful to process the fears and belief systems that possibly hold us back from separating.


Some of these fears and beliefs could be:

  • Family of origin beliefs,

  • Fear of being alone

  • Fear of being stigmatised,

  • Internal criticism (feeling like a failure) 


Grief and loss are often experienced during a relationship separation. We miss the aspects of the other person that we loved, the shared positive experiences and the most valued aspects the relationship time spent together. Often one partner grieves more at the time of separation because possibly the other person has gone through pain and grief during the relationship before the end. Issues to be addressed and sorted out:

In separation counselling, issues of children’s contact, finances and future lines of communication (especially if children are involved) will need to be addressed and sorted out. Separation counselling can assist in making this painful process of separation as reasonable and amicable as possible. 



Some points about children involved in separation

  • What helps children is to have some kind of stability during this time. Parents being amicable towards each other, is one of the key factors.

  • Most children will be affected in some way by parental separation, since their world as they know it, will drastically change.

  • much separation research states that children are resilient and can adapt to a new life style, as long as they know how much they are loved by both parents.

  • Some children need to hear that it isn' their fault that mum and dad have split up.


Some of the most important things for separating or separated parents to make sure:

  • Be mindful to not use your kids as ammunition in your fights

  • Spend time with them and give them lots of reassurance

  • Let them know how much you love them and how proud you are of them

  • Be mindful to not burden your kids by using them as communication line to the other parent.

  • Be mindful you don't say negative things about your ex partner in front of the child (every child has half the genes from each parent: each time you critizise your ex in front of the child, you critizise half your child).

  • Some kids worlds change to the more positive, they are relieved that mum and dad separate. 

  • Many kids will have some emotional and behavioural issues during this time of stress and change. (Child counselling can be helpful. (See page on play and sand tray therapy)


Many children will learn to adapt to the new situations. A eight year old boy said to me recently, when asked how it was for him to live at mums house and at dad’s place:

“it’s cool - I have two families and two houses and two Christmases.”


Contact Silvia about what your particular situation is and how she might be able to help.

German translation - Beratung und Psychotherapie

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