Relationship counselling in EdinburghWant to work on your couple relationship? We are here for you. Our expert counsellors and therapists will work with you to make things right for you. We offer a professional, safe space for difficult conversations that need to be voiced. We also help people to hear that which needs to be understood. We will work with you to explore your possibilities.

We promise we will not tell you how to live your life. We will help you realise your own values, desires and dreams. Your autonomy and self-empowerment are indeed a priority for us. Your relationship matters to us. We want to help you make it work for you.

Our Focus

We are centred on your relationship. We work for your wellbeing. We prize each for who they are in themselves. We work towards everyone’s safety and welfare. We want every relationship to be good and worthwhile. We want to help you to find enjoyment and satisfaction in each other.

We will work with you on your current relationship, together as a couple, or alone as an individual. If you wish we can also work on past relationships and their lingering effect on you. Another possibility is to work on future relationships. Your focus will be our focus.

The Science of Relationships

All of our counsellors fully understand the importance of attachment. It is the science of relationships, love. It is what makes us human and gives meaning to life. We will work with you to de-escalate anger and stress between you. We will help you find the right relationship fit for you both. We will make bridges so that you find a permanent connection which is safe and secure. We will work in an emotionally focused way so as to understand your hopes and your hurts.

The benefits of healthy relationships are undeniable. Research demonstrates that when we live in a healthy relationship, we

  • Live longer, more fruitful lives
  • Recover more quickly from illness and surgery
  • Benefit from better mental health
  • Are more resilient to pain
  • Are protected from Alzheimer’s

We offer both Psychodynamic Couples Therapy and Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for couples who want to get the best out of their relationships.

Emotionally Focused Therapy

EFT is a structured approach to couples therapy formulated in the 1980’s and has developed alongside the science on adult attachment and bonding to expand our understanding about what is happening in couple relationships and to guide therapists. In the last fifteen years, Dr. Sue Johnson and her colleagues have further developed and refined the model and completed numerous studies. EFT is also used with families and individuals. A substantial body of research outlining the effectiveness of EFT now exists. For us, it is a therapy of choice. This theory gives us a map to healing hurting relationships. It allows us to restore belief in life’s meaning and beauty.

Couple Counselling in Safe Mode

All relationships can have the capacity to be abusive at one time or another. Domestic abuse is not that rare, but it can make couple counselling very difficult. When a relationship is very escalated and harmful, we cannot offer couple counselling. No one can. But, we offer Couple Counselling in Safe Mode. If we do not think that we can safely help, we will try to help you find someone who can.

Where things are going wrong, and people are over worked-up, things can become hurtful and abusive, at times, even dangerous. For the partner on the receiving end of this behaviour, it can feel suffocating and even very scary. While experiencing the abuse, our worst fears seem to come true. We can become frightened even to speak our truth. We don’t feel free to talk to our friends. We don’t have the liberty to visit and keep in touch with our family. We begin to feel very isolated, and yet we have no personal space.

For the partner acting in this abusive way, the experience can be entirely different. But, we notice things are changing. We may well realise that we always win; we always get our way, but we are not happy. We are just angry and disgruntled. We can put a great deal of effort into making our family just the way we want it. But, it is never the happy family we want. It is all just too miserable.

At Firth Counselling, when we assess couples as being too overwhelmed for regular couple counselling, we will tell you plainly. Counselling is hard work and people can become really anxious. When stressed in this way, an overly escalated couple may well resort to harmful methods of interacting. People get hurt and things turn out for the worse. We commit to looking out for your wellbeing at all times. We will not allow our counselling to cause more harm than good. Still, where we see that there remains an openness to change; where there is insight on the part of both partners into the experience of the other, we will offer support.

Where there is emotional abuse, physical abuse or sexual abuse, this agency will offer counselling in a safe and confidential environment. Once you have been accepted into couple counselling in safe mode, we will see you over the period of four sessions to assess if you can stop the old patterns of harm. Each partner will be contracted to ensure truth and transparency in the counselling. Each will reject any abusive behaviour. Each will commit to change.

You will each be assigned your own specialist therapist who will work with you on your behaviour in the relationship. Periodically, you will both be seen by both your counsellors. Together, all four will actively work to de-escalate the relationship.

This therapy passes through a number of stages:

  • Identifying and naming the abuse
  • Contracting to end the abuse
  • De-escalate the couple distress
  • Move away from excuses to responsibility
  • Stabilise the relationship
  • Claim an ethical relationship
  • Explore future possibilities for the relationship
  • Look at gender expectations

Once we can all see that real changes in behaviour have been made, you will then be assigned to a couple counsellor who will see you together.