Couples Counselling

Relationship difficulties are inevitable in long term partnerships.

It is how we work through issues and resolve differences that can really make a difference.

Think you need couples counselling?

Couples can become immune to hearing each other, instead both voicing their own unmet needs and disappointments and so lose contact with each other and confidence in their capacity to resolve differences.

Becoming better equipped to listen, express and work together may require new skills,  and equally, being better able to manage one own emotions, to speak with integrity, be willing to take risks and also being able to self-sooth are vital capacities to developing and nurturing a growthful, rewarding, intimate relationship.

What can you get from couples counselling?

Couples counselling can provide a touch-stone during rough times, a safe place to unpick the messy knitting that life has become. To help to sort and release the feelings, to bring clarity and new understanding and to reframe and refocus. It can help to open up and explore a couple’s sexual patterns and desires, often becoming a fresh approach to working through differences and developing a deeper intimacy. Counselling can also provide support to couples navigating changing life circumstances such as a new baby, altered work situations, illness or other major upheavals. Lilliana’s approach is to share better ways of communicating and give tools that support both self-awareness and connection so that clients continue to grow their capacity for intimacy and develop their relationship skills beyond the consulting room.

It’s never to late for couples counselling

In crisis situations, counselling can help a couple move beyond pain and defence, to explore their own patterns, expectations and history and how this has contributed to their current situation.  Counselling is a safe place to discover whether trust can be repaired, and if not, it can help support both parties to separate with less hostility and more understanding.  Its never too soon to seek support for your most important relationship.

Your couples counsellor

A qualified and experienced couples counsellor, Lilliana works with straight and gay couples in East Sussex and in London. She also sees individuals struggling with relationship issues. Her counselling style is strongly influenced by Dr David Schnarch’s Crucible Approach, (he is the author of Intimacy & Desire, Passionate Marriage and Brain Talk) and she regularly attends courses with David Schnarch. Lilliana’s continuing development includes training in using systemic constellation for couples with Judith Hemming. Lilliana values Dr Harville Hendrix’s Imago Therapy (author of Getting the Love you Want & other books) and she draws on the wisdom of many other relationship writers and teachers, including Sue Johnson and Esther Perel.

How to start your couples counselling

Lilliana welcomes those interested to phone or email in order to explore further if her approach is a good fit. The first couples counselling session is always without commitment, so its an opportunity for both partners to reflect and discuss going forward.  For couples choosing to work with Lilliana, she generally suggests beginning by committing to six sessions, and then reviewing.  However, people’s circumstances, availability and resources vary, and its important that each couple have an arrangement that best supports them.

Intensive couples counselling

In some situations, a Couple Intensive is the best option.  This is a half-day commitment where Lilliana combines couples counselling and individual counsellingThis is a powerful way of exploring relationship dynamics and deepening intimacy.
While an Intensive will not suit all couples, for some it is an effective and efficient method for addressing a crisis, or for providing a potent booster to a long-term relationship, particularly if the couple live far away or are not available for a series of sessions.


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2 Responses to Couples Counselling

  1. Mid-life couple, together 3 years says:

    Learning how to love someone intimately has always been one of the most rewarding but treacherous experiences of my life. My new partner and I are deeply in love, and also middle aged, and as a result, we come to our new relationship with plenty of baggage, as one tends to typically accumulate over the decades. We came to Lilliana during a period of extreme stress when we kind of lost our way when we were dealing with a massive multi-headed international upheaval. It felt as if outside forces were crushing us and making us terribly anxious and frightened.

    In her compassionate way, Lilliana taught us that there is a new way of relating to each other. She gave us some core principles to return to regularly to check on, as we skidded and slided around for awhile. Crucially, she helped us see that one of the most pressing questions (should we stay together) could be answered at a later date while we just focussed on living, and that in doing so, we had the opportunity to learn about ourselves whether we stayed together or not. It sounds simple but it was a most refreshing insight and felt like freedom.

    For me, the most important lesson, was to truly take responsibility for my own actions. Easier said than done but she kept encouraging us and reminding us that it would get easier with practice. Lilliana is a one woman cheer squad, it was really exhilarating to hear (and see) her excitement as she watched our growth, however small. We have found that love can endure, but no one ever said it would be easy. But it can be a lot more manageble under Lilliana’s gently humorous and most practical and wise leadership. I have become a more compassionate person by just being with her.

  2. Couple married for 12 years says:

    Lilliana’s insightful, direct and compassionate approach came at a crucial moment in the near-breakdown of our marriage. Somehow she managed to create a space in which both of us were able to see and listen to the other anew and feel mutually responsible for the outcome and follow-up of the session. Through some very simple exercises that she gave us to take away and use, we were able to move on to a different level of relating and regain the passion and engagement in each other that had previously been mired in blame and resentment. We are deeply grateful and highly recommend her approach.