Gay Marriage Counselling
LGBT+ Marriage & Civil Partnership
Where does your Gay Marriage go for help? In Britain we achieved civil partnerships & the right to marry. Later, some of us discovered that we were struggling to meet the demands of these commitments. What do we do when our marriages are struggling or breaking-up? Let's talk about taking our most important Gay, Lesbian, Bi & Queer relationships to a real-life, gay-marriage counsellor! Counsellor Dean Richardson MNCS(Accred/Reg) ~ a distinctive, useful, video counselling service employing over 22 years+ expertise...
Aims for Gay Marriage Counselling
If a primary aim of counselling is to assist a gay marriage, how do we create a distinctive & effective therapy that resolves this marriage’s distinct difficulties?
Unlike some therapy services, this is not a one-size-fits-all approach to gay couple / marriage counselling (what some call: "manualised"). Instead, this is a facilitated / therapeutic approach with a professionally experienced gay relationship counsellor (who's been practising for over 22 years now).
There are no "do these three things and everything will be fine" instructions, which can be unsettling for some. Working collaboratively, the couple and counsellor set about developing a therapeutic process that the partners themselves invest in (maybe a little at the start, and increasingly as they gain confidence). They practice at home, bring back matters for review and modification, take stuff away, and so on. At some point the couple recognise that the counsellor's presence is becoming redundant and then we can discuss how we might like to close our work.
Our goal is for the process to mature into something useful for your distinct and unique couple relationship needs. Plus, the approach means the couple don't get to feel as if they're passive prescriptees to a therapist's instruction.
At the beginning Dean Richardson MNCS(Accred/Reg) (an experienced gay marriage counsellor) holds the therapy together (technique known as “containment”) whilst the couple attune to the counselling process.
One of the primary tasks, here, is to assist the marriage in learning new information about how they relate to one another. The rationale for this effective therapeutic process stems from The Milan Associates‘ 1970s discoveries about family behaviour:-
A Systemic Approach to Gay Marriages
- Curiosity (initiated through Counselling)… leading to → New Information.
- New Information… leading to → New Options.
- New Options… leading to → Negotiating / Making New Choices.
- New Choices… leading to → Transforming the Relationship (through informed empowerment).
- Transformation underway (partners consider leaving counselling).
This is the (Re-)Solution you’ve been Seeking
It’s a solution that specialises in working with civil partnerships and gay marriages that gay men, lesbian women, bisexual marriages and those in the vast LGBT/QIA+ spectrum of gender identity and sexual diversity experience. It offers LGBT/QIA+ marriages a distinctive way to work forward, to address and resolve their conflicts of intimacy and/or sexual engagement.
As therapeutic partners, the three of us work together in weekly sessions. We will discuss what will be the focus of our work at the outset. Partners coming into marriage counselling may believe they already understand the issues. When we start talking about things in depth, the marriage frequently discovers deeper, more complex colours around the problem. This is good because the more we learn, the easier it is to break down problems into manageable chunks.
Later, we turned our attention to learning about what could be done to improve the marriage’s behaviour. We’ll rely on the marriage’s own ingenuity and ability to hypothesise (thinking about what might be going on, or what might be behind behaviours).
When the counsellor’s presence is no longer required by the marriage, we will plan an ending to our work. Without the counsellor being present any longer, the partners continue their marital work together.
BONUS: the couple will continue their relationship process after they leave counselling. This establishes further their independence from the counsellor and eliminates any expectation that they will need to return for “top up” counselling sessions in the future.
Therapy with your Partnership
A common assumption about gay marriage counselling is that the partners will come and describe their symptoms in order for the therapist to prescribe how they should go about dealing with their “illness”. Perhaps there’s even a hope that the therapist will fix the illness their behalf.
As a result, the partners first disappointment may be learning how to manage their perceptions: “why isn’t the counsellor fixing our marriage for us?!” or “why isn’t he telling us what to do?”. You can read more about this here: Why Relationship Counselling Doesn’t Work….
Of course, the partners are welcome (and encouraged) to discuss these phantasies/assumptions in session with the counsellor. An issue may be that the partners are experiencing the counselling as a form of projection (eg how they relate, disappointingly, to each other may be being mirrored in how they’re experiencing similar disappointment with the counsellor). By discussing these disappointments with the counsellor, together we get to understand the marriage in greater detail than the partners can describe themselves. They haven’t yet understood that they have the power to fix problems themselves. This is just one approach where counselling can begin to alter the marriage’s behaviour system.
As an effective gay marriage counsellor, Dean takes a neutral stance within the therapeutic alliance. He’s there to learn how the couple pulls and pushes together. He does this by observation and as he learns about how your marriage is going wrong, he is able to form queries that encourage the partners to think through difficulties.
This is therapy with the partnership, not done to it.
Three Stages of Marriage Counselling
But if I say: “Beginning, Middle, End” then this structure may be more familiar.
It can be helpful for a gay marriage in therapy to identify stages in counselling, as without any form of a map or structure the process could seem daunting.
Even though marriage counselling builds its structure based upon the distinct needs from your relationship, having some mental markers (such as beginning, middle, end) can provide reassurance to the partners that the process is progressing as the marriage would like.
Lesbian and gay partners in civil-partnerships and marriages make use of the Three Stages of Marriage Counselling as follows…
Telling the Story of your Relationship… together
Think of Gay Marriage Counselling like this:-
A male couple comes to a counsellor carrying an open box. There are many jigsaw puzzle pieces in the box, all mixed up. The partners believes that all of the pieces are present. “Blue pieces are for the sky” says one partner. “No, blue means the sea” says the other partner. An argument begins because some blue pieces fit together whilst others do not; the couple is arguing about their assumptions and how the picture should look.
The Problem is this
No-one brought the jigsaw puzzle’s box-lid. With all the arguing we haven’t realised that we don’t know what the picture is supposed to look like.
As an analogy, if this puzzle story is the couple’s marriage then what does counselling do to help the men rebuild the lost-picture of their broken marriage?
The Way Forward is this
In session, we work together discussing, negotiating and agreeing-or-compromising upon what each “jigsaw piece” might be in the context of this marriage.
From above: new information → inspiration, negotiation, compromise, We consider how each piece of the marriage might fit with other pieces, rather than assuming what each piece should be.
We’re building a new marriage picture – a new story.
Available Nationally across Great Britain… from your Home
Using Two Video Devices
Dean has more than 14 years’ practice in Gay Marriage Counselling over Internet Video. His first private therapy service focussed upon gay & lesbian marriages in Long Distance Relationships (e.g. living in different countries).
Dean – along with his client partners – discovered that using one-device per partner (as long-distance partners could only do) was also therapeutically beneficial to those living together. Partners gave feedback saying it gave them a useful sense of “we’re not talking with each other at home” during counselling sessions. Topics too difficult to talk about at home became more accessible due to the use of two video devices. The approach enhanced discussions and the partners’ creativity.
This is not a set-in-stone requirement; it makes use of hardware already at the partner’s disposal: any mix of Smartphones, tablets, PCs, Macs.
Want to know more? Click the following “Essential Preparations for Video Counselling” button …
Counselling for a Gay / LGBTQ+ Couple's Sex Life
Even though we all might suspect that any couple can experience distress or dysfunction in their sex lives, here we're not talking about just any couple's sex life... we're talking about your sex life.
So, if sex has become difficult, complicated, or even impossible, an LGBT Couple may wish to consult with a Sexual Relationships Counsellor, such as Dean.
Counselling aims to help the couple understand their sexual behaviour problems from both a practical (what's going wrong physically) and an emotional (a barometer of some deeper problems) standpoint .
Sexual dysfunctional in a relationship can be distressing, and we can talk it through to help you.
How a Relationship Counsellor Thinks
You might be wondering how all of these splendid therapy processes actually work.
What does the counsellor actually thinking about when he's working with a couple's or a group's relationship?
What's going on inside of the counsellor's head - what is he actually doing before he speaks?
So as to not distract from this page's focus, I'll invite you to read the separate article: "How a Relationship Counsellor Thinks...".
Trust me... it's got science-ey bits in it... 😲🤣
About Dean Richardson MNCS(Accred/Reg)
You could choose any counsellor…
Given that this will be the most intimate and vulnerable you could be with your partner(s), you would want a skilled professional whose expertise you could trust, and whose focus would be upon your distinct relationship. Your couple or group relationship will be in good hands with Dean. He works from Great Britain, is Independent of "box 'em/shift 'em" therapy services and identifies as a gay couple counsellor. He's also easily payable in pounds sterling! Dean already had an impressive 14 years actual video webcam experience way before the first British emergency began (when suddenly counsellors added a Video option to their portfolio, having not practiced so previously! 🤔).
What makes Dean a Distinct Counsellor
Dean focuses on LGBT/QIA+ relationships as a specialty in therapy. He works with individuals, couples and small groups. Plus, he's qualified to a postgraduate level (Chichester PG Diploma in Psychodynamic / Systemic Couple Counselling, IGA National Foundation in Group Counselling) as a private practice counsellor*.
(*Note: not all counsellors, particularly those who are trained by common "Individual" Counselling qualifications, have such specific qualifications for working with couples or groups. Nor do they have experience in working with therapeutic relationships. Such counsellors may try, perhaps out of misplaced goodwill, to employ "individual" techniques but the couple or group find that the approach is ineffective. This is simply because your relationship is not part of the counsellor's primary theoretical framework nor rationale. A couple is not: "individual-counselling-multiplied-by-two." Remember to always ask your potential counsellor: "what qualifies you to work with our relationship?" and trust your instincts based on the responses you hear.
- 1 Gay Marriage Counselling
- 1.1 LGBT+ Marriage & Civil Partnership
- 1.2 Aims for Gay Marriage Counselling
- 1.3 Therapy with your Partnership
- 1.4 Three Stages of Marriage Counselling
- 1.5 Telling the Story of your Relationship… together
- 1.6 Available Nationally across Great Britain… from your Home
- 1.7 Counselling for a Gay / LGBTQ+ Couple's Sex Life
- 1.8 How a Relationship Counsellor Thinks
- 1.9 About Dean Richardson MNCS(Accred/Reg)