Mike is an experienced couple counsellor who trained with Relate. He specialises in couple, relationship and marriage difficulties.
I can help with...
- Affairs and betrayals
- Communication skills
- Family issues
- Masculinity and men’s issues
- Relationship difficulties
- Separation and divorce
Types of client I see
Languages I speak
- Contact me for details
Types of therapy I offer
- Integrative psychotherapy/counselling
I am an experienced relationship and couple counsellor. I work with couples who are experiencing a wide range of issues. Every couple is different but some examples include:
- hurtful arguments
- difficulties with intimacy
- coldness and loss of interest
- disagreements about parenting
- problems with in-laws
- different ideas about spending
Sometimes, it is the smallest things, like how someone eats, how they do the washing up, or who has the remote control, that push people to breaking point. Don’t be embarrassed to bring these to counselling: I know the effect they can have. I am always trying to find out what is behind these problems, and what makes them so hard to talk about and resolve. People sometimes take vows to stay together in sickness and health, for better or for worse, and in the end, it is the way the other person doesn’t put the top back on the toothpaste or close the drawer properly that gets them. Behind that may be a feeling of not being loved, or respected.
On the other hand, sometimes it is very big issues: infidelity, or whether to have children, or how children should be raised. It may be that you need a safe space to be able to discuss these without it all blowing up.
I also see individuals about relationship issues. If you want an outside viewpoint about your current relationship, or you have experienced a number of apparently similar unsuccessful relationships in the past, then let’s explore it.
Things I don’t do
I don’t work as “judge and jury” between a couple, and I am not there to take sides or decide which one of them is right. Often, both of a couple have understandable but different viewpoints. I also try to avoid telling clients how to live their lives, and specifically, I avoid telling them whether they should split up or not. My preference would be to help them decide that for themselves.
I don’t do counselling remotely by phone or internet, for several reasons. I have concerns about the security and privacy of it, and I have concerns about what happens if the link fails in the middle of an intense emotional session. Also I need to be able to see and make eye contact with two people, and see how they interact with each other, and I have not found a technology that allows for this.
Training, qualifications and experience
I trained in couple work at Tavistock Relationships and at the Relate Institute (the training part of Relate). Like most counsellors, I continue to explore different kinds of techniques and take different trainings.
I take many short continuing professional development courses to stay up to date with the latest thinking, such as emotionally focused therapy (EFT) for couples. Previously I have also done 6 days’ level three training in Metaphors of Movement, a fascinating approach to language and how we talk about our difficulties.
Since I was in my teens, I have been fascinated by psychology and the human mind. It was later, after getting married and having children, that I realised that relationships is the area that most fascinates me. I had my first experience of counselling in a corporate setting, where I did career and personal development counselling for a group of employees. I took a number of courses, and then subsequently left the corporate world to train full-time in counselling.
As a requirement of that training, I had several years therapy of my own. I started from a place of “why am I here, there’s nothing wrong with me!”, and came to realise that therapy can be useful for everyone, to help us think about why we make the choices that we do, and how we live our lives.
I volunteer with charities in the area of homelessness. And as I have got to know some of them well, homeless people, like the rest of us, are all different, and don’t necessarily fit a pattern. Their behaviour can be challenging, but then again so can many of us.
I am also a student of meditation and mindfulness.
I am a registered member of the BACP, and bound by their code of ethics which includes the requirement to have qualified supervision in my work, and ongoing training to keep up to date.
I am a also member of the British Emotionally Focused Therapy (BEFT) Community and the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT), which represent counsellors who specialise in EFT for couples.
Fees and availability
I work in Kingston-upon-Thames. Current availability and fees are on my own website.
If you would like to explore relationship counselling (what used to be called marriage guidance), we will have a first meeting to get to know each other. I will listen to your story, and try to feed back to you what I think I am hearing, from my perspective. If after that you decide you’d prefer a different counsellor, or that counselling isn’t for you, I will not mind. It is important for you to find a counsellor that you can trust.
If you decide to go ahead, we will meet weekly for sessions of 70 minutes at the same time each week, in the same place. It is not possible to say in advance how many sessions are needed. This typically ranges upwards from 6, although 12 would be more typical. Some couples continue to come for longer, to have a safe space to talk.