I work with couples to support them to address the challenges facing them and to build strong, long-lasting relationships. I see couples of all ages, whether married or not, mixed or same sex, living together or apart.
I am a Bowen Systems couples therapist and I particularly draw upon the Relationship Renewal model developed by my New York colleague David Olsen.
Issues that couples bring to therapy include:
- Relationship crisis e.g. infidelity
Feeling disconnected or living parallel lives
Loss or bereavement
Extended family politics
Career changes e.g. redundancy, retirement
Mental health issues and illness
Sex & Intimacy
Cultural or religious differences
Other significant life changes or disruptions
Benefits of couples therapy
- Develop listening, communication and negotiation skills
- Enhance your connection, intimacy and mutual support while embracing differences
- Find creative ways forward to longstanding conflicts and commit to action
- Gain insight into the influences shaping your relationship interactions and learn how to change unhelpful patterns
The relationship as client
The focus of couples therapy sessions is never on one partner or the other. The emphasis is on the relationship between you. I will bring into focus the relationship dynamics you are co-creating together and support you to identify how to refine and adjust your role in the process.
Individuality vs Togetherness
All couples struggle with one central task: how to be both an individual and connect meaningfully together. I will work with you to mature both sides of this dialectical tension. Enhancing your experience of intimacy, closeness and belonging with your partner while also developing your connection with your distinct sense of self.
Anxiety as saboteur
We exist in an environment of anxiety, but like a fish is unaware of the water it swims in, we tend to be unaware of how this anxiety drives our behaviours and sabotages our relationships. I will equip you with tools to grow your self-awareness and enhance your ability to self-soothe and self-regulate.
Creatures of habit
In our partnerships we unconsciously re-create and repeat relationship dynamics from our family of origin. We might adopt the same role or engage in the same patterns of conflict and stress management. Our early years inform our expectations of committed relationships and childhood wounds may re-emerge in those relationships. I will support you to gain insight and develop flexibility so that you have greater control and freedom in your behaviours.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long are therapy sessions?
Couples therapy sessions are 55 minutes in length.
How often do sessions take place?
Sessions can be held weekly, fortnightly or monthly. Generally sessions start off weekly on the same day of the week and at the same time and then reduce in frequency.
Where do sessions take place?
Sessions can be held face-to-face at my Harley Street practice and my Surbiton practice.
I also offer remote sessions via Zoom / Skype.
Click here for directions
How much do you charge?
Fees vary depending on location and they are between £165 and £250 per session.
How many sessions will we need?
Initially you will have 2 assessment sessions to explore what has brought you to therapy and gain a general overview and history of your relationship. This will also give you a sense of what couples therapy with me is like.
Together we will identify a focus of the work and agree how we will work together, this will enable us to know when therapy has reached its goal and conclusion. Usually therapy will last for a period of weeks or months. Both you and your partner are expected to attend each session.
What to do next?
Book a FREE 20 minute phone consultation.
This phone call will give both of you the chance to discuss your hopes and aims for couple therapy, answer any questions you have and discuss practical details.
“If you focus on yourself, and attempt to change your own responses, things in your marriage will begin to change. This is a leap of faith. If you don’t believe it, keep trying to change your partner. The harder you try, the more they will stay the same and the more frustrated and angry you will both become.”
“Dr Kissell is very perceptive and able to get to the root cause of the issue. It is usually what makes you most uncomfortable and squeamish. She does it in such an elegant and honest way without making you feel uncomfortable.”
To enquire about individual therapy, couple, family therapy or for any other question.