For Couples

Couples counseling is beneficial for couples whose relationship is not working well, who wish to deepen and improve their relationship, or who are about to embark on a life together and want to get a good start by examining values, goals, and expectations. 

Common problems that bring couples to counseling include:

 • Frequent arguments
 • Lack of intimacy
 • Infidelity
 • Not feeling appreciated
 • Lack of mutual respect
 • Not feeling heard
 • Lack of trust
 • Control struggles
 • Growing apart in interests and values
 • Poor or little communication 

In therapy, I help couples address these issues by talking about them in a safe and structured environment. You will learn communication skills, set goals for the relationship, and learn to resolve conflicts effectively. There will be homework to give you a chance to practice these skills. My training was with Ellyn Bader and Peter Pearson who view long-term relationship as a developmental process.

Sometimes only one person in the couple wants to come to counseling. Although this may be frustrating, a great deal of improvement in the relationship can be achieved through the awareness and change attained by the one who does commit to therapy. And it may turn out that the reluctant member decides to come after all when he or she sees the growth in the other.

In premarital counseling, topics addressed are likely to include:

 • In-law and family issues
 • Friends
 • Finances
 • Intimacy
 • Goals
 • Fears

By getting these issues out in the open, a solid foundation of openness, trust, and understanding is created, and the relationship has a much better chance of thriving and surviving. Communication and conflict resolution skills are also learned. 

Being in a committed relationship is an opportunity to complete the process of growing up, to differentiate so that one can love without losing oneself. It has been said that if life is a school, relationship is the university. 

Couples counseling is a short term investment that has long term benefits for your individual and mutual health, happiness and growth. In as few as six sessions, you will have gained not only insights but also tools that will stand you in good stead through all kinds of challenges and that will spill over into family and other relationships. 

 



Bonnie Gilliom, MA, MS
Licensed Professional Counselor | National Certified Counselor
(919) 636–0994 | hopegrowth@bellsouth.net
Psychotherapy for Individuals and Couples in Chapel Hill and Durham