Counselling & Psychotherapy Services

Here at Marlborough House we provide a counselling and psychotherapy service. Counselling and psychotherapy are terms that cover a range of talking therapies. They are delivered by trained practitioners who work with people over a short or long term to help them bring about effective change or enhance their wellbeing.

Marriage counselling, also called couples therapy

CounsellingIs a type of psychotherapy. Marriage counselling helps couples of all types recognise and resolve conflicts and improve their relationships. Through marriage counselling, you can make thoughtful decisions about rebuilding your relationship or going your separate ways.

Marriage counselling is often short term. Marriage counselling typically includes both partners, but sometimes one partner chooses to work with a therapist alone. The specific treatment plan depends on the situation.

Some couples seek marriage counselling to strengthen their bonds and gain a better understanding of each other. Marriage counselling can also help couples who plan to get married. Premarital counselling can help couples achieve a deeper understanding of each other and iron out differences before marriage.

In other cases, couples seek marriage counselling to improve a troubled relationship. You can use marriage counselling to address many specific issues, including:

  • Communication problems
  • Sexual difficulties
  • Conflicts about child rearing or blended families
  • Substance abuse
  • Financial problems
  • Anger
  • Infidelity

Marriage counselling might also be helpful in cases of domestic abuse. If violence has escalated to the point that you’re afraid, however, counselling alone isn’t adequate. Contact the police or a local shelter or crisis centre for emergency support.

Therapeutic models in brief

Therapy may involve specific techniques or approaches which you might read about in your GP surgery and/ or on the internet. This means therapists have had different training and have different ways of working with clients, for example CBT, brief therapy, drama therapy, person-centred therapy, psycho-dynamic therapy, trauma therapy. In addition, some therapists may have specific approaches for working with people with eating disorders, addictions, issues of sexuality, etc. It can be helpful to have a general understanding of the approaches offered by your therapist, to enable you to think about what approach would possibly work well for you. Though therapists may train specifically in one model of therapy, many incorporate different techniques from other models if they feel it will be helpful for their client. For example, some may use art materials in individual or couples therapy, with agreement from the client(s). Therapists usually work for a mutually agreed set period of time for each session. The length of sessions may vary depending on the therapist’s training, how the therapy is delivered and also whether it is a specialist treatment. Therapists and clients need to keep sessions to a reasonable length of time, to ensure that they both can maintain their energy and focus and get the most out of the session. In one to one therapy, a session may be time limited – usually 50 minutes to an hour per session. However, a specialist therapy, for example trauma treatment, may involve longer sessions. In the initial meeting with your therapist, you may find it useful to discuss the way they work, i.e. their approach or preferred modality.


Confidentiality is essential in a therapy relationship as part of building trust. However, confidentiality is not absolute, and there are exceptions. Sometimes, in the public interest, counsellors may need to make a referral to an agency or organisation (for example GP, police or social services) when there is a serious risk of imminent harm to their clients or to others, for example where a client is seriously mentally ill and needs hospitalisation, or in cases of child or elder abuse. These referrals are usually (but not always) made with the client’s knowledge and consent. This decision will depend on the particular circumstances of each client. There may be times when a therapist is required by law to break confidentiality, for example, about terrorist activities. You may wish to ask the counsellor to contact your GP and/ or other agency, in which case you would agree and confirm the issues to be discussed between the counsellor and other named party, and this would not be a breach of confidentiality. In some organisational settings, such as GP practices, schools, universities and some therapeutic agencies, your information may need to be shared with the organisation in order to best help you. However, after discussion with your therapist, you should be clear about what information may need to be shared and with whom it may be shared.

Please contact us to find out more information on the types of counselling and psychotherapies that may help you.