Relationships stuck or in crisis


Blocked communication


Emotionally or sexually dead


Feeling helpless and hopeless


Abusive dynamics – physical, emotional, financial




Work/life balance in relationships


Coping with ill health


Divorce & separation


Impact of adult relationship difficulties on children

Couples Counselling Canary Wharf

Families ideally provide that safe source of care, love and motivation that directly supports us as we go out into the world and helps us succeed. However sometimes even the best of families can find it hard to cope when really difficult things happen. Sometimes really tough times in the past seem to cling on in the present generation. Family therapy is a specialist branch of psychotherapy that seeks better ways for your family to cope.

Family therapy is flexible in that not everyone need attend at the same time. And if the idea of therapy doesn’t work for particular members, even those that are not coping well, it can still achieve great things without them.

  • Find a way forward.
  • Breath new life into emotionally and sexually dormant relationships.
  • Find better conflict management strategies.
  • Learn to rebuild trust or recover from an affair
  • Have fun again.
  • Make the right decisions
  • Couples counselling Canary Wharf has good transport links to help make it easier for you and your partner to attend.

When the end of your relationship feels like living in a war zone.

For some reason our society often puts the greatest pressure on us when we are at our most vulnerable. This is the case when relationships end. We have to be at our most business like, thinking calmly out into the future, just when our emotions are all over the place. When that future seems a million miles away and we are having problems just getting through the day.

This is the time when our mental health is pushed hardest. And it is perfectly normal to feel our self esteem plummet as stress and anxiety take over, often resulting in panic. We were not built to calm be and rational while managing such extreme emotions. So if this is you, you’re not a failure, your normal.

How can a therapist help?

Traditional therapeutic techniques are less relevant. Rather our work focuses on getting the best from ourselves in a really tough situation. It is not about character transformation, but about finding how inner resources that will help us cope on a practical and emotional basis. Perhaps more coaching, helping you get through what needs to be done today, tomorrow and until the session next week.

Three core areas:
Coping the emotional overload.

In the face of something like an affair, public expressions of anger or hurt, attacking our ex, may feel good at the time, but can come up against us at a later stage. We look at how to manage emotions and where the boundary between useful and less useful expression might lie.

Managing the practical demands.

While obviously we offer no legal advice or views, we can help with exploring how you want to act and present yourself at key moments. Perhaps a court day, or often a tough time, the handing over of children as part of contact arrangements. And critically where there are children involved, what to say to them.

Looking after ourselves.

The end of a relationship can often take us into shock and it can be useful to check in on a weekly basis with how we are feeding, exercising , etc. It is often a time when we begin to rely more on smoking, alcohol or even drugs. Managed appropriately this can be fine, but some come with their own problems that just make things worse.

If you feel you are not coping as you would like, talk to your lawyer. They often have an acute sense of not just their clients legal needs, but also emotional and may be able to suggest someone. Or book yourself in for an initial consultation here and see how it might work for you.

Here is how it goes. Mum or Dad comes home from work all excited and says, “They want me to move to New York… Dubai, Shanghai,” etc., etc. Its exciting, there is a relocation package and often a considerable rise in living standards. This wave of enthusiasm carries us through the challenge of picking new schools, houses, packing and travel plans. Its great, and so it should be, its a privilege which will influence the rest of your lives.

However then in the last few days, its the goodbyes and for many the discovery that its challenging in a way they didn’t fully expect:

  • Saying goodbye can be really difficult. Family and friends whose company you regularly enjoy are now the other side of the planet. More, at this time of challenge, they are no longer there to support you. Calls are not the same as a real shoulder to cry on.
  • If its your partners work that triggered the move, its likely that if you were not already the at home partner, you will be. The expatriate world is quite traditional by necessity and it can be very difficult to keep two careers going. Either suitable jobs are not available, or your visa may limit you from even doing voluntary work in some countries.
  • Children also feel the loss, either of yourselves if they go to boarding schools, or their social world as they have to say goodbye to old and have find new friends in local or international schools.
  • Many get to loose everything that is familiar to them, right down to their language.

Most difficult of all is that you all have to go through all these challenges in a very short time frame, with far too much to do and everyone saying, ‘how exciting’.

Sadly a substantial proportion of relocated families underestimate this challenge and don’t cope. The results a year or two later can be counted in alcoholism, divorce, alienation and loneliness. If you are contemplating such a move, take time out as a couple or family to discuss not just the fun stuff, but what it really will be like to say goodbye to so much and how your going to cope. Acknowledge and process the losses and you will be available to move into the new things.

There is much good advice, networks and some specialist therapists out there who can help you make sure that the move really will be great for you and your family.

Your Therapist

In his own words
Chris MacGovern

Chris MacGovern

Systemic Psychotherapist

I started my professional life not in the world of talk therapy, but in business.

Over the last nine years however I moved from there to becoming a full time psychotherapist. My philosophy has been that to be good in any business requires constant attention to how you practice. This has led me to train in two psychotherapy modalities with in 2005 a diploma in psychodynamic therapy and in 2008 an MSc systemic therapy in 2008 with University of London’s Birkbeck College. This qualified me as a Psychotherapist working with individuals, couples and families. In parallel with these courses he also trained with Relate as a clinical supervisor.

My early placement in Wimbledon’s Relate centre offered extensive experience of working with couples facing the dilemmas of coping with relationships, families and the demands of professional careers or self employment.

Contact Chris