Expert Speak

At what point do married couples seek counselling?

Dr Neeru Kanwar says when they both want to be heard, when they face a crisis in their lives
Couple in Pink Flash

Professionally a psychotherapist, Dr Neeru Kanwar did a PhD in clinical psychology and specialisation in working as a counsellor. From 1995 she has been in private work.

Do you more men or women in your work?

Although I have also worked with a lot of clients who are men, in the last few years, I have found that 80% of my clientele are women. But even if the women come to me on their own and I feel that their partner needs to be involved in the therapy, I invite the partner in. There are some people who come exclusively for the problems in their relationship. And couple therapy is slightly different from individual therapy. So for example, if I am working with 30 clients at a time, six or seven will be couples.

What are the biggest issues that you see today in a marriage?

Quite a lot of times, the women will come with the problem/complaint of a lack of communication. They feel that they are not being attended to, that there is a disconnect. A lot of them are very lonely. They feel there is hardly anything that binds them together as a couple. And yet the sex is there. And quite a lot of women also say that they seem to have an okay sex life. They are much more in need of better communication with their spouses.

Do you see any pattern in the communication breakdown that happens – a seven-year-itch or something similar?

Quite a lot of them come when there is really something that has hit them. The husband will usually come when there has been an extramarital affair – on either side.

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