‘The relationship past can’t be the future’: couple counsellors’ experiences of working with infidelity

Vossler, Andreas and Moller, Naomi (2014). ‘The relationship past can’t be the future’: couple counsellors’ experiences of working with infidelity. Sexual and Relationship Therapy, 29(4) pp. 424–435.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/14681994.2014.924619

Abstract

Infidelity is both common and difficult to work with therapeutically, but little research to date has examined the experiences of those who work with this presenting problem. This study explores couple counsellors' experiences of working with couples affected by infidelity. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with seven experienced couple counsellors working for a nation-wide relationship counselling organization in the United Kingdom. A thematic analysis of the interview transcripts revealed a shared pattern of experiences and challenges, providing greater insight into the specific constellations and difficulties practitioners face when working with issues around infidelity. Practical implications for working with this presenting problem are discussed as well as the potential impact of counsellors’ own implicit theories on their practice with infidelity.

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