Sara O’Donnell


Relationship Counselling West Malling


My name is Sara O’Donnell and I’m a fully qualified ‘Psychotherapeutic Counsellor’ and I work with both couples and individuals. I am an accredited member of the ‘National Counselling Society’ (NCS). And a registered member of the BACP (British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapists).

I subscribe to and work within the NCS code of ethics and the BACP ethical framework. Alongside undertaking regular professional development and supervision as well as having professional indemnity insurance.

Couple counselling

In my experience, I find that couples have usually tried to resolve things on their own before seeking couple counselling. They are often stuck repeating patterns of the same arguments or discussions and are struggling to break the cycle. By the time they attend therapy they tend to feel upset/angry/hurt and overwhelmed by the viscous cycle they find themselves in.

Couple counselling will enable you to explore the issues you are struggling with so you both feel supported and understood.  I will help you understand your own individual needs as well as your needs as a couple. We will work together to identify and overcome the any repeating negative patterns that are causing unhappiness.

Couples counselling offers the opportunity to discuss issues impacting a relationship in a confidential and safe space.  Some common issues brought by couples to address in therapy are affairs and infidelity, communication, unmet emotional needs, parenting styles, sex, and just general conflict that hasn’t improved over time.

My approach to relationship therapy

At the beginning of the first session, I will ask you both what you hope to achieve out of the therapy. Whether you would like help to make your relationship work better, or whether you would like help in separating more amicably. Perhaps you are not sure which direction you would like your relationship to take and would like to see how the therapy goes before you decide. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know, or if your answers are different, I will help you both work through things in order to find clarity.

I follow an ‘integrative person-centred’ approach, which means I will tailor the couple therapy to suit your unique situation. I may use different aspects from different theories, including T.A (Transactional Analysis)  and RIGAAR. This focuses on what isn’t working in a person’s life, not what is wrong with a person. For example, identifying any essential needs not sufficiently well met. Or innate resources not well used and helping a client address this.

I help couples to understand why perhaps their depression or anxiety occurs or their conflict does not get resolved, and how to deal with this. I will help you develop the knowledge and skills and confidence to effectively manage your relationship.  When we know why things happen and the effects of what we do we are more able to understand ways of coping and change behaviours and unhelpful patterns of relating and negative thoughts and emotions.

Couples tell me that I empathetic, authentic and non-judgmental and will be there to support you whilst you explore your world. High value will be placed on each person’s potential whilst you go through your journey. Hearing the experience of each other’s stories is important part of the process. The encouraging and supporting of individual growth as part of the couple in turn supports the relationship. When everyone is, happy and we have balance there is a sense of inner peace and wellness that brings harmony to our lives.

The counselling journey

Couple Counselling is not a magic solution and it isn’t always easy. It requires commitment and engagement from both parties. However, if you are both willing to listen and make the changes required in order to make the relationship work better. Then relationship therapy is always successful. Some couples find that the counselling experience helps them learn and understand the others perspective which strengthens the relationship. Whilst others conclude that separating and moving on independently is the best option for them. If this is the case for you I will support you in making this decision.

Ethical Standards

As a member of BACP I subscribe to and wok within their code of ethics. This includes undertaking continuous professional development and clinical Supervision. I also hold professional indemnity insurance in order to be able to practice.

If you would like to make an appointment to see Sara for Relationship  Counselling West Malling or online.  Then please contact her via Relationship Counselling Kent Today. Link –Request an appointment