Couples counselling is suitable for couples over the age of 18. It is suitable for those who would like to improve communication and resolve issues within an intimate relationship. It is also about giving you both equal time and space to consider what is and isn't working in your relationship. In order for couples counselling to be successful, both partners must be willing to take responsibility for their actions and make adjustments to their behaviour. The role of the counsellor for this type of counselling is to facilitate change and resolution by helping you both communicate more effectively and reach your own conclusions about how you as a couple wish to move forward. There is an expectation that effort on each of your parts will be needed. To benefit the most, you will need to practice the changes we discuss in sessions.
I do not work with couples who are in an abusive relationship. Abuse is not a 'relationship problem'. Focusing on communication or other relationship issues distracts from the abusive behaviour, and may actually reinforce it in some cases. Both partners should feel safe in order for therapy to be effective. A better option for abusive partners who want to change is support and help designed specifically to address their abusive behaviours.
I also do not work with couples where one or both partners is actively addicted (substances, gambling or sex). The addiction must be addressed first and once in recovery, couples therapy can take place to address any relationship issues.