Being in a loving relationship can be a wonderful experience, but often couples find that they need a helping hand. In today’s high-pressure work relationships can run into all sorts of problems, which can put a real strain on both parties and on the relationship as a whole. Everything from family and friends through to work pressures and finances can have a profound impact on a relationship.
In order to work through these issues and get things back on an even keel, many couples decide to go for relationship counselling. This has become a popular option amongst those that want to sort out relationship issues but does it really work – and what does it involve?
What to expect from relationship counselling
When you go to see a relationship counsellor the first thing that they will want to know is why you are seeking relationship advice. This is not the counsellor being nosy or putting you down – it simply helps him or her to understand why you feel you need this counselling so that the process can move forward.
Counsellors will also speak to you both as a couple together for the majority of the time, but there may be an instance where your counsellor may want to talk to both parties individually. It is advisable that you both prepare yourselves for the initial session and work out what you want to say. Also, make a list of questions that you want to ask the counsellor about the whole process.
Making it work for you
Some couples find the thought of talking to a complete stranger about their relationship issues somewhat daunting. However, it is important to bear in mind that this is what the therapist or counsellor has been trained to do. The key aim of this type of therapy is to try and work out why the issues are occurring and how they can be resolved, and this is done through talking with a neutral person – the counsellor.
As a neutral party, the counsellor will listen to both parties objectively and can, therefore, get a clearer view of what is happening that those deeply involved – i.e. you and your partner. This is the first step toward conflict resolution for a couple. Simply talking through things together with your relationship counsellor can have a big impact in terms of you and your partner gaining a deeper understanding of what is going on, why issues have arisen, and what can be done about the situation.
In order to benefit from maximum effect from this type of therapy, it is important that both parties are willing to take part. If only one of you is interested in counselling and the other is simply dragged along and refuses to open up, things can go awry. It is, therefore, vital for couples to discuss relationship counselling with one another and reach a mutual agreement before taking the plunge. Another thing to bear in mind is that in order to get the most positive outcome from this type of counselling it is better to seek help sooner rather than later. This means seeing a counsellor early on when problems arise rather than waiting until they get out of hand.