Couples counselling, doubly useful ?
I find ‘couples counselling’ most rewarding, though certainly not without its challenges. I have worked with a number of couples and what has become apparent, is that in many cases; relationships begin to break down following misunderstandings, deriving from either avoiding or manipulating the way in which they communicate with each other.
At the start of the relationship, couples are able to romanticise about their future life together, possibly setting goals such as marriage or building a home together etc. However, falling in love is far easier to do than maintaining, building and holding on to the foundations of a love which has to be worked at. Have you ever noticed that a particular personality trait that we loved and adored about our partner at the start of the relationship, can turn it to the very thing that you find irritating, this change can sometimes cause conflict or resentment within the relationship if not addressed quickly?
We all need to feel secure and appreciated within our relationships, but sometimes we find it difficult to articulate this message successfully to our partner, which can lead to frustration and disillusion. This often happens when our partner and the mechanics of the relationship do not meet our expectations.
I feel that if couples were able to communicate more effectively and in an empathic way, this would allow them to express how the relationship was making them feel. What we need to remember is that as we develop and change, so to do our relationships, it is extremely important that we pay particular attention to our relationships to ensure that they are not being neglected or even sacrificed. Maintaining the relationship can often become less of a priority when the ‘daily grind’ of life takes over; finance, children, family, friends and pressures of work. Couples counselling provides the space and time to focus energy solely on your relationship and each other, it gives couples the opportunity to develop and learn new ways of relating to each other.
In addition; the counselling process helps couples to identify core problematic issues within their relationship and gives them room to develop strategies and skills, such as active listening, better ways of responding, and maintaining relationship health checks. These and many more skills could help couples to rediscover the things that attracted them to each other in the beginning. Couples will learn new effective ways of relating to each other; being assertive and ‘solution focussed’ whilst challenging some of their own individual sometimes harmful, habitual behaviours and values.
Couples will learn how to address and explore difficult longstanding issues which they may have avoided in the past, and may have caused some resentment or distrust, consequently causing the demise of the relationship. I encourage couples to use couples counselling as a way of regaining and maintaining a healthy, supportive and caring relationship.