Couples Counseling – Getting to the Root of Your Relationship Problems
The reasons a couple might consider couples counseling are widely varied. Sometimes there are family wide issues such as problems with the children (or disagreements on how to discipline them) or arguments on how the household should be run. Other times the issue may pertain to only one person in the relationship. This could be anything from a mental illness to an eating disorder or perhaps a problem with abuse of some sort. And often, the problem is with something like financial problems, job demands or social engagements. Any of these can create stressors that a couple may find it difficult to work through on their own. Therapy sessions can help families find solutions to their problems and then teach them how to implement those solutions.
The setting in couples counseling is meant to comfort, not to intimidate. It is common to feel uncomfortable when trying something new. This is especially true when you know you will be openly airing your problems in front of a stranger (the counselor). Try to relax and realize that you are doing what is best for your relationship. There is no longer a stigma associated with therapy, as some people once feared. Each session will simply provide a way for you and your partner to sort out your problems. This is easier to do with a neutral third party because then the session has some guidance concerning dialogue. When you two are alone, it is easy for a discussion to become one sided. In a session environment, you will both have face time to discuss what is bothering you or what you feel needs to change for the better of your relationship.
Couples counseling works by helping you both to understand the reasoning for each other’s actions, the motives (or lack thereof) behind those actions, and a way for each partner to break any negative chain reactions that may be occurring in response to the other’s actions. It will help teach you as a couple to better communicate with each other regarding not only the issues brought up during your session, but also any issues that may come up in the future. You will be better able to understand one another, respect each other, listen to the other’s needs and account for your own actions. Keep in mind that all your conversations during couples counseling sessions are kept confidential. There is no need to hide any of your actions or feelings due to embarrassment. The counselor has heard it ALL before, probably many times over.
There are different methods used for sessions. The counselor’s website will usually talk about the specific approach used. Some have an actual office where you will attend sessions in person, some use an online interface and some offer a guidance outline for you to follow on your own. Talk with your partner about which method will best suit your needs and go from there. If you try one form of couples counseling and find that it does not work for you, then try another form. Your relationship is worth it!