Reasons to Seek Relationship Counselling.
I have also produced this blog on my podcast called The Therapy Guy and you can find it here https://therapyguy.buzzsprout.com/
This was written by my colleague Mark Jeffery.
While couple counselling tends to be viewed as something for only relationships in crisis, this isn’t always the case as there are many different reasons people in relationships might choose to pursue it. Some are small, some are bigger, but all are important and deserve to be explored and worked on.
Here are 10 good reasons to look into relationship counselling.
1. Communication Issues
Communication is the foundation of all relationships. Communication comes in many forms, both in-person and over the phone, text, or social media. Therapy teaches couples how to communicate with each other in a positive manner that works. The type of communication a person grows up around tends to strongly affect how they communicate in their adult relationships. Counselling can help couples make a conscious choice of communication styles and not just fall back on what they know from their history. It is also a great way to enable people to reconnect when they have started to drift apart.
2. Premarital Counselling
There are many issues couples face before they get married. Premarital counselling is a place where people can come to discuss many things. One example is finances. Will bank accounts be shared? What about making decisions about what to buy? Another consideration is household duties. Are children going to be part of the picture? What role(s) will the in-laws play in your life? Couples counselling can be a safe place to start the conversations that might need to be addressed and using a safe area like a therapy room is a good place to be able to discuss these issues in a controlled environment.
3. Sexual Issues
Sex can be something that heals and brings a couple together, or it can be a battleground fraught with anxiety, embarrassment, anger and hurt. Counsellors encounter sexual issues frequently within their practice on many occasions and yes, they can help, making that first move to put these things right is the biggest step forward anybody can take.
4. Infidelity and Unfaithfulness
Infidelity within a relationship can be the most hurtful and damaging thing a couple can ever go through, but it does not mean the relationship has to be over. Couples counselling provides a healing space to begin the journey toward resolution. It can help find practical and meaningful ways to navigate the treacherous waters of unfaithfulness and can become a starting block to rebuilding the trust that has been lost and calm the anger that has come from it.
5. Managing Other Relationships
Couples have relationships with people outside of their relationship together. Friends, family, extended family, children, co-workers, and supervisors, bosses, teachers are just to name a few. These relationships can be either healthy or unhealthy. Some things that can be discussed are boundaries with members of the opposite sex or same-sex, communication with exes, and their collective and personal time is important.
6. Non-traditional Relationships
Non-traditional intimate relationships, such as polyamory, open relationships, and swinging, can have problems and struggles some of which are specific to their lifestyle and identity, some that all couples deal with. It can be intimidating to seek relationship therapy for fear of not being valued or understood because of the type of intimate relationship a couple are in; there is a fear of being judged which is just not the case in a therapy room. Many relationship counsellors are comfortable with these conversations and have the background and understanding to work with people in non-traditional relationships and can provide an open and safe place to work on the struggles a couple are having.
7. Blended Families
When one or both partners have children from another relationship, blended or stepfamilies have their specific struggles and difficulties. Parenting differences, the role of the other parent, and the new identity of the family are all issues that can be explored within therapy.
8. The End of a Relationship
When a relationship has ended or is coming to an end, whether by mutual agreement or otherwise, managing life can be difficult. Often, individuals need to express anger, sadness, and grief. There may be practical issues to sort out as well, such as housing and children. Agreeing how and when to communicate is another example of a matter to be discussed in couples counselling and can help to find that middle ground and more often than not able to find a resolution to moving forward.
9. Digital-Age Issues
Facebook, Twitter, Texting, Sexting, Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat. These are just a few ways technology can infiltrate and affect a relationship. Communicating via social media has its pros and cons. Couples often have a conflict regarding who to friend, what to like, and who to text, block, or chat with. Communicating that is not done face to face or even on the phone is hard. No matter how many emojis are used, words can be misconstrued and misread. The tone of voice and body language is important for understanding what is being conveyed. Relationship counselling can help couples work through problems technology has caused and create boundaries with each other to help restore trust when social media have hurt their relationship.
10. Trust Issues
After the trust has been broken, relationships can be harmed or even destroyed. Part of having a solid and healthy relationship has to be able to be built on the trust of one another. Learning to trust again is a slow and hard process, and it can be painful and frustrating, and this doesn’t happen quickly. Counselling can educate and assist couples with understanding the process of regaining the trust that for whatever the reason has been lost and provide tools and direction to help get a relationship back on track again. Unfortunately, there are situations when a relationship has deteriorated that much that is cannot be saved at this point counselling can provide a safe place to gain the best solution for both of you.
All relationships are difficult in some form or another. There will be disagreements, conflict, and hurt even in the best of times. Relationship counselling can help individuals and couples grow and heal. Like all types of therapy, the lessons learned, and behaviours changed will continue to serve each person for much longer than the therapy itself.
It takes work to have a solid and positive relationship. Couples counselling is worth considering for any couple and can promote mutually beneficial change for years to come.
Thank you for taking the time to read this article and hope to help with more topics in the future.
Mark Jeffery- relationship specialist.