Counselling for couples who wish to improve and make the best of their life
The phrase “couples counselling ” is a little of a misnomer. The primary object is to instruct relationship abilities and help supply the couples methods to sort out difficulties within their upcoming relationship. People utilise the term “couples counselling”, but it isn’t so much helping resolve specific issues that a couple has, but instead, is even more of a premarital education training course.
These types or sort of pre marriage counselling services possess a higher success rate, not merely in reducing rates of divorce, however in helping partners become happier, even more, supportive of their partners.
Before a couple gets married, guidelines are in flux.
Both ongoing parties are extremely adaptable to changes and quite flexible in their ideas. Once a few is wedded, though their relationship to one another begins to solidify, and guidelines are more rigid.
Understand more about yourselves before moving forward
If somebody then realises that their partner is normally keeping secrets from them, for example, this revelation could be very tough to forgive. By discussing the problems in a formal but nonjudgmental manner, for example, engaged partners can possess a clearer idea as to what they’re getting into.
Some areas of marriage are flexible, but who we are as people is pretty set. In case you are marrying a person who is structured and wants to plan, and you are a person who is very free-considering and prefers to become more spontaneous, it’s beneficial to know these distinctions because they will most likely not change very much. Who we are as people is definitely fairly set – what could be changed is definitely our means of relating to one another.
These inherent personality traits are the type of components that are explored in a marriage preparation class.
The most typical premarital education course may be the PREPARE/ENRICH program, but there are many other styles of non-religious courses, all centred on building relationship skills and teaching conflict resolution.
The benefits of couples counselling can be described in five steps as what is mentioned at Psychology Today
1. Changes the views of the relationship. Throughout the therapeutic process, the therapist attempts to help both partners see the relationship in a more objective manner. They learn to stop the “blame game” and instead look at what happens to them as a process involving each partner.
They also can benefit from seeing that their relationship takes place in a certain context. For example, partners who struggle financially will be under different kinds of situational stresses than those who are not.
Therapists begin this process by collecting “data” on the interaction between the partners by watching how they interact. Therapists then formulate “hypotheses” about what causal factors may be in play to lead to the way the partners interact.
How they share this information with the couple varies by the therapist’s particular theoretical orientation. There’s empirical support for a variety of approaches from behavioral to insight-oriented. Different therapists will use different strategies, but as long as they focus on altering the way the relationship is understood, the couple can start to see each other, and their interactions, in more adaptive ways.
2. Modifies dysfunctional behavior. Effective couples therapists attempt to change the way that the partners actually behave with each other. This means that in addition to helping them improve their interactions, therapists also need to ensure that their clients are not engaging in actions that can cause physical, psychological, or economic harm.
In order to do this, therapists must conduct a careful assessment to determine whether their clients are, in fact, at risk. If necessary, the therapist may recommend, for example, that one partner be referred to a domestic violence shelter, to specialized drug abuse treatment, or to anger management. It is also possible that if the risk is not sufficiently severe, the couple can benefit from “time-out” procedures to stop the escalation of conflict.
3. Decreases emotional avoidance. Partners who avoid expressing their private feelings put themselves at greater risk of becoming emotionally distant and hence grow apart.
Effective couples therapists help their clients bring out the emotions and thoughts that they fear expressing to the other person. Attachment-based couples sessions allows the partners to feel less afraid of expressing their needs for closeness. According to this view, some partners who failed to develop “secure” emotional attachments in childhood have unmet needs that they carry over into their adult relationships.
They fear showing their partners how much they need them because they are afraid that their partners will reject them. Behaviorally based therapists, assume that adults may fear expressing their true feelings because, in the past, they did not receive “reinforcement.”
Either way, both theoretical approaches advocate helping their clients express their true feelings in a way that will eventually draw them closer together.
4. Improves communication. Being able to communicate is one of the “three C’s” of intimacy. All effective couples therapies focus on helping the partners to communicate more effectively. Building on principles #2 and #3, this communication should not be abusive, nor should partners ridicule each other when they do express their true feelings.
Couples may, therefore, require “coaching” to learn how to speak to each other in more supportive and understanding ways. The therapist may also provide the couple with didactic instruction to give them the basis for knowing what types of communication are effective and what types will only cause more conflict. They can learn how to listen more actively and empathically, for example.
However, exactly how to accomplish this step requires that therapists turn back to the assessments they performed early on in treatment. Couples with a long history of mutual criticism may require a different approach than those who try to avoid conflict at all costs.
5. Promotes strengths. Effective couples therapists point out the strengths in the relationship and build resilience particularly as therapy nears a close. Because so much of couples counselling involves focusing on problem areas, it’s easy to lose sight of the other areas in which couples function effectively. The point of promoting strength is to help the couple derive more enjoyment out of their relationship.
The behaviorally-oriented therapist may “prescribe” that one partner do something that pleases the other. Therapists from other orientations that focus more on emotions instead might help the couple develop a more positive “story” or narrative about their relationship. In either case, the therapist should avoid trying to put his or her own spin on what constitutes a strength and let this be defined by the couple.
We can see, then, that people in troubled relationships need not give up in despair if their situation seems bleak. By the same token, people afraid of entering long-term relationships can be encouraged by learning that trouble relationships can be fixed.
If your looking for a couples therapist i am here to help.
More advice for couples
- Happy couples: How to keep your relationship healthy
- 10 relationship tips that couples often forget
- The secrets of close couples