I get a lot of questions about how couples
should deal with relationship problems and whether or not it’s worth to go
The truth is that the success of
relationship counselling depends on a number of factors. In order for
counselling to be effective, the couple should be willing to engage in the
whole process. When couples encounter bumps in the road, they seek the help of
a therapist to quickly remedy their situation. But you have to understand that counselling
be a slow process. It takes time to rebuild commitment, regain what’s been
lost, and relearn certain relationship skills.
The duration also depends on the gravity of
your problems as a couple. There are instances when marital problems have been
going on for years before couples decide to see a therapist. If negative issues
are caught in time and the hurt can be prevented from building up, there’s a greater
chance your relationship can be saved.
But whether you and your partner are
experiencing a major conflict or dealing with trivial matters on a daily basis,
know that your relationship can benefit a lot from counselling.
can marriage counselling help couples?
Here are some of the ways marriage
counselling can help your relationship.
Have a neutral territory to address difficult issues
Nothing good ever comes out of the “I’m
right and you’re wrong” argument. Couples sometimes find it hard to discuss
their problems among themselves for fear of being misunderstood and eventually
starting a conflict.
Marriage counseling provides couples with a
safe, non-judgmental environment where they can express themselves and address problems
in their relationship. Therapists work with both parties—they don’t take sides.
Talking to a third party will help you make clearer decisions without the
emotional trauma that often comes with unhealthy confrontations.
Couples can express themselves freely
It’s hard to process feelings and emotions
if you keep them bottled up inside. My experience with several couples I’ve
worked with is that they typically give generic statements to avoid opening any
built-up emotions. Marriage counselling gives each party the chance to talk
about their own emotions uninhibited, where the therapist encourages each one to
let their feelings flow and help make sense of them. A therapist gives equal
time and attention to both parties.
Once all hidden emotions are out in the
open, this can help your partner feel more empathy towards you and have a
better understanding of what you’re going through.
Learn new ways to resolve conflict
Marital problems are caused by different
circumstances. It could be that couples are no longer communicating effectively
or they lack empathy towards each other. Whatever the reason, a therapist can
provide new tools to help you recognise and resolve conflicts better.
Counselling will help you identify toxic
patterns in your relationship that you should learn to avoid to give way for
positive changes. You will learn new ways to have conversations around
difficult matters that will not escalate into big fights. You will learn new skills
that will enable you to approach problems as a team and not individually.
4. Rebuild trust
When there is betrayal involved, often
couples completely lose their ability to trust each other. Trust is devalued,
often even lost, and this is affecting the quality of their interactions. Trust
takes years to build and seconds to destroy. A therapist works through this
carefully, taking tiny, slow steps, which eventually leads to reintroducing
trust into the relationship.
The start of the counselling process can be
daunting at first. But you will find that the benefits of therapy are
rewarding. Just agreeing to see a therapist is in itself an important step
towards creating a stronger relationship. You will realise that simply being
willing to work together, to go through even the most difficult stages of
therapy, to be honest with each other, and to understand each other’s emotions
can solve even your most ingrained problems as a couple.