What a doctor’s visit is to health, relationship counseling is to relationships. They play a critical role in reviving ailing relationships. There has been a misconception that having a third party in a relationship ruins the relationship and that relationship counselors are viewed as third parties. All relationships go through difficult moments which can come early on or after a few years in the relationship. When the relationship is at its worst, a sizable proportion of couples choose to seek counseling, but is relationship counseling effective?
What is Relationship Counseling?
A type of psychotherapy that focuses on enhancing romantic relationships between couples are referred to as relationship counseling or therapy. Relationship counseling can come before the couple goes into a commitment, during the relationship, and for couples who are no longer in a committed relationship. Which implies that it can be beneficial at any point in the relationship. Premarital counseling is an illustration of this type. This type of counseling assists couples in becoming ready for a lifetime commitment. Building strong foundations for communication, problem-solving, values/beliefs, finances, roles, and even affection is a key component of this approach. Relationship counseling is delivered by a trained therapist. One of the responsibilities of a relationship counselor is serving as a middleman between couples in airing their concerns and negotiating. Many couples seek therapy in navigating difficult problems in their relationship.
When to Seek a Therapy
Most people do not go to therapy but ideally, seek out the help of a therapist when the relationship has gone bad to the point divorce is the only way out. Even before going into a committed relationship, couples can seek counseling. There are some reasons couples do not seek relationship counseling which include:
- Pretending that the issue does not exist and as such does not require the help of a professional.
- Assumptions about not being the primary cause of the problem and thus not needing therapy.
- Finally, the believe that couples who seek professional assistance are incapable of handling their issues on their own.
There is no shame in seeking out the services of a professional marriage counselor especially when you notice any of the warning signs listed below:
- Your partner does not listen to you
- Lack of healthy communication
- Emotional abuse and other forms of abuse
- Disagreement on finances
- A feeling of being alone
- Issues on fidelity
- The difference in parenting style
- Being stuck on the same issue
- Health issues
- Addiction problems
There are some other signs not listed that may require the services of a trained therapist. A therapist will assist couples with strategies and tools that will help them with their unhealthy lifestyle as couples.
Tips to get prepared for counseling
- Get ready: A relationship counselor acts as a mediator to assist couples in resolving their conflicts and fostering open communication. Bitter realities would come out, so be prepared to feel uncomfortable.
- Be honest: Bring an open mind to your counseling appointment. Be ready to be sincere, pay attention to your partner, and be willing to invest the time necessary for the sessions and work on yourself to improve.
Does Relationship Counselling Work?
Couples who seek relationship counseling can overcome challenging circumstances in their union. Every relationship eventually encounters issues, making therapy necessary to restore them to a healthy state. The therapist, the method, and the couples taking part are crucial factors in determining whether a counseling session is successful. The couples would determine the type of counseling approach a therapist might employ. Emotionally-oriented therapy, the Cornerstone Approach, relationship enrichment, Walker’s Model, postmodernism, narrative therapy, the Christian Approach, and behavioral therapy are a few of these approaches.
Relationship counseling can help couples understand themselves better in terms of improving their communication and deepening their intimacy, especially couples in long-term commitment. Although relationship therapy has a high rate of success, couples must decide to be prepared to work on themselves, accept help, and be willing to make modifications. However, there are some reasons why couples therapy might not work are, which are:
- Couples who are not willing to put in the work: They listen to their therapist and put in little or no effort in changing their behaviour. Some have the tendency on putting a condition to change if their partner is willing to change also.
- They go into the therapy session with a closed mind: They do not listen to the problems discussed by their partners. They leave the therapy session in the same way they got there.