What is relationship counselling?
Written by listed counsellor/psychotherapist: Howard Delmonte MBACP ( Accred) /FMA/Dip cth
6th March, 2009
Couple Relationships can be both the most important thing in our lives and at times the most challenging.
In many of the lives that we lead there can be so many pressures on our time ranging from work, family, friends and of course important personal and intimate relationships.
Many of the couples who come for relationship counselling have recognised that they may have not dedicated much time to each other and have been avoiding or ignoring the challenges and difficulties that daily life brings. All relationships can struggle and go through difficult times, what makes the difference is how you manage those conflicts. In some cases the way you handle those challenges can make the difference between staying together or splitting up.
Relationship counselling can offer a couple time and space to reflect on their patterns of behaviour and to help them understand why they feel and respond the way they do. It can help them face past relational experiences which may be unresolved and which may be re-playing in their current relationship. At times, it is our learning in our own early family and childhood which may be getting in the way of our current intimate relationships.
In couple counselling you both have an opportunity to explore a variety of past and present patterns of relating that may have been getting in the way of you enjoying closeness and intimacy with your partners. Very often a couple is too close and knotted to the difficulties to see clearly and the couple counselling will offer a type of mirror to help the couple go forward and see their patterns of communication.
Some relationships may be so entangled and stuck that they may need support in gaining space to separate and eventually safely leave each other. Other couples may agree that something needs to change in order for them to go forward and build a stronger more intimate relationship.
What ever decision the couple make about their relationship and needs the relationship counselling will help them :
1 ) Explore their story: Each partner may have a need to communicate their experience and be heard. They will have a safe space to say what the problems are and what impact they feel they are having on the relationship. They will explore the history of how the challenges and difficulties arose and what changes they may wish to see happen in the future.
2) Understanding your story: Relationship counselling enables the partners to see why they may be struggling with problems and to understand the patterns and things that may be preventing them from overcoming them.
3) Changing the Patterns: Once your story and patterns can be seen more clearly you can begin to re-write them and find the strengths, resources and understanding to begin to change and resolve them.
The most important thing to remember is that you do not have to be alone with your struggles and with committed time and an experienced Couple Therapist you can gain support and an opportunity to move forward and change.
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