Updated: May 9
Taking the Steps Towards a More Fulfilling Partnership
Dr Daisy Gemayel PhD MPsych(Clin) BPsych(Hons) Registered & Principal Psychologist
What is Relationship or Couple Counselling?
Relationship counselling is a form of counseling that helps couples to understand and resolve conflicts. It can be used by couples in any stage of their relationship, from those who are dating to married couples who have been together for years. The goal of relationship counselling is to create understanding between the two partners and help them find healthier ways to communicate and interact.
Signs that a couple might need relationship counselling services
Couples may need relationship counselling if they are struggling to communicate effectively, find themselves in constant arguments, or have difficulty resolving conflicts. Other signs that couples might benefit from therapy include feeling disconnected from one another, living parallel lives rather than a shared life together, or not being able to move past certain issues no matter how hard they try. If these feelings persist and the couple cannot seem to make any progress on their own, it may be beneficial for them to seek out professional help. Seeing a counsellor can provide an impartial third party who can help facilitate open and honest conversations between partners so that they can better understand each other’s perspectives and work through their differences. With the right support, couples can gain insight into what is causing their issues and develop healthier communication patterns.
Why relationship counselling is valuable?
Relationship counselling can be a valuable tool for bringing couples closer together and helping them work through their differences in an effective and healthy way. It provides an impartial, safe space for both partners to express themselves without judgement or criticism. In session, the counsellor will help facilitate conversations that help each partner dig deeper into what they're feeling and provide insight into why certain behaviors may be occurring. Through this understanding, couples can begin to recognize patterns of conflict in their relationship so that they can figure out how to resolve them in order to build stronger connection with each other. Relationship counselling can also give couples the tools they need to communicate openly and honestly in order to foster a deeper understanding of one. Ultimately, the relationship counselling process can help move past their issues and work towards a healthier, more fulfilling relationship.
What to expect in relationship counselling?
In a counselling session, couples can expect to discuss their relationship in depth and identify the underlying issues that are causing tension and conflict. The counsellor will review both partners’ expectations and work with them to come up with new strategies for dealing with their issues. Couples may also be asked to practice new skills during their sessions, such as active listening and effective communication.
Throughout the counselling process, couples will learn how to identify and address their own needs while still respecting each other’s boundaries. This can be a challenge for some couples but with time, they can learn to recognize when their partner is feeling uncomfortable or upset and how to respond in a constructive way. Couples can also explore different ways of expressing love and affection that are meaningful for both individuals.
Relationship counselling provides an opportunity for couples to develop trust and understanding by focusing on open communication. It requires both partners to take responsibility for their own feelings and emotions without blaming the other person. Couples often find it helpful to discuss the past in order to make sense of present-day conflicts, and learn how to move forward with healthier dynamics.
With relationship counselling, can better understand each other’s emotions and needs which can lead to a stronger and more fulfilling connection them. They may also gain into their own strengths and weaknesses as individuals, helping them to build a more balanced relationship. Working with a counsellor can help couples find ways to bring passion back into their partnership and make sure that both partners are equally invested in the success of the relationship.
The process of relationship counselling
When couples come to a relationship counselling session, they will be asked to participate in an assessment process. During the assessment, they will discuss their relationship history and current issues. The therapist will also ask questions about their communication styles, expectations of each other, and any other topics that may contribute to conflict in the relationship. Based on this information, the psychologist can develop a treatment plan tailored to the couple’s needs.
The actual counselling sessions then focus on helping couples identify destructive patterns of behavior and communication within the relationship so that healthier alternatives can be developed. The therapist may also provide education on topics such as how gender roles can influence relationships or understanding how different personalities respond to stressors. Couples therapy is generally a short-term process, with most couples completing treatment in 8-12 sessions.
Ultimately, relationship counselling can provide a safe space for couples to talk about their conflicts and learn new strategies for dealing with them. It’s important for both partners to go into the counselling process open minded and willing to make changes in order for it to be successful. With the help of a counsellor, couples can come out of therapy feeling more connected and better able to resolve conflicts in the future.
Relationship counselling is designed to help couples identify existing issues in their relationship and create strategies for dealing with those issues in a healthy manner. Through this process, couples become better communicators and are able to develop deeper understanding for one another's emotions. With time, counselling can help couples create a more meaningful and lasting relationship.