What is Couple Counseling?
There are many reasons that a couple might consider couple counseling. You don’t have to wait until your relationship is in trouble. The goal of relationship counseling is to improve communication and help strengthen the connection between partners. Many couples find that seeking out a counselor before problems begin helps to avoid major conflict.
During couple counseling you may rest assured that your work together is:
- Confidential – You and your partner should feel confident that your counselor keeps your private matters private. Any licensed therapist or medical professional is bound by confidentiality laws. An unlicensed counselor may not be, depending on the laws where you live.
- Impartial – Both you and your partner should be able to express yourself. A counselor isn’t there to take sides or pick a winner. The goal of couples counseling is for each of you to be able to express yourself, share your feelings, and gain a better understanding of each other.
- Informative – Your counselor can’t “fix” your relationship, but they can give you strategies so that you can. They can pinpoint areas where communication falls apart and help you to develop new ways to talk to each other.
Many people go into couples counseling thinking that the therapist is going to make their partner see where they are wrong and make them change. It’s important to keep in mind that relationships aren’t one-sided, and neither are the problems within them. Your counselor is there to help you identify patterns of behavior in both of you. You can’t change how your partner acts. However, changing how you react to them can lead them into change naturally.
Some basic goals are usually included in couples counseling:
- Improved communication – Your counselor can guide communication while in the office, and teach both partners strategies for better communication in daily life.
- Understanding the source of conflict – Many conflicts aren’t about the obvious. Your counselor can help you to discover the issues beneath the surface that are causing disagreements between you.
- Create a secure attachment and intimacy. This is vital, and at the heart of the meaning of marriage. A strong connection can weather hard times better than a weak one. If you must divorce and you have Children, your counselor can help you work towards a point where you are able to co-parent even after you are no longer a couple.
As you and your partner work with your counselor, you will fine tune your individual goals and needs. Every couple is different, and so your path to a stronger relationship will be as well. With a skilled and experienced counselor, the journey will be much smoother.