What is marriage counselling?
Many things can contribute to problems during marriage and relationships. These can range from difficulties in communicating, changes in circumstances (such as changing jobs), sexual difficulties, financial troubles or even illness. Marriage counselling, sometimes known as couples therapy, helps couples (whether married or not) to understand and resolve their conflicts and improve their relationship with each other. Marriage counselling provides couples with tools to help them to better communicate, solve problems and negotiate difficulties in a more constructive and healthy way.
What happens during marriage counselling?
Marriage counselling is usually done in face-to-face sessions with a professional, qualified counsellor. The sessions are usually short-term term whereby you and your partner sit down together and, with the help of a professional, identify specific problems within your relationship and how they have manifested. Typically, you’ll meet with a counsellor once a week over the course of anywhere between two to several months depending on how severely your relationship has deteriorated. You’ll be given the chance to speak about your issues and will be encouraged to develop new communication and coping strategies for when things become difficult. Over time, you’ll learn to understand and empathise better with your partner and develop healthier and more constructive ways to get to the bottom of any sort of tension between you.
Who can benefit from marriage counselling?
Despite what you might see on tv, no marriage or relationship is perfect. Each person brings their own ideas, values, opinions and personality into a relationship which will not always directly match their partners. However, these differences do not necessarily mean that conflict between you both is inevitable. Having differences can help people to learn empathy and better understand and respect opposing views and cultural differences.
Having said that, differences can be testing. Sometimes certain habits or traits within a person can start to grate overtime. Additionally, issues such as extramental affairs or sexual issues can cause resentment between partners. Whatever the cause, distress within partners is both unhealthy and unnecessary. Anything that’s causing unhappiness within a relationship can be dealt with through counselling. Some examples include:
• Culture clashes
• Physical/mental illness
• Child disputes
It’s important to note as well that many people who simply wish to strengthen bonds with their partner can benefit from marriage counselling. Sessions can help couples plan for marriage or for the arrival of children. Achieving a deeper understanding of your partners values can help strengthen your union before embarking on marriage or starting a family.