Couples counselling is usually provided by a trained therapist who helps individuals involved in a romantic relationship gain clarity into their relationship, resolve conflict and improve satisfaction utilizing a variety of therapeutic interventions. Many couples who are committed to their relationships want to explore the process of reconciliation and intrinsic connection. Others ignore and adapt to emotional stagnation and damaging behaviour for too long before eventually seeking support. This blog is an invitation to normalize reaching out instead of sweeping the issue under the carpet.
Emotions can be complex, painful and sometimes scary. Nonetheless, the only way to live authentically is to open ourselves to our emotions as much as we do to our thoughts, sensations and behaviour. First, let us agree to destigmatize the process of opening up instead of suppressing emotions. Suppression never resolves challenges or rekindles lost connection. Facing such issues courageously with sincere intentions to change is the only way to work on building trustworthy connections.
Romantic relationships occur between whole selves; mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We contribute with our past and present experiences, dreams, and aspirations. Yet whenever something goes wrong we think it is only communication or resort to victimhood and blaming. The problem is that communication does not happen in void. Healthy communication requires solid foundation of safety and trust. This requires negotiating internal and external factors that contribute to the relationship to identify unhealthy coping such as sulking, anger, bitterness, sarcasm or resentment as well as damaging behaviour that sustain vicious cycles.
Once we point out the trigger, the feeling, the meaning and the action we bring to light such emotions to collaborate to navigate emotional experiences and listen and empathize to one another. This helps to resolve relationship issues that might be related to life transitions such as the birth of a child, sudden or chronic illness, unemployment, or mental health issues. Such issues between couples can be noticed between new couples during the initial adjustment period or between couples who have been together for many years. Fighting indicates that the relationship can still be worked on through facilitation and growth in order to resolve the actual underlying issues such as childhood trauma or attachment based unresolved issues. This can be transformative and healing. Many couples find it humbling as they get close to one another.
Some popular orientations in couple’s counselling are emotionally focused therapy EFT, Gottman Method, Narrative therapy. If your relationship has reached the point where you think you need counselling, it might not be a great idea to try to do it alone. Choosing the right couples counseling therapist can make it easier to succeed.
All the best!
Ola is a Registered Clinical Counsellor offering a holistic approach to healthy relationships, life transformation and fulfillment.