Therapy Blog

All You Need to Know About Relationship Counselling

Posted on Friday, November 6th, 2020 by Cristina Vrech

Relationship counselling is no longer a taboo and if you consider it awkward or unnecessary, you could choose to reconsider.

Relationships can be tricky, even with your lifelong neighbourhood friends, not to mention romantic relationships. Relationships can be challenging. Even if the two of you mostly get along brilliantly, the stress in your daily lives can make even the simplest of conflicts seem insurmountable.

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Stress in a romantic relationship can, at times, seem insurmountable.

There is a whole lot to gain from talking to professional therapists regarding your relationship.

Knowing the Signs

Not everybody needs relationship therapy; some couples get along well enough and manage to resolve their issues internally. However, this depends on both members of a relationship as individual people, as well as various outside influences.

The fact that you’re considering relationship therapy is a tell-tale sign that perhaps you could give it a go.

It is often true that the earlier you seek counselling, the better.

  • If you’re experiencing issues expressing your feelings to each other, you could consider relationship counselling.
  • If contempt, withdrawal, or criticism become frequent visitors to your interactions as a couple, seeing a professional might be warranted
  • If there’s a seemingly unsolvable disagreement looming over the two of you, a relationship counsellor might help solve it. Not only that, but you might learn how to surmount other differences that arise in the future.
  • If there was infidelity, abuse, or addiction involved or a combination of all three, relationship counselling could help.
  • If there was a stressful event that occurred in your life (related or unrelated to your relationship), therapy can help.
  • If the two of you are experiencing difficulty in making big decisions together, you might want to seek support from a relationship professional.

Giving attention to your communication skills, improving your overall happiness, and strengthening relationships are well-known potential benefits of couples therapy.

Premarital Counselling

Suppose you are in a relationship and are getting ready to make a further commitment. In that case, relationship counselling can help you bridge any potential gaps and prepare you for what lies ahead. Strengthening your relationship before marriage can be of tremendous value in years to come.

Building a strong foundation is what makes a marriage loving and affectionate. This is precisely what premarital counselling focuses on – taking initial steps to strengthen the bond between the two of you before tying the knot.

Premarital counselling deals with various issues that may need addressing before marriage. Here are a few examples:

  • Different beliefs and values
  • Responsibilities and roles
  • Affection and sex
  • Communication
  • Parenting choices and beliefs
  • Family relationships
  • Finances
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A couple at pre-marital counselling, preparing for their wedding

With premarital counselling, a realistic picture of expectations is established in couples therapy with the aim of getting the marriage off to a good start.

Online Relationship Counselling

Maybe the two of you are in a long-distance relationship or just too busy to take time to commute to a consulting room. Perhaps your work dictates that you’re often abroad. It could even be that you or your partner just aren’t that comfortable with traditional, face-to-face therapy, and the online option seems more appealing.

Whatever the reason, online relationship counselling is a perfectly viable option. In this day and age, with quality web cameras, Zoom, Skype and strong internet connections, there are good reasons to consider online relationship counselling as a good alternative to face-to-face counselling.

Finding an Experienced Relationship Therapist

First of all, just because you’ve come across a professional who refers to themselves as a “marriage counsellor” doesn’t mean that they won’t also help with other types of relationship issues.

But how do you find the right counsellor for you? Well, the obvious option would be Google, BACP, UKCP, Counselling and other Directories. Search for a therapist with whom you feel you can connect with,  is the most appealing to you, read their therapeutic approach and so on.

Another way to find a therapist is by word of mouth. For relationship counselling, you could be on the lookout for references from others.

Curb Your Expectations

It’s important that you know what to expect. Don’t go in expecting immediate results after the first session.

The first few relationship counselling sessions will focus on your history as a couple, as well as on the problems that the two of you have had over the months/years, you have been together. These will include any problems that you’ve managed to resolve with ease and those that you’re still struggling with.

Remember also that your entire emotional and relational history is what has made you into the significant other you are to someone today.

Keep in mind that different therapists exercise different approaches and are from different schools of thought. This is characteristic to all branches of psychotherapy.

What You Can Do

Always remember that you’re investing time and emotions, and you are paying for therapy. Dishonesty, avoidance of discomfort, not putting the time into it, and not listening will not help your issues. If you’re agreeing to couples’ therapy, make sure that you’re honest about it.

The Basics of Relationship Counselling

Whether you want to begin online relationship counselling or prefer to do it in person, you can rest assured that both methods are effective. It is important that you keep your mind open – don’t go into therapy thinking that it isn’t a good idea. Don’t forget, if your significant other feels they need relationship counselling, so do you.

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