Relationship counseling is a form of counseling that is designed to address the problems between couples and then resolve them. This type of counseling should be provided by licensed counselors who have years of experience providing professional counseling services to couples.
During relationship counseling, each member of the couple will discuss their relationship with a counselor and with each other, in order to pinpoint issues that may be actively damaging the relationship. Examples of issues which may be discussed during relationship counseling include infidelity, money pressures, issues related to parenting, addiction problems and power struggles. This type of counseling may be offered to married couples or unmarried couples.
The relationship counselor will ideally have plenty of experience acting as a sounding board and confidante for both people in the relationship. The best counselors will be impartial, and they will offer couples access to effective strategies that will assist them in strengthening their bond with one another. For example, couples may be taught the principles of effective and positive communication, in order to stop their interactions from devolving into dramatic scenes or cold silence.
However, now and then, problems that exist in a relationship may be quite severe. For example, domestic abuse may be present, and this violent atmosphere may prompt a counselor to advise the couple to sever all ties. In general, the overarching role of the relationship counselor is to keep couples together, despite any differences that may be negatively impacting the relationship. Nonetheless, the safety of both parties will be paramount. In some cases, relationship counselors may need to report any criminal behavior on the part of either member of the couple to proper local authorities.
Otherwise, the confidentiality of both parties will be highly respected. For many couples, being able to interact in an atmosphere of privacy and confidentiality may be very liberating. Counselors know how to get both parties to open up, by encouraging both people to express their feelings in a very safe place. They control the pace and focus of discussions, placing emphasis on revealing essential truths about the relationship, with a mind to healing rifts and moving the relationship forward.
Both Members of the Couple Need to Embrace Counseling
Sometimes, one member of the couple is more invested in relationship counseling than another. When this occurs, it may be more difficult for the relationship to survive. In order for couples to get a successful result from relationship counseling, both parties should be equally invested in seeking out a positive outcome.
An enriched relationship may be the end result of successful relationship counseling. Since issues will be aired in a private setting, and practical, tried-and-true relationship advice will be offered, it’s possible to enjoy a more beneficial relationship during and after counseling.
Since relationship counseling often brings up hidden issues that one member of the relationship may not be aware of, it may be quite illuminating and useful. However, it is usually somewhat emotionally trying as well.
In particular, very long-term relationships that are undergoing stress will be bound to provoke a lot of deep and intense emotions in those who opt for relationship counseling. However, the new openness and communication that is fostered through effective relationship counseling has the capacity to bring couples closer together, and to help them break negative behavior patterns that may otherwise destroy a valuable relationship.
Most communities offer a plethora of resources for couples who wish to embark on relationship counseling. For example, community organizations may offer couples access to lists of respected and registered relationship counselors. Sometimes, these counselors will be referred by doctors or other therapists.
There are also other ways to find relationship counseling, including searches that are conducted online, or searches of Yellow Pages phone books. Most cities have hundreds of relationship counselors. It’s important to select someone who has a proven track record. A preliminary meeting with a relationship counselor may allow couples to see if they have a good level of rapport with a prospective counselor.
Prices for therapy will vary widely, based on the experience and education level of the therapist. Therapy of this type may be partially or fully covered under an extended-benefits health care plan.