Whether living together or not, merging the lives of two very different individuals will always be challenging. But irrelevant of whether you are experiencing trouble in paradise or just want to keep the engine running, couples counselling is a good solution.
One of the biggest misconceptions is also that couples counselling can only be done as a couple. As part of a couple, you are more than welcome to come and get some relationship guidance.
What a Couples Counsellor Can Help You With
These are some of the things a couples counsellor is professionally trained to be able to help with:
Whether it’s things we picked up as singles or from previous hurts, we all develop certain patterns throughout our lives. And whilst some might just be harmless habits, others might be negatively impacting us and our significant others. A few examples of unhealthy patterns could be that you are always the one who ends up compromising or the one storming away when conflict arises. Couples counselling can address and change these patterns. Well established, and evidence based approaches for this are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and Schema Therapy.
Assisting in making tough decisions
Every couple is hit by a tough decision at least once during their relationship. And it doesn’t matter whether you are both simply confused as to what the choice would be or whether you fundamentally disagree about it, couples counselling can help you come to a decision you’re both comfortable with. Some tough decisions can arise when a partner receives an offer to work abroad or they want to move in together, but none want to give up their current home.
Keeping a well-oiled machine greased
You don’t just take your car to the garage when disaster strikes. You regularly need to have the car serviced to ensure that it keeps running smoothly and to address any potential problems before they become nightmares to deal with. The same is true for relationships. Many couples have a standing couples counselling appointment just to ensure that they stay on the right track and empower themselves with the right knowledge and tools to have a happy and healthy relationship.
Ever heard a couple say things like “but I don’t understand what he/she is thinking!” Whenever we hear things like that, it’s not always a matter of a lack of communication, but what we communicate. Being able to discuss the revamp of the bathroom or deciding what to eat for dinner are all part of a successful relationship. But being able to go deeper and divulge our fears, thoughts and feelings is where true intimacy comes from.
Many find this incredibly difficult to do for various reasons. They simply may not have been raised in an environment that promotes this kind of intimacy or they may have shied away from opening up because of getting hurt in the past. Whatever the reason, couples counselling will enable you to open up in a safe space and grow closer together.
Trust can get broken in a relationship for a myriad of reasons. It can be because of cheating, lying about things such as finances or even addictions (which turns even the best of us into the worst of liars). Whatever it is that broke the trust, there are ways to restore it. Even if it may feel hopeless, we can happily give you some hope within current statistics: 70-75% of relationships can completely recover with the help of couples counselling and 90% show drastic improvement.
Getting parents on the same page
This is something we see a lot in couples counselling. Parenting is rarely discussed beyond the “how many do you want?” question during the initial relationship phase. Fast forward a couple of years later to where they’re sitting with their little bundle of joy and suddenly the differences are staring them in the face each and every day. The one wants to sleep train the baby whilst the other has a more attachment parenting style.
Or the one wants to buy diapers whilst the other wants reusable diapers that are more eco-friendly. Parenting differences can range from the mundane to the super serious and it’s one of the biggest reasons for the deterioration of a relationship. With the help of couples counselling, you’ll be able to get yourselves on the same page, and even though you might still not agree with each other all the time, you’ll be able to work together to raise happy and healthy children whilst enjoying a wonderful relationship.
Reigniting the spark
This is also something we hear quite often and, ironically, often after becoming parents. Life gets so busy that a loving couple soon turns into effective roommates who then turn up in our sessions, yearning to reignite the spark. The good news? You can absolutely do that! With a little work, you can be able to feel those butterflies of excitement for your partner yet again. With a helping hand in couples counselling, you and your partner will be able to feel seen, appreciated and loved “like in the good old days” once again. Did you know we have psychologists in our team who are specialized in Sex Therapy?
This is the downfall of many relationships. It doesn’t matter how much you love each other, but if you can’t fight right it’s like taking a pick axe and starting chiselling away at the relationship. There are many reasons why we struggle with conflict. It can be that we try to avoid it completely and then resentment starts simmering underneath the surface.
Or it can be that we’ve learnt terrible habits when it comes to dealing with conflict such as not listening to what the other has to say anymore or becoming insulting. Whatever the problem in your conflict style seems to be, couples counselling will help you identify them, help you figure out why you have them in the first place and then help change the behaviour and the dynamic.
Signs That it’s Time to Reach Out
We already mentioned that it’s always a good idea to have a standard “maintenance” couples counselling session in place. But if you don’t and you become aware of any of the following within your relationship, it’s time to give the pros a call:
- It feels like you’re always fighting over everything no matter how big or small.
- Your communication is marked with snide comments and passive-aggressive comments.
- What you say and what your partner hears is vastly different.
- You are excellent at brushing things under the rug, but the bulge is starting to show.
- You seem to be on repeat with the same old arguments being had, the same old issues being discussed etc.
- You’re hitting a big milestone as a couple and you’re uncertain and scared. This can include first moving in together, becoming parents or dreading that 7-year-itch everyone keeps warning you about.
- When you clearly want different things. One can be planning to turn the study into a baby room whilst the other is picking up brochures at a travel agent.
- When you are starting to feel lonely whilst in your relationship. This may become so extreme that you’re actually entertaining the thought of having an affair.
- You just feel like something is “off”. That old saying about “trusting your gut” still rings true and just because none of you are acknowledging it doesn’t mean that both of you aren’t feeling it.
Why People Don’t Reach Out
There are many reasons why people don’t want to reach out when their relationship hits rocky ground. Some of these include:
- Fear of failure and feeling embarrassed. There are numerous couples on your social media clearly doing fantastic, so why can’t you seem to crack it?
- A lack of funds since professional help can be expensive, especially if you don’t have any health insurance.
- Location, location, location. Some may find themselves in areas where there are no therapists nearby or they may live in such remote areas that it’s a mission just to get groceries, never mind a therapist.
- A lack of time or clashing schedules. Many simply don’t have the time to drive all the way to a practice that’s only open within office hours and to try and sync three people’s calendars from all over town to make this happen almost seems impossible.
- People try to avoid acknowledging that there are issues because if you don’t acknowledge them, it doesn’t exist, right?
- Feelings of fear and uncertainty, because what if you’re the only one experiencing these issues with your relationship or your partner isn’t interested in going to couples counselling with you?
The Benefits of Online Couples Counselling
This is where online couples counselling can be incredibly helpful. Except for having all the benefits of any other psychology practice, it has added benefits that address many of the reasons why people don’t want to reach out in the first place. These include:
- A couple’s counsellor is an objective professional and your session is a safe and judgement-free space.
- Since online therapy avoids a lot of in-office overheads and there’s no travel involved it’s much more affordable.
- It doesn’t matter where in the world you are, a professional therapist is just one click away.
- Online sessions are much more convenient. You can now squeeze these into your everyday life as and when it suits you, wherever you are.
- You will gain a deeper understanding of your relationship and your partner.
- You will feel a shift from hopelessness to empowerment once you realise that you are not the first couple to experience these issues and there are solutions.
- You will be taught effective and strategic coping skills.
- Communication skills will be improved.
- You will be taught healthy conflict resolution skills.
- You will experience a shift in perspective once you start putting yourself in your partner’s shoes.
- Your bond with your partner will deepen.
- Past hurts will finally be healed.
- You will become way more effective as a team in working toward and accomplishing your goals.
Finding the Right Fit
It is extremely important that you find the professional that’s the right fit for you based on both your personalities and situation, and we are more than happy to assist wherever we can. So, if you are currently wanting to reach out or have come to the realisation that you probably should, please don’t hesitate to contact us via our website or at email@example.com or simply complete the contact form below and we’ll get in touch shortly.