Dealing with occasional challenges is a normal part of nurturing any relationship.
If you’re married or in a long-term relationship you have no doubt experienced some conflict or endured difficult periods.
How well you understand and can communicate with your partner, as well as your ability to negotiate difficult times can determine whether you maintain a happy relationship, struggle, or separate.
Relationship counselling with a professional therapist or psychologist can help improve the way you relate to your partner, assist in changing patterns of behaviour and help negotiate difficult periods.
Relationship counselling may help you resolve a current problem or prevent an issue from getting worse. It may also help by simply providing a check-up for an otherwise happy couple facing a period of extreme stress or emotion.
However, you don’t need to be in crisis to seek relationship counselling. Many couples opt for counselling to better understand each other, improve communication skills and to make informed decisions.
In general, relationship counselling can help couples:
- Become more aware of dysfunctional relationship patterns
- Identify and change any behaviours that harm the relationship
- Examine communication patterns and improve communication skills
- Learn how to be more vulnerable and speak more openly about emotions
- Reduce blame language and increase empathy and mutual understanding
Reasons Relationships Fail
According to research, among the most common reasons relationships fail are financial stress, communication difficulties, different expectations and values, and a lack of trust.
Other leading causes include physical or emotional abuse, work/time pressures and physical health or mental health issues.
As a result, relationship problems can contribute to emotional disorders such as anxiety, depression, unresolved grief, substance abuse, anger management and weight control. This is not surprising given that our sense of self and how we behave is influenced by the way others treat us and how we feel about it.
While studies show there are many factors contributing to relationship breakdown, there are also clear elements for successful relationships.
Factors essential to maintain successful relationships are:
- Respect for each other and a mutual sense of appreciation
- Trust and faithfulness
- Physical closeness/sexual relations
- Strong communication skills and the ability to discuss problems openly
- Common values and shared meaning
- Support for each other
- The ability to cooperate; and
- Flexibility in times of transition
The above elements can be learned and applied, or improved, in your relationships to foster stronger long-term connections. Getting help, through professional relationship counselling can guide your understanding to better manage the dynamics of your relationships.
Relationship Counselling Can Benefit Differing Couples
Any couple can benefit from relationship counselling, including same-gender couples, long term married couples, engaged couples, or dating couples. Relationship counselling can also assist with work, family and other interpersonal relationships.
A psychologist or trained councillor can help you work through challenges such as financial disagreements, parenting frustrations, lack of affection or compassion, infidelity, emotional issues, or the impact of substance abuse.
The first step is to decide to get professional help and then commit to work on any issues to make a positive change.
What is Relationship Counselling
Relationship counselling is a type of psychotherapy. A trained therapist or psychologist with clinical experience helps you gain a better understanding of yourself and your relationships, your goals, and values, and can highlight new ways to process experiences and communicate your thoughts and feelings.
You counsellor may provide tools for resolving conflict or identify patterns or issues which you may not have been aware. A key component is learning effective communication skills so that couples can talk about their needs without anger or resentment.
Psychotherapy is a structured process which can be limited to a few sessions or can be longer term, depending on the individuals involved and approach needed. Success requires participants to be actively engaged and willing to practice the new skills learnt.
However, while relationship counselling is best if both partners are involved, it can still be helpful if only one partner attends. Even if relationship counselling can’t save your current relationship, you can learn skills to help improve the odds of your future relationships succeeding.
Get Help with Relationship Problems
If you and your partner are having relationship problems or you want to learn how to connect openly on a deeper level, you may find that talking with a psychologist may be helpful.
Get in touch to talk through your situation and we can match you with a psychologist who can best help you work on building and maintaining healthy relationships.
For more information or to request an appointment contact us today.