Couples counselling can feel like a daunting and scary undertaking, but it can also make a world of difference for struggling relationships. In this video I address some of the most common ways that couples counselling can help your relationship, so that you have a better idea of what to expect. Stay tuned to learn how a skilled counsellor can help you turn down the struggle and turn up the satisfaction!
Hi everyone, I’m Laura Brown from Heart & Oak Therapy, supporting better, brighter lives. We’re therapists who do regular videos on mental wellness, and give you practical ideas and tips to make your life happier and more fulfilling – so hit the subscribe button to keep in the loop!
Realizing that your relationship could use a little outside help can be a big, important step toward making things better.
Unfortunately, there’s a still a whole lot of stigma out there when it comes to doing therapy, especially couples counselling. I hear it all the time – “the right relationship should be easy”, “if it’s meant to be, it will just work”, or that “love is all you need”. And let’s not forget about the social pressure to make it work at any cost.
Then, on the flip side, there’s the belief that if you aren’t satisfied in your relationship, it’s better to cut your losses than to keep trying to make it work. All of these mixed messages and ideas can leave a lot of couples feeling confused, hopeless, and stuck!
So how can couples counselling help you go from feeling discouraged to secure in your relationship? Allow me to explain!
One of the most common reasons couples seek therapy is because they struggle to work through conflict in helpful and constructive ways.
Just about anyone who has been in a relationship can agree that it can be incredibly hard to find better ways to work through conflict when we’re the ones in the middle of it! It can be hard to hear your own tone, remember the content of what you say, and understand why your partner responds the way they do to it all. And digging into these details after the fact can bring up old hurts and frustrations.
The benefit of bringing in a third party, like a therapist, is that you and your partner are given the space to have your points of view heard by an unbiased professional. This creates a level of safety for both of you to share, have your perspectives reflected back to both of you, and ultimately understand each other better.
A couples counsellor can serve as a guide for you to find resolution to conflict by asking questions that encourage you both to validate one another’s perspectives. Doing this in a genuine way can support you both in softening any feelings of hurt and anger, creating space for compassion, understanding, and forgiveness.
One way to know if this is a struggle that you and your partner are facing is by asking yourselves what usually happens when conflict arises in the relationship. How do you each respond, and how do you find resolution? Does it feel like you get stuck, or that big issues don’t get fully resolved? If so, this is one way a couples counsellor can help.
If it seems like this could be a helpful thing to work on, look into connecting with a counsellor who is skilled at supporting couples in developing effective ways of communicating. It’s important for you both to feel a connection with this counsellor, and that each one of you are treated fairly, without judgment.
The benefit of taking this step is that the two of you learn really effective strategies for communicating, which helps to create a stronger foundation that will support you in getting through all sorts of challenges down the road.
Another familiar problem that many couples face is feeling disconnected from one another, or out of sync.
It’s really easy for life to get in the way of focusing on the relationship, and for you to wake up one day and realize that you are both in a bit of a rut. This can feel like an overwhelming and scary realization, that can lead to lots of questions about the future of your relationship if the spark isn’t rekindled quickly.
If this is an experience you are familiar with, then getting the support of a skilled couples counsellor can be really helpful. This person can offer you valuable feedback and help you collaborate to create the changes you both desire.
Couples counselling offers a space to engage in an open, frank conversation about where the relationship is currently at, and how you both would like things to be different.
When deciding who to reach out to, both of you can consider the support you need from a counsellor, and what both of you are looking for in terms of help.
In this way, relationship counselling helps hold you both accountable to focus on the relationship, giving it the attention you need to restore your connection.
Another common reason that couples seek therapy is in response to a loss of trust between partners. This can be due to a transgression by one or both of you against the other, and couples counselling offers an avenue to heal and move past the hurt.
When trust has been shaken, it can be really hard to work together to make things whole again. Maybe one or both of you feel invalidated by the other, or that you aren’t given the space to feel how you feel about the situation. There might also be a lack of accountability taken for the wrongdoing that is getting in the way of forgiveness and healing.
In situations like this, couples counselling offers an opportunity for the two of you to talk about what has happened in the relationship within a safe space. The upside of any struggle in a relationship, even those that feel huge and hard to overcome, is that they offer a chance for you to heal past hurts and create a stronger foundation of connection and trust.
For couples, reaching out for support doesn’t have to mean that your relationship is doomed and beyond repair. Instead, it can be a sign of the commitment that the two of you share in having a more desirable and fulfilling relationship.
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Take care until next time, and keep doing the things that help you live a better, brighter life.