You can attend Relationship Counselling as a couple or on an individual basis. Quite often couples can arrive in a “crisis”, or may need to see a counsellor without delay. In this case it’s usually a case of crisis management as they have probably been putting off going to counselling for some time. In the intervening time more and more issues have arisen and the crisis has deepened to a critical point. The reasons that bring couples to therapy are varied, but the challenges are usually similar.
When an individual enters counselling for relationship issues, even where it is a the behest of a partner, more often than not there are serious challenges being faced by the couple. However in this situation it’s likely their problems have often not quite reached a crisis point in their relationship. While the relationship may have serious difficulties there is usually more time to address what has been happening, or not happening. This can allow the Client and therapist more time to discuss the key underlying issues without a need to resort to fire fighting. Even when it seems the relationship has ended and the Client really wants to return into the relationship counselling can provide the space to take an objective look at what has happened and how best to move forward.
Earlier I talked about the challenges that bring couples and sometimes individuals into therapy. So you are probably wondering what the common themes are. The emotional reasons are often one or more of the following feelings of love, frustration, confusion, anger, guilt, shame, fear, jealousy, distrust, and resentment. A particular emotion however doesn’t just exist on its own. In a relationship initiated through love we might be very much aware of one specific emotion at a given moment in time, but it’s usually accompanied by a heady emotional cocktail that clouds our judgments and behaviors’. It is this cocktail of emotions that prevents us seeing with clarity and acting decisively and keeps us on the merry go round of thinking and expecting that “things will get better”, or “lets try again”. Unfortunately, the longer the cycle continues the more likely we are of “falling out of love”, and getting hurt.
One of the benefits of therapy is that we can get off the merry go round long enough to make a decision and break the repetitive destructive cycle. Usually that decision can help both parties in a relationship to work towards a constructive solution and a more loving relationship.