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  Relationship counselling

A jewel is still a jewel when it has been trampled in the mud. (Saying)

 

Difficulties in relationships

are of course very common. Almost all relationships go through difficult and testing times sooner or later. Sources of conflict are many and varied, from classic jealousies over infidelities or sudden successes to sexual difficulties or changes in belief and philosophy, from problems with children and relatives to chronic anger, stress at work, stuck arguments, unequal sharing of tasks and all sorts more.

Double or quits? In some cases, calling it a day and breaking up is not only inevitable, it’s highly advisable – there are people who do themselves and those around them no good at all by persisting in negative relationships. A good therapist can, when necessary, help clients to see and to understand this and hence to separate in sensible ways.

But in many other cases, there is much of fundamental value that can and should be rescued. Very many relationships are well worth preserving. Very many couples want to preserve and re-develop their relationships, both for their own sake and for the sake of their dependents. It is here that the services of skilled counsellors can be very useful indeed, helping couples to see things in a new light and to understand one another in new ways.

 
Intelligent relationship counselling
  • Does not pre-suppose outcomes
  • Does not encourage endless soul-searching, nor does it require an extended course in introspection
  • Does encourage couples to find ways to be honest with each other and to communicate more clearly
  • May need to deal effectively with negative past experiences of either or both partners
  • Also makes use of past positive experiences in dealing with current concerns
  • Establishes simple rules for communication which will not favour either partner
  • Encourages couples to think carefully about what they are doing
  • Encourages couples to examine the ways in which they can help to meet their own and each other's needs more effectively
  • Develops strategies for effective change
  • Shows clients ways to be more relaxed and focused
  • Employs skilled imaginative rehearsal of change.
  • Establishes clear goals and comes to an end when these are reached.
Relationship counselling need not take long

It is not necessary to take a lot of sessions for relationship counselling to be effective. Sometimes 2 or 3 sessions over 3 to 6 weeks set the changes that are needed going sufficiently. Sometimes, of course, more tangled and complex situations require rather more sessions spread over a longer time. The therapist’s job is to loan his or her objective intelligence to the relationship for a limited period of time and to end sessions when they are no longer needed. Couples are asked to notice and amplify positive changes from the first session onwards.

 

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