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Relationship Counselling: is it right for you?
Sometimes, relationship counselling seems to be the only thing left that can save a broken relationship. however, relationship counselling in and of itself is not the be and end-all of relationships, and there are some important things you may want to consider first.
- Are you considering relationship counselling because there is something you can’t tell your partner?
- Have you considered what revealing this ‘issue’ to somebody else (in front of your partner) may do / create?
If you watch t.v. it’s more than likely that you have come across a scene in a film of a t.v. series where a married couple having relationship issues visited a counsellor for advise. What tends to happen more often than not, is that – after the initial period of bashfulness – one of the partners will blurt something out about the other; something they find annoying. This then kick-starts the whole process: the other partner is shocked and even humiliated when the issue is revealed and goes on the offensive by revealing something (another issue) about the other.
Some people see the benefit in this whole process is in the ‘talks’ starting. Having thrown their relationship issues out in the open, and once the shock has passed, there are only 2 things left to do: leave or stay and talk.
The sad thing is that many couples who seek help in a relationship counsellor are doing so because they are unable (for a number of reasons) to voice their issues to their partner in private. Some people don’t want to hurt their other half by blurting out the real problem, but they forget that when they’re sitting in front of a counsellor, they’re not only going to tell what the issue is… but they’re going to do so in front of a third person, and if it’s a relationship issue, then it’s an intimate issue, so if anything, the humiliation can be worse; and the privilege of having somebody sitting and listen in on your issues is that it’s going to cost you money!
Before seeking help, and if both parties agree that they’re going to seek relationship help, they should first determine what a relationship counsellor – or rather, what the whole experience – is going to do for them.
- It’s going to make them voice their issues with the other person – private and intimate issues.
- It’s going to hopefully get everything out in the open.
- It’s going to make them start talking toward resolving these issues or compromising and working together on them.
Then they should decide if they can do this themselves, or whether they really want to spend the money on this.
If the couple decides to go it alone (and I can’t think of a person who’d rather hear about their annoying traits in front of a crowd) they should set some ground rules: no screaming, shouting or getting too upset.
One good thing about a counsellor is that in the presence of perceived authority, the couple will generally behave within certain boundaries. At home, in private, these boundaries are easy to overlook and when accused or confronted with an issue, the other person may react badly and talks would come to a standstill.
Whilst counselling is an option that can be exchanged for a ‘do it yourself’ effort, the benefits of having an intermediary do still need to be considered.
Ultimately it is down to the couple: are they mature enough to behave like adults and hear criticism without reacting to it? If they are, then once all the cards are on the table and talk begin, the relationship can start to be patched up again.
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