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Breaking Down Marriage Counselling Myths: Your Guide to What It's Really Like

No doubt you’ve heard the comments, “So and so is in couple’s counselling,” followed by a shocked intake of breath and an “Omg, I didn’t know their relationship was in so much trouble!” Time and again couples come to counselling terrified that it means it’s the end of their marriage, or worse, that it will be.

For some couples this is true; counselling is a last-ditch effort to save their marriage. But think about this, what if people sought couple’s counselling before it got to this point? What if, just like going to a mechanic to service your car before it breaks down, people sought couple’s counselling as a means of helping improve their marriage rather than saving it?

What Is Couple’s Counselling?

Imagine it's a heart-to-heart chat with a professional mediator, but for your relationship. Marriage counselling, or couple’s therapy, is like a pit stop for your partnership. It's not just for those couples circling the relationship drain; it's for anyone looking to fine-tune their connection, address issues, and maybe sprinkle a bit of that “spark” back into their relationship.

As a couple’s therapist, I need to be skilled to do my job well. It’s a tough gig – I’m seeing couples who are, for all intents and purposes, arguing like school yard enemies. My job is to calm the often long-held angst down, and then help the couple remember what they like about each other. Couple’s therapists all work differently, but at our core, we can navigate the minefield of years of dysfunction, hurt, betrayal and resentments, and help the couple see that the hope they hold that their relationship could improve and and they can be happy again.

Whether you’re dealing with everyday squabbles, long-buried resentments, or just the feeling that you're stuck in a relationship rut, I can help you find your way again.

What To Expect In Marriage Counselling?

The Chat Fest

Picture a confidential space with two comfy chairs, and you and your partner ready to share your deepest held secrets about the other person! Marriage counselling is essentially a judgement-free zone where you can lay out your feelings, issues, and dreams without fear of eye rolls or snarky comments.

Spot the Issues: The therapist plays detective, helping you both identify the culprits causing havoc in your love story. From miscommunication to the skeletons in your relationship closet, nothing's off-limits. However, it will be done with the guidance of someone who will treat your story with the uttermost care, confidentiality and respect.

Toolbox Upgrade: Remember the famous saying by Albert Einstein “the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, but expecting different results”? Often that’s the trap that couple’s fall into when trying to resolve ongoing conflict. They start out trying to calmly find a new way navigate the issue but before they know it, they’re back in the old cycle of anger, frustration and hurt, with the result being exactly the same as the it has been for the last thousand arguments – no resolution.

Whether it’s communication breakdowns, trust issues, ongoing resentments, or any other of the challenging aspects of being in a relationship, counselling can help you learn new patterns of behaviour to resolve old issues, so both people feel heard and understood.

Goal Setting: Together with your counsellor, you get to play architects of your relationship future. Maybe you're aiming for smoother communication, rebuilding trust after a blowout, or conquering the art of compromise. Whatever it is, these goals become the blueprint for your renewed relationship. It’s vital the strategies and tools set in counselling are practised out in the real world. It’s the only way counselling can have a long-term positive effect that help you achieve your relationship goals.

Self-Discovery Detour: Sometimes, it's not just about the two of you—it's about the one. Marriage counselling encourages a bit of solo exploration. You might uncover how your individual histories and quirks play into the relationship dynamic. Often there’s past relationships that don’t get talked about but can influence the current one – and not in a good way. It’s important to discuss this and identify where it’s negatively impacting on your current relationship.

Fight Club (The Healthy Version): Conflict is inevitable, but marriage counselling transforms it into a constructive challenge. Therapists teach you new ways of addressing conflict and engaging in it in a way where there is less chance of hurt and a much higher chance of healthy conflict resolution.

In a nutshell, marriage counselling is not a last resort; it's a relationship tune-up. So, if your partnership feels a bit wobbly or you are just plain tired of fighting the same old battles with no change, consider taking the plunge. Remember, it's not always about fixing what's broken; it can also be about making something good even better. At EMJ Counselling I specialise in couple’s counselling so reach out today and discover how my services can help you and your partner build a healthier and happier life together.

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