I have been seeing couples for marriage counselling for twenty years now.
In that time, I have seen couples with seemingly intractable problems move on to greater love, commitment and passion in their relationship.
What problems bring people to Marriage Counselling?
What I commonly see in people coming for relationship counselling are:-
1) communication diffulties – couples often don’t feel they can say what they want to say, or feel they aren’t being heard.
2) conflict – when genuine attempts to deal with problems just seems to sink couples into further conflict and fears for the future of their relationship.
3) loss of intimacy – when there doesn’t seem to be that spark any more, and couples stop reaching out for tenderness and loving contact.
4) sexual problems – these can take many forms. But the good news is that by addressing intimacy and trust in relationship counselling, sexual problems can be overcome and lead to greater intimacy than was thought possible.
5) affairs – when one or both partners have found themselves seeking intimacy somewhere else. This requires both partners to engage in healing deep wounds, restoring trust, and changing the patterns that existed in the marriage before the affair. It can be done!
6) individual problems that affect both partners – sometimes when one partner has something like depression, an addiction, grief, or trauma – it can affect both people and the way they relate to each other
Marriage counselling will profoundly change the way you relate to each other, with both partners learning what is required for the other to feel heard and cared about. Each partner will learn to be more robust and less reactive to the other, especially when feelings get heightened. Couples can then engage more authentically and lovingly with each other. Couples counselling will bring people closer, address issues of trust and create the conditions for partners to fall for each other all over again.
- You know you are getting good marriage counselling when the therapist creates a safe and understanding environment where both partners are heard by each other.
- You know that marriage counselling is effective when each partner starts to gain a greater insight of the other’s behaviour and they both start to actively care more for each other.
- You know that couples counselling has gotten you somewhere when old hurts are healed and greater trust takes shape.
- You know that relationship counselling has given you something more than you expected when you find your relationship is sparking with a new passion for each other.
1) Make sure the counsellor has postgraduate qualifications directly relevant to couples counselling. Ideally they will have a degree in relationship counselling or family therapy.
2) Make sure the counsellor has years of experience in working with more than one person in the room. Marriage counselling can bring up hard feelings and difficult dynamics. You need someone who is experienced in calming these troubled waters. Many counsellors and psychologists wisely admit to their limitations.
3) Make sure the counsellor has plenty of life experience.
4) Make sure your counsellor is properly qualified and a member of a relevant professional organisation.
I have both Bachelor and Master of Social Work(Family Therapy) degrees, majoring in Family Therapy.
I am an Accreddited Member of the Australian Association of Social Workers, an Accredited Mental Health Social Worker, and a Clinical Member of the Queensland Association for Family Therapy.
I have worked with couples, families and groups for 20 years. Moreover, I enjoy the energy and the potential for change inherent to relationship counselling.
I still get a kick from seeing couples leaving my office hand in hand as they walk to the car.