Often couples begin marriage counselling with the desire to have their side heard and to receive support for the wrongs that feel they are undergoing. Others are skeptical of the counselling process and wonder does marriage counselling work. Marriage counselling can and does help many couples but some couples are more concerned with being right than with being team players. This type of attitude is not a good starting point in marriage counselling while it is beneficial for both parties to be heard, the role of the marriage counsellor is not as referee but facilitator. Placing blame on a partner for issues does not aid in the rectification of issues. To rectify issues, causes need to be identified and the emphasis is not placed on who but more so on the “why” and what else may work better.
As humans, we have a nature that looks at problems and conflict from an egocentric position but we also can allow for more empathetic and greater understandings when it comes to examining relationship conflicts. The more we understand the motivations and intent of the other party when problems arise the more effective we can be in resolving the issues. A good marriage counsellor will work with couples not to help one side win over the other side but to help them work together and assist in the process of developing new tools and skills in doing so.
Here are some suggestions to get the most out of your marriage counselling experience;
- Be Open-Minded
Being open-minded means to be receptive to what your marriage counsellor suggests and to be willing to not only see things from a new perspective but also be willing to try things differently.
- Be Empathetic
Many couples are not aware of how their partners feel not because they aren’t caring or loving but because they simply aren’t aware of all the variables and factors present. Getting a wider understanding of what your partner is going through and what they are concerned with will help you be empathetic to their feelings.
- Be Committed
When starting marriage counselling you will want to ensure to your partner that you are willing to try and threatening to leave or divorce at this time will not help. This is also not the time to start looking at your options and other partners. Doing either of these things will only add stress, fear and vulnerability to your existing problems as a couple.
Counselling is not the solution rather it is the process of identifying the solutions and the development of the tools to have a strong and loving union. Listen to your marriage counsellor and be willing to practice the advice given. You don’t have to wait for major problems in your relationship either before seeking help, rather see counselling as a preventative practice and have regularly scheduled sessions for best results.