Very few relationships are conflict-free. Whether it is the odd disagreement or repeatedly arguing, it is natural to start questioning the longevity of a relationship. However, when an important relationship starts to falter, our health and happiness can suffer too.
Also known as couples counselling, relationship counselling is an effective form of talking therapy that looks to improve communication and solve problems within an intimate relationship. Where individual counselling can focus on relationship problems, relationship counselling is a term applied to talking therapy for two people within a relationship.
Relationship counselling typically involves most of the work taking place within the sessions, however, the counsellor will commonly ask you to complete ‘homework’ between sessions such as completing specific tasks or discussing certain topics together at home. You will then be able to review and reflect on these tasks in the following sessions.
A relationship counsellor’s role is to facilitate change through effective communication and professional guidance that helps you to reach your own conclusions. A relationship counsellor will not simply tell you what to do or give you the answers.
The overall aim of couples counselling is to help you do the following:
- Understand how external factors such as family values, religion, lifestyle and culture affect your relationship.
- Reflect on the past and how it operates in the present.
- Communicate more constructively.
- Learn why arguments escalate.
- Negotiate and resolve conflicts where possible.
Some of the common issues that are explored within relationship counselling include:
- Lack of trust
- Betrayal or affair
- Communication problems
- Financial issues
- Work-related stress
- Sexual needs or interests
- Family conflicts
- Differing goals or values
- Different parenting styles