Couple counselling alone is not the cure for an ailing relationship.
Many couples go to marriage counselling in hopes that the therapist can “cure” their marriage problems. This belief can create false expectations of what a therapist is actually capable of doing. When couples come into therapy for their relationship, they need to understand that it takes a lot of work–not just in the one-hour session, but also at home. For every one hour session in the therapist’s office, couples need to work on their relationship for 5 hours at home. What does it mean to work on your relationship at home?
- Most importantly, you have to spend quality time together. This includes going on regular dates or taking 15 -30 minutes in your day to discuss what is happening in your life. Listen to, empathize with, and reflect your partner’s experiences. It helps your partner to feel that you are on his/her side.
- If you are having a hard time finding the positive qualities in your partner, you have to actively start thinking about your partner differently. If you enter into discussions expecting the the worst, you will find proof for it. Meet your partner with an open mind, believing that he/she is not out to make you upset, but rather wants to listen, support and be there for you.
- Listen closely to what your partner is saying and ask him/her to clarify if it doesn’t sit well with you. Many arguments begin with a small misunderstanding in communication and a belief that the intentions of our partner are negative. When we ask our partner to clarify the statement, we can gain an understanding of his/her perspective. If you reflect on your conversation, you will probably notice that you primarily try to refute your partner’s position with your own rather than listen to your partner when he/she doesn’t agree with you. If your partner feels heard, he/she is more likely to hear your position.
Marriage counselling can be a conduit for improving your marriage. The therapist can provide insight into what blocks your ability to communicate with each other and provide suggestions on how to improve the relationship. However, a therapist cannot “cure” your marriage problems. Both partners in a relationship have to be the cure. Relationship problems are not one person’s fault–it’s the dynamic between two individuals–therefore the solution also needs to have a dyadic approach with both individuals taking responsibility for his/her contribution.
Ready to see how counselling can help you? Contact us to book a session:
Adress: #224, 1919 Sirocco Drive SW, Calgary, AB
Ask your extended health benefits provider if you have coverage for treatment by a Registered Psychologist.