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Relationship Problems? You Should Try Counselling

May 17, 2008
When a relationship breaks down, the problems have usually built up over a number of months or years and the people involved see relationship counselling as their last chance. The majority of cases a relationship counsellor sees have reached this terminal point making the task of reconciliation more difficult. Relationship counselling doesn't have to be your relationship's 'last chance saloon'. Attending a counselling session early on can make all the difference and help to get your relationship back on track.

Relationship counselling is for everyone, whether you're a married couple, living as a couple, same-sex relationship, in a period of separation, divorcee or single. Difficulties with a relationship can be dealt with either on a one-to-one basis, as a couple, or in the case of family relationship counselling, with the family members involved. Relationship counselling allows you to discuss and explore any problems causing distress in your relationship and help to overcome them. Most importantly, counselling gives you a chance to be heard. Your counselling session takes place in a confidential environment and the relationship counsellor will provide another perspective to your problem while listening and understanding your point of view. They will encourage an open dialogue and help you understand your feelings.

Couple counselling should be considered when you and your partner find that talking to each other no longer resolves a problem. This may feel like coming up against a brick wall or a feeling of confusion when a conversation hasn't reached any conclusion. Many couples find that a normal chat easily turns into a shouting match or there is no communication at all. Couple counselling ideally should take place with the couple together so they can openly discuss the relationship and its problems. However, one partner may not wish to attend counselling sessions leaving the other partner to go alone. Relationship counselling is able to help one partner affect changes in the relationship without the other partner being there, this can lead to a positive outcome for both partners. Also, many people choose to have relationship counselling alone to understand their own feelings before introducing the partner to the session.

Family relationship counselling identifies the unique problems a family can have and aims to resolve any issues. Sometimes petty disputes can build up over a period of time to overblown arguments with no resolution. Other common problems include families going through parental separation or divorce that places stress and anxiety on everyone or families with children that have emotional or behavioural problems that causes a break down in relationships. Family counselling explores the relationship between the family members and allows each member to have a voice. The session can take place with individuals, small groups of the family or the family as a whole. Exploring and discussing relationship problems enables the family to resolve their differences together.

Counsellors have different styles and methods and your session can take place face-to-face, over the phone or even online. Talking isn't the only option for relationship counselling with some sessions utilising art therapy or exercise therapy. Whatever methods are used, relationship counselling first identifies the impact of the problem on the relationship. The counsellor then explores the history of the problem and asks what you would like to see changed. Then you learn to understand why the relationship problem is such a struggle for you and what is preventing you overcoming that struggle. Finally, relationship counselling helps you to find the positives, strengths and resources to overcome the problem or suggests coping strategies to make things a little easier. Book your relationship counselling session today; it's never too early.
About the Author
Shaun Parker is a leading relationship counsellor in London, with many years of experience in counselling.
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