“Does relationship counselling work?” This is one of the most common questions couples ask, and you are probably thinking of the same thing if you are contemplating seeing a counsellor.
So, does it work? According to a survey, around 75% of couples who got counselling said that it improved their relationship. Therapy can also help them overcome even the toughest adversities with reports saying that a third of those who get counselling survive an affair.
Clearly, getting therapy can benefit you and your partner if your relationship requires a tune-up or serious repair.
But please know that relationship counselling is not a magic wand that you simply wave to improve or fix your relationship. Aside from choosing a qualified relationship counsellor, there are other things you need to do for the counselling to be a success.
Get Relationship Counselling Early On
The timing of the therapy has an impact on its effectiveness. In most cases, the earlier you talk to a counsellor, the better the outcomes are.
The truth is that you don’t have to wait for issues to blow out of proportion or talks about separation to surface before you decide to seek professional help. You should get counselling as soon as you realise problems are starting to get in the way of your daily life.
Moreover, you have to remember that relationship or marriage counselling is not just for relationships that need serious repairs. It is also for those who simply want to immediately address impediments that prevent their union from flourishing.
Find a Relationship Counsellor You’re Comfortable With
Without a doubt, you need to see a qualified therapist if you want to get results. Here, we define ‘qualified’ as someone who has the certifications and experience.
But aside from having the credentials, your counsellor should be someone you and your partner can trust and be comfortable with. Being able to openly talk is crucial to the success of the therapy, and this cannot happen if you do not have a good rapport with your counsellor.
So, you and your partner should take time to assess if the therapist is someone you can talk to without hesitations. This should be done at the start, preferably on the first two sessions.
It is not unusual for you to feel apprehensive about opening up on your first session. But a good relationship counsellor knows how to create an atmosphere that makes clients feel safe and encourages them to talk. So, before your second session ends, you should more or less know if you are seeing the right counsellor.
Keep an Open Mind During Your Relationship Counselling
Research shows that what clients bring to the therapy – their attitudes and beliefs – has a huge impact on the outcome. When it comes to attitudes, keeping an open mind during the course of the therapy (and even after) is critical.
After being together for quite some time, it is easy to jump to conclusions because of the idea that you and your partner know each other well. But unless the other party verbalises or affirms what you think, these are just mere assumptions.
So, instead of making your own conclusions, listen to what your partner has to say. Remember, just because you know him or her well, it does not mean that your assumptions are correct.
Set Realistic Expectations for Your Relationship Counselling
Having unrealistic expectations causes a lot of couples to think that counselling is not working. A common example of an unrealistic therapy expectation is their partners changing into the person they want them to be. This thinking causes some participants to focus too much on ‘changing’ their partners instead of improving themselves.
While your partner may need to make adjustments (or changes), you also need to do the same thing. The therapy should be about you and your partner’s growth as well as what you both want from the union and where you want the relationship to be.
Don’t Abruptly Quit Relationship Counselling
Many couples stop going to counselling after their second or third session. The top reason behind this decision is that they feel that the therapy is not working. Do not commit the same mistake. Do not quit therapy, especially if you have just started going.
Counselling won’t resolve years-worth of issues in just two or three 45-minute sessions. So, you have to be patient because it will really take time before you see results. You must also realise that how quickly you’d make breakthroughs also depends on how much time and effort you put into each session.
In summary, relationship counselling works as long as you talk to a qualified counsellor and do your part. When done right, therapy can be a life-changing experience – one that can strengthen and ensure the longevity of your relationship.
Are you thinking of getting relationship counselling in Dublin? Call us now on 01 5240708 and let us talk about how our experienced counsellors can help you.