Is your relationship in trouble? Has it reached the point where it needs some serious sorting out to make it work again?
Relationship Counselling is important and to get the most from it, it maybe worth considering some important things before you embark upon your first session.
Relationship Counselling is not something that is done to you but something which you are part of and the better prepared you are, the better the outcome.
Here are six things that will be helpful to think about before your first session.
How Honest Are You Going To Be
Do you need to tell your partner everything?
Understandably this causes many people a big headache. Your relationship counselling programme will be comprised of joint sessions where you are both together and individual sessions where you are on your own with your counsellor. It’s important to be honest with your counsellor in your individual sessions and trust their judgment about what to bring into joint sessions, and when. Your counsellor will have been through this process many times over, whereas this maybe your first time. Rather than worry about this question by yourself, talk to your counsellor about it in your initial individual session and work it out together.
If It Didn’t Work Nobody Would Do It
Usually one, or sometimes both of you is skeptical about the process and possible outcomes of relationship counseling, and to be honest, if it’s something you have not done before why shouldn’t you be. When a relationship is going wrong it feels like nothing short of a miracle will put it right, let alone a week or two away talking to a counselor. Thankfully that’s not how relationships work. If you can place this skepticism on one side at the beginning of your holiday and trust that it will work, it will save an awful lot of time and get things moving along for you more quickly. If we didn’t have 100% confidence in what we do, and a 100% track record, then we wouldn’t do it.
Why Are You Both Together
When people come into relationship counseling they have usually long since forgotten why they are together. What was it that initially brought you two together? Why did you both get together in the first place? What are the things that you actually like about your partner?
Make a list of these things; try to be aware of them in order to regain some balance and perspective on your current situation. It’s easy to get overloaded with all the negative things that maybe going on right now, and important to regain some much needed balance.
Refresh The Script
Does it feel like you are actors in a play where you hear yourself saying the same old lines to each other. The more you say the same old lines the more entrenched they become until it feels like a truth. How can you refresh the script? What are the lines that you haven’t said yet?
As a quick experiment, jot down the lines that your partner keeps saying, and then jot down the lines that you keep saying and bring it along to your counseling sessions.
Your relationship counselling will work if you make it work. This means that both of you need to take responsibility for what is going wrong, and plan how to put it right. It’s not a blame game.
Resist the temptation to sling more mud at each other and spend a moment thinking about what you can change.
How Far Are You Prepared To Go
How far are you prepared to go to make your relationship work again?
If you went a little further would it make a difference? If it would, why not go that extra mile, what’s stopping you? Before your first session look at where you have dug in your battle lines and think about what would happen if you moved them somewhere else. What do you have to lose? Try to be prepared to free up some of your rigid thinking, to not see your relationship as a battle ground. If you can change, then so can your partner.
Read more about our special Couples Therapy Retreat.
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