By Dana Baduna, PhD, LMFT
There are many benefits that couples counseling can bring to a relationship. Therapists who work with couples have different styles of working with clients and it is always a good idea to find out a little bit about how counseling works when you come in together to a session. So here are a few guidelines of what you can expect when beginning counseling at the Grounding Center.
I selected four ways that couples counseling can benefit a relationship:
1. It can identify more clearly where a couple is stuck and outline a path for how to move forward from a difficult place to a place where there is better satisfaction with one’s relationship.
2. Participating together as a couple gives the partners the opportunity to pay closer attention to one another and listen more intimately to their needs, wants, and dissatisfactions, thus establishing a closer bond and a more intimate connection.
3. It can redirect a stuck communication pattern — such as being negative and critical of each other — towards finding new avenues to be more supportive, encouraging and loving.
4. It can make a couple appreciate and admire each other’s hard work and efforts, thus making each feel better and more content about their relationship.
Although most often, through the counseling process, couples find ways to improve their level of relationship satisfaction, sometimes they can also identify obstacles or characteristics that are too much to bear for either person or for the relationship to overcome. Recognizing that there are differences that are “too different” to make a relationship work efficiently can also be part of the journey of a couple’s relationship. Often being able to talk out these differences in a comfortable and safe place can help each move forward and have less regrets.
Overall, having the guidance, patience and understanding of a therapist, whether in individual or couples counseling, is like having the expert eye and knowledge of a coach helping you improve your skills and abilities so you can do better in the game of life.
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