"What makes a relationship mature is the degree to which people can own their part, their responsibility for the messes and the improvements" - Esther Perel
What is Couples Counselling?
Couples counselling (or marriage counselling) is a clinical practice that enables couples to resolve conflict and improve relationship satisfaction. Couples counselling is conducted collaboratively with both partners, but some sessions can also be conducted separately with each.
Here are some issues that couples may wish to address in relationship therapy:
Couples counselling can feel scary, especially if you’re new to it. Relationships aren’t perfect, and it’s okay if you have anxieties about yours. The good news is that it’s possible to work through them. Let us walk you through the process of relationship counselling and how it can be effective for you.
What To Expect During Couples Counselling
Couples counselling sessions are either 50 or 90 minutes in duration. The frequency can vary depending on the needs of the couple. Your counsellor will spend the first session gaining information about your relationship history. You and your partner may be asked to identify the main areas of conflict that are affecting your relationship. Relationship therapy focuses on teaching partners to make space for each other’s feelings. Your relationship counsellor will guide you towards connecting and identifying each other’s emotions in a collaborative manner.
It might not always be easy.. Some sessions may be more triggering than others. Difficult emotions and realizations may also come up. Sometimes, you might not like what your partner says. But remember to make space for each other’s emotions, and remind yourself why you opted for relationship therapy in the first place.
You and your partner may also be given ‘homework’ from time to time in which you’ll be required to apply the concepts learned during therapy. This is the counsellor’s way of checking your progress.
Benefits of Couples Counselling:
Couples counselling has proven to be highly beneficial in improving relationship quality and satisfaction. It has several positive outcomes that can help your relationship prosper again:
Relationship counselling can teach couples the importance of communicating their needs within the relationship. Lack of communication is probably the biggest culprit when it comes to partners developing resentment, insecurities, and a loss of connection. Relationship therapy teaches couples to communicate constantly and openly. This allows partners to identify and cater to each other’s feelings.
Healthy Conflict Resolution
Conflict resolution skills are essentially the toolkit of a relationship. You need the right tools at your disposal anytime something goes wrong. Too often, couples resort to unhelpful behaviors like stonewalling, defensiveness, and blaming, among many others. These responses mostly escalate conflict and make things worse. Relationship counselling teaches partners to practice healthy conflict resolution skills such as anger management, problem-solving, and co-regulation. These skills are essential in ensuring conflict that is calm and respectful. They also teach couples to operate as a team instead of as opponents.
Couples counselling/marriage counselling can enhance a couple’s intimacy and sex life. It can teach partners to be open to each other’s preferences and needs, while also being respectful of boundaries. Relationship counsellors might advise couples to have scheduled sex to boost physical connection. Partners may also learn to boost intimacy through non-physical means, such as being vulnerable, performing little gestures for each other, and frequently exchanging gifts. This can build higher levels of trust, connection, and security.
Compromise is an essential part of every relationship. Even in the healthiest of relationships, there will always be differences and people might want different things. Couples counselling helps partners practice empathy toward each other, and make important decisions together. Some compromise is always healthy and ensures that partners care for each other’s needs.
Reach Out Today!
Located in the beautiful Orchard Treatment & Wellness Center at 4012 Perth Rd #107, Shakespeare Ontario, myself and the Reclaim & Rise Counselling Team are local to Stratford, Tavistock, New Hamburg, and the Kitchener-Waterloo area. We also offer remote therapy across Ontario so that you can access the support you need - no matter where you are!
To get started you can fill out a contact form by clicking below.
I'm looking forward to supporting you and your relationship!