Counseling for Relationships, Couples, Separation or Divorce can help in many ways with finding a path forward in your life, rather than feeling stuck, helpless or hopeless in a current relationship. Feeling better about yourself and taking the right action to work out what is best for you and your relationship can be facilitated through seeking help from a professional. Individuals experiencing strained relationships, separation or divorce often think “where do I go from here or how do I begin to find my way?” It can be a trying time in one’s life when a longtime relationship changes, where the client finds themselves trying to figure out what to do next. In session, we talk about how to move forward; what steps to take in order to stop any ongoing arguments or dissension; and things to begin doing in order to either facilitate a transition or bring the relationship back to life again. There are so many reasons for tension between parties in a relationship; and finding the right balance of love, assertiveness, discipline, boundaries, forgiveness, and understanding, can be discussed and tailored to the individual. Finding your own way depends on the specific situation, circumstance, and context of the relationship. Having an objective professional to bounce thoughts and feeling off can make a huge difference. Moving forward in an emotionally reactive way can lead to more heartache and problems, and possibly financial difficulties. Moving forward in a stable, disciplined, objective, yet loving way, can lead to a strengthened friendship beyond the old relationship or an even stronger bond in the current relationship.
Either party can make the first appointment and come in alone or both can come in together, individual preference is respected. Sometimes only one member of the party gets help and begins to find their way. Sometimes both parties come in and seek help together. In a relationship, as one begins to change, it can be often observed that the other may begin to change as well. Often times after one party comes in and finds a new path for themselves, with new coping skills and new ideas, the other party may begin to open up to counseling as well. Sometimes one party won’t come in for counseling at all, under any circumstance. This is no reason for you to not seek help on your own. Individual counseling can help you figure it all out. And, individual counseling interspersed with couples counseling can help in bringing things into focus as a couple, where new ideas are discussed and methods of communicating more efficiently are practiced. When both parties are open to coming in together the sessions may begin to demonstrate progress sooner than if only one is willing to come in.
Whereas emotionally charged communication can be problematic in perpetuating problems; learning to understand emotional reactivity and building adaptive coping strategies can help bring both parties more into alignment. Each party can build their own toolbox of relationship techniques from the information provided by the Counselor along the way and these strategies can be utilized later when necessary. Improved communication in a relationship can make a huge difference. “Loving” your partner but not being “in love” with them is often an important subject in sessions. Learning how to love one another again can be something of interest that improves the overall feel of things. Counseling, when it comes to relationships, is not about pointing out flaws or weaknesses, nor is it an investigation of who is right and who is wrong. It is about finding middle ground and beginning to appreciate the other; and learning to communicate more efficiently in order for both parties to find ways of satisfying their partner’s needs, while also getting their own needs satisfied. Some of the needs that typically arise might focus on closeness, time appropriation, trust, responsibility, chores, respect, financial security, equality, feelings, emotional connectedness, love, intimacy and a litany of others.
In relationship counseling, there can be good success when it comes to helping the individual find their way through whatever is going on. Although often the relationship can become stronger, at times, knowing how to move forward through and beyond a difficult relationship becomes just as important. Success depends on the situation, person, and willingness to work things out. When both parties are willing to work things out the probability of success is higher. When only one party is willing to put in the time and effort, the probability of a stronger relationship is not as high as when both are willing. Regardless of whether in or out of the relationship, the individual that chooses to seek Counseling typically finds a path to an improved life situation. If you are struggling with a strained relationship and haven’t been able to make progress for the better, whether or not your partner agrees to seek help, seek help for yourself, and find the life that you are comfortable and happy with. It can be the best thing you ever do for yourself and your relationship.