Often a couple enters into counselling when they feel they have exhausted their own approaches and are feeling quite directionless, depleted and sometimes even hopeless. Often partners come in the door feeling withdrawn from each other, are in attack or blame mode with each other, or one partner is experiencing one of these modes while the other partner is experiencing the other. Whatever the initial state of connection when a couple walks through the door, there is ALWAYS hope. Making the decision to seek out counselling in the first place speaks significantly to a couple’s willingness, and desire, to resolve and connect.
In order for couples to get the most out of their counselling experience, it may be helpful to consider the following even before stepping through the door for the first time:
- Spend some time reflecting on what type of relationship you would like to create with your partner. What would your shared time and time apart look like? How would you like to solve problems? How would you like to be together?
- It is often instinctual to voice what we are not getting from our partners and focus on his or her current shortcomings in meeting our needs. Instead spend some time focused on your own self. What could you do differently to contribute to creating the type of relationship you would like to have?
- Ask yourself how motivated you are to make changes and show your self and your partner patience while this change is in process? How much time, energy, and nurturing are you ready and willing to put towards growing a healthy relationship with your partner?
A healthy relationship requires attention, contribution, giving and receiving. A healthy relationship is something that is created with our chosen partner; it is an active commitment and one in which it is very possible for the return to be greater than the continued investment.