Updated: Jan 2
So you're going to talk to somebody about your relationship and want to know what that's going to involve? This is the info you’re looking for!
Let's get the basics out of the way first: these are sessions with a counselor, whether they're online or offline, whether they're online relationship counselling in India or in any other country. Sessions will follow some variation on an established script (or framework), but in general, they involve both partners talking about their thoughts and feelings related to their relationship.
If you're lucky enough not to have unresolved conflicts in your relationship and/or not currently experiencing symptoms of a mental health disorder or reacting to stress or trauma, then it may not be necessary for either partner to attend counseling.
Marriage counseling (and relationship counselling or couples counselling) first of all allows both of you set aside a time for your relationship and gets you in the mindset to work for each other. That itself is a statement that your partner is ready to invest in the relationship. So here is what can you expect?
1. Talking out things you normally don't talk about
You'd be surprised by all the things you don't talk about with your partner. Maybe it's because you're going through a rough time that you have to spend all your time and energy on addressing that conflict, or maybe it's because, in general, you rarely talk to each other about what makes up the foundation of your relationship.
In couples counselling, you'll get an opportunity to sit down and discuss these issues openly and honestly. The goal is to increase the level of communication between partners, helping them to act more collaboratively together.
2. Helping you to work through your feelings
When it comes to conflicts, one partner will often have a slightly different perspective than the other. When someone is under stress, or experiencing emotional pain or trauma, they may lock their thoughts and words away and be unable to express what they're thinking or feeling.
In relationship anxiety counselling, you'll learn how to be more aware of your own thoughts and emotions so that they don't become a wall between you and your partner. This will give you an opportunity to correct misunderstandings or miscommunications (and also keep things from escalating beyond the point of no return). By doing this, a lot of open communication problems can be solved.
3. Helping you to talk in healthier ways
Many problems come from the way we talk to each other. We may not even realize that our words come across in an accusatory, angry or derogatory manner. Sometimes we have no idea what's wrong or what we're even upset about.
In counselling, you'll learn to take a different approach to discussing things with your partner. For example, if you normally fly off the handle when someone expresses their feelings or disagrees with you, then you might learn how to genuinely listen and express yourself in a way that's better suited for communicating while under stress or experiencing emotional pain or trauma.
4. Helping you to understand your partner better
On the flip side, you'll also have a chance to really listen to what's going on with your partner. You might start out with a fairly low idea of what it's like for them and be surprised at how little you actually know about them. Think about it - when was the last time you sat down and asked your partner about things that were important for their happiness or sense of belonging?
Counseling will help partners who are experiencing emotional distance or each other’s reaction to stressors in life (such as family illness, loss or trauma) get back on the same page when it comes to the most important aspects of their relationship.
5. Discussing your relationship beyond the firefighting aspects of your life
Even if things are going pretty well already, counseling can provide an opportunity for you to shine a positive light on your relationship and all the good things it has to offer. This will help you see each other in a new way - it may bring out feelings of love, affection and desire you haven't felt in a long time.
Sure, we all have our ups and downs - if you're lucky, your counselor can help you get past some of that negativity. Maybe they can help keep the marriage from falling apart in the first place. At the very least, they'll work with both partners to find common ground so that together, they can move forward without resentment or anger getting in their way.
6. Helping you to become more understanding and compassionate toward one another
If you're lucky, there are things you love about your partner that have little to do with the way he or she looks or behaves. Most people are able to see past some of the less-important aspects of their partner and focus on what that person provides for their life.
Relationship counselling for young couples help partners understand one another better, which will help them appreciate each other's qualities and be grateful for what their partner brings to the table. This understanding will help partners to be more compassionate and less critical of one another. It may also help partners to see the world in a new light.
7. Helping you to speak up for yourself
In counseling, you'll be encouraged to express your true feelings, desires and thoughts. You won't feel like you always have to hold back or worry about saying the wrong thing. This is how important problems are able to bubble up and be addressed before they get out of control.
By openly expressing yourself, a lot of relationship problems will diminish in severity - big and small. If there's any hope of reconciliation, or if your marriage counselor wants to help you come up with constructive solutions that address the underlying issues causing relationship problems and conflict, then it's important for both partners to express themselves freely.
8. Helping you to understand your partner’s feelings
Part of being a great partner is understanding the feelings of your partner. For example, if you're hurt and upset about something that's happened between you and your spouse, then it can be helpful to communicate this to them (rather than bottle up those feelings). If they don't like what you did, then it's good for both of you to agree on how you're going to disagree or work together through a conflict.
Counseling can help couples face issues they may have avoided or suppressed due to work, family or other issues that are important in their lives. This is particularly important when it comes to talking about personal values and feelings. This can help partners understand why the other partner acts or reacts the way they do.
9. Helping you to approach things from a different perspective
If a couple has little trouble communicating with each other, then counseling can be a great way to learn more about what's going on in one another's life and understand how each person feels about their future together. This is an important aspect of being a partner in any relationship - if you love someone, then it's good to support them in any way you can. Besides, it's nice to share in each other's joys and triumphs.
Counseling will help you understand where your partner is coming from, which will allow you to identify your similarities and differences. This will give a whole new perspective on your relationship and the roles that each of you play. A counselor might also help each partner look at their own needs, which can help them see what they can contribute to their marriage or relationship.
Can couples counseling save my relationship? Yes and No! It's no secret that counseling can help marriages stay together. But just like anything else, when it comes to using counseling as a marriage "saving" remedy, you need to be realistic.
It's not a magic pill - it takes time and effort.
Counseling is not a quick fix that will take the pressure off of you and let you run wild on your spouse without any consequences. Instead of expecting things to go away once they get counseling, it's more likely that things may only be temporarily reduced - even if they don't come back right away.
If the counseling is helpful, then it's likely that the issues that need to be addressed will take longer to resolve. Don't forget that there are many more factors outside of marriage that affect your happiness and stability - not just what's going on between you and your spouse. The bottom line is that even if your marriage counselor thinks he or she can help you save your marriage, it's not a guarantee.
Written by Harshita Sevaldasani