Relationships refer to our connection and interactions with others where there is a strong, close association. In the case of a couple, we are looking at a relationship that includes emotional and/or physical intimacy.
Relationships can be incredibly rewarding as we learn about each other, build trust, laugh together, share experiences and information, learn about ourselves, encourage and help each other, work together as a team, and grow closer.
A relationship can also be incredibly challenging as each individual tries to manage their own concerns (e.g. personal history, addiction, self-esteem, stress, assertiveness) and respond to the other individual who has their own set of concerns. Even in cases where we are dealing with very healthy individuals, negotiating can be complicated as we try to reach solutions that satisfy all parties. While we can expect some conflict or points of disagreement in our closest relationships, we want to be aware of signs that there is a bigger problem in the relationship.
Using a tone that you would not use with others
Raising voice/ yelling during arguments
Cursing and/or using put downs
Sharing, laughing together
Supporting each other, spending time together
Showing love & concern
Feeling loved, appreciated
As with any problem, generally the earlier you address it, the better. In the case of couple’s counselling, it is often easier for the couple to hear and appreciate each other, and communicate in a kind manner when they are still feeling good about their partner and their relationship. This makes change and compromise much easier as they are approaching counselling with a cooperative spirit.
Counselling provides a safe place to help the couple express how they are feeling and identify what they need in the relationship. We look at the patterns, and seek to understand the emotions (hurt, anger, disappointment) that they are experiencing.
In cases where only one partner is willing to attend counselling they will still benefit from the support, insight, and skills they will learn to help change the current patterns in the relationship.
For more information or to book a counselling session, contact Heather Sutherland.