“78 per cent of women and 83 per cent of men in intact relationships thought the problems they came to counselling about had changed for the better”
“Over 80 per cent of men and women would recommend counselling to others”
Research indicates that couples counselling is more successful when couples seek expert help early.
What is relationship counselling?
Relationship counselling is a general term used to describe any type of therapy involved in improving one’s companionships or one’s feelings about their social life. This means one can attend relationship counselling for issues regarding their family, friend or love life. They are taught to recognise any issues that repetitively arise, and are given advice on the best way to approach and deal with such difficulties. People may come to such therapy on their own, or coupled with their romantic partner, or with their family including siblings, children, parents, or other relatives.
Signs that your romantic relationship may be unhealthy:
- Struggle to communicate with your partner and feel your voice is often not heard?
- Have chronic conflicts that never seem to end?
- Have sexual issues or trouble creating intimacy?
- Have trouble trusting your partner because of previous infidelity?
- Have difficulty adjusting to parenthood or different attitudes towards child rearing?
- Have financial strain or have different attitudes towards managing your finances?
Relationship counselling is very broad and may consist of the following:
Couples & romantic relationship counselling:
Couples counselling is a type of therapy delivered to couples or individuals who want to reconcile differences and problems within one’s relationship. There are many reasons as to why couples may seek counselling including issues with infidelity, differing goals or priorities, differing parenting ideas, injuries or illnesses impacting the relationship, unsatisfactory sexual intimacy or mismatched sexual desire, boredom or unhappiness within the marriage, conflict or communication difficulties, or a combination of reasons. Couple counsellors can teach you a lot – like the best way to communicate with each other, help you understand each other’s needs, identify and address the problems creating relationship discord, increase emotional and physical intimacy, increase trust between each other, increasing one’s tolerance, identify any underlying psychological conditions contributing to or exacerbating one’s marriage problems, and more.
Pre-marital counselling teaches couples the skills necessary to maximise their marriage potential. It prepares two people for a lifelong commitment together, and helps to ensure that two people are in fact compatible. Individuals will gain a better understanding of their partner’s personality style, lifestyle expectations, communication style, interests, values and priorities, cultural background, parenting style and beliefs. At pre-marital counselling, the psychologist may identify any weaknesses in one’s relationship, and will equip couples with conflict-resolution skills to deal with such issues if they happen to arise in the future.
Divorce & separation counselling:
On average, in Australia couples divorce after approximately 12 years into their marriage, often separating when they have established a home together. Therefore, not only are divorces very upsetting, they also have many practical complications. In most instances the family house needs to be sold, individuals must relocate their home, have their belonging’s settled and finances re-organised, re-structure their social life, re-enter the unfamiliar dating scene, organise child custody arrangements and more. Divorce and separation counsellors can help you emotionally adjust to the separation, provide you with a safe environment to express all of your emotions, help ensure the negotiation process between partners runs smoothly, and help you figure out the best way to manage the children.
Same sex couples counselling:
Research demonstrates that homosexual relationships are more likely to break down compared to heterosexual relationships. While there are benefits of being in a homosexual relationship such as gender equality and fairly shared household chores, there are also challenges. For individuals interested in the same sex, it can be harder to find potential partners; they may find it difficult to cope with any negativity still existing in society around homosexuality; coming out to parents or introducing a same sex partner to parents, especially traditional parents, can be emotionally difficult and may cause familial complications; it is often more difficult to agree on how open one’s relationship should be; and the lack of legal recognition of marriage can lead to commitment difficulties especially during rocky periods. A relationship therapist will be able to help you tackle such problems, and help couples understand each other and their needs, communicate effectively, and have a fulfilling relationship.
Strengthening relationships counselling:
Some couples may not be experiencing any problems but choose to attend counselling to strengthen their emotional and physical connection. Counselling can enable you to explore new and exciting avenues with your partner, get to know your partner on a different level, enable your relationship to reach it’s full potential, and enable both partners to grow together.
Family counselling which is also referred to as ‘family focus therapy’ or ‘family systems therapy’ is really helpful during stressful times – such as when there is familial conflict; a child or family member is diagnosed with a mood or conduct disorder, psychiatric disorder, has issues with their body image, or drug-addicted; if there’s a separation or divorce; someone is diagnosed with a terminal or serious illness such as cancer. While a family therapist often consults a group of relatives at once, they may decide to do separate, one-on-one consultations with one or more family members. Attending family counselling can improve communication and interaction between family members, help family members understand mental illness and it’s effects, and aid individuals with their emotional and behavioural functioning.
How can Psylegal help you?
Relationship counselling is heavily dependent on the therapeutic relationship between the couple and the Psychologist. Hence, it is essential to select an experienced therapist who is well trained in all areas including romantic relationship counselling, pre-marital counselling, separation counselling, and family counselling.
At Psylegal, our experienced Psychologists have appropriate training to provide relationship counselling. Importantly, our Psychologists acknowledge both partners concerns and work towards building intimacy, and finding resolutions for couples while remaining impartial and available to both partners.
Remember, all relationships experience challenges and rough patches. The sooner you seek help, the sooner you can enjoy loving relationships with your partner or family. Call us for more information on our relationship counselling services on 1300 79 22 09