Relationships and marriages generally begin in a very happy place, or at least with the expectation that we’ll be happy. When these initial feelings change over time, we may need support to move forward.
When love is in the air, it’s often the most joyous time of our lives. But when this honeymoon period is over, we may feel disappointed and unsure what to do. We can’t understand why our partner behaves the way they do – why they have become so annoying and infuriating? We just want things to return to the way they were in the beginning, to how we hoped they would be.
At these times, relationship counselling or marriage counselling can strengthen and deepen your relationship in a way that will benefit you individually and as a couple.
Marriage Counselling / Relationship Counselling – Who Can Benefit?
Marriage counselling is not just for married couples. All kinds of couples – new, old, married, unmarried, gay or straight – can find benefit in relationship counselling or couples counselling.
At Mindful Psychology, we have psychologists and counsellors with specific training and expertise in couples counselling at our rooms in Wooloongabba, Brisbane.
- De facto or married couples
- Individuals who aren’t sure whether this person is right for them
- Same sex couples
- Blended families
- Culturally diverse couples
- Couples where one or both partners have a mental illness or substance abuse issue
- Couples who want help following affairs and/or infidelity
- Couples with a history of childhood or adult trauma
- Issues with parenting or infertility
- Couples who have decided to separate and want to end their relationship in a healthy way
We also offer pre-marriage counselling.
It is worth remembering that the time of greatest gain in terms of wisdom and inner strength, is often that of greatest difficulty.Dalai Lama
When Should You Seek Couples Counselling?
You may have reached a point where you feel you’ve tried everything to improve your relationship and it’s not working. It can be very difficult to be objective about the problems and the ways you might both be contributing. Sometimes it takes an outside party to bring a fresh perspective and solutions to old problems.
Most of us have never been taught the communication skills and conflict resolution skills that can help to calm us down, to find solutions, and to start to feel more positive about each other again.
If you think your relationship could benefit from seeing a professional couples counsellor, the sooner you reach out the easier it will be to make the required changes.
Negative communication patterns can become deeply entrenched over time, but a skilled psychologist who is trained in relationship and marriage counselling can help you to identify the issues and support you to find the best way forward.
What If My Partner Doesn’t Want To Attend?
If you’re concerned about something that’s happening in your relationship but your partner doesn’t want to attend counselling, it is likely to be helpful to attend on your own to discuss what you might do from there. Sometimes getting support and suggestions from a therapist can improve your situation and help to provide clarity. At other times the psychologist may be able to suggest ways of approaching the topic with your partner to encourage them or reduce their fears or worries about attending counselling together.
Either way, if you’re upset or worried about the way your relationship is currently functioning, it’s likely that speaking with a psychologist with expertise in relationship counselling is going to be beneficial.
What To Expect From Marriage Counselling?
As each couple is different and their situation is unique, your therapist will base their interventions on your particular needs and goals for your relationship. Most couples attend the first session together to provide the psychologist with general information about what your concerns are, from both people’s perspectives. After the first session, it might be helpful for each person to attend individually for one session and then continue to attend together. Sometimes this is unnecessary and it will be more beneficial to attend each session together. Your counsellor will help you to decide which option is best for your individual circumstances.
Some people feel strongly that they would like to see the therapist alone first. This is OK as long as their partner is given equal time alone with the counsellor to avoid any perceived bias. In every circumstance, the relationships counsellor will do their best to ensure that each person feels equally heard, valued and understood.
How Relationship Counselling Can Help?
Whilst mindfulness might be one of the strategies that we use to help with conflict, there are many other ways our professional couples therapists can help. The selected modalities will be tailored to your specific situation. We can help you to feel heard and understood by your partner, and to learn ways to feel connected and close again. We can help you to heal from past wounds in your relationship and to learn how to re-build your relationship so that it’s the sort of relationship you and your partner want.
You can be assured of being treated non-judgmentally and with warmth, respect and acceptance. We will regularly review your progress to make sure we’re heading in the direction you want to be. We look forward to helping both of you to explore, heal and flourish.