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Marriage Rescue: Overcoming ten deadly sins in failing relationships.
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one partner thinks marital or couple counselling is a good idea, more often than
not, the other partner is less than enthusiastic. Getting couples to agree on
counselling is often grist for the mill of couple conflict.
are several reasons why couples can’t agree on counselling, including:
minimization or denial of the problem; sense of shame or embarrassment; belief
that matters should be sorted out solely between the couple; concern for being
blamed; loss of power or control; worry that the counsellor may inflame matters;
it is amazing anyone gets to couple counselling, given the forces against it.
when one’s most significant relationship is in turmoil, counselling may be
just the ticket to mitigate the problem and return satisfaction.
is a colloquial definition of crazy: doing the same thing over and over again
and expecting a different outcome. If you are banging your own head against the
wall of unresolved marital/couple conflict trying the same
ol’, same ol’ solutions to no avail, then you are definitely a candidate
for couple counselling.
couple counselling should be a joint consideration, it is common that one
partner takes the lead and initiates service. This is reminiscent of a parent
taking their child to the dentist. However, unless someone takes the lead in
these situations, the problem not only will likely remain, but is at risk of
you think of a problem as something altering the course of your life together,
the longer it continues the more off-base you are from your intended course.
The more off-base, the more intense the issues and the more difficult the
road back. Getting help earlier typically leads to faster resolutions. Couples
are encouraged to seek help sooner before the weight of the problems causes the
relationship to collapse on itself.
for counselling service providers, people can consider a number of options,
including their physician, clergy, public services, private services paid by
employee benefits and self-pay private services. The expertise of the service
provider will vary widely between practitioners and it is vital for couples to
ascertain the expertise of the service provider to be assured of appropriate
service. Further, the degree of confidentiality can differ between providers and
their settings, so this too is an area of reasonable exploration.
process of any counselling includes a general “getting to know you phase”,
problem exploration, solution identification, strategy implementation and follow
up. The first several stages of counselling can take place over several standard
50 minute meetings or in a lengthier single session. Ask your service provider
about their approach to the counselling process.
for cost, be it emotional or financial, the real question to ask yourself is,
can we afford not to go? If you believe things will not resolve on their own or
will resolve poorly or will worsen, then the cost of inaction can carry more
risk than the perceived risk or upset of attending for counselling.
can be scary. People must face their issues, take responsibility for their
contribution to distress and look to altering behaviour which can pose a
counsellor is there to help with all those issues. Their only concern is
improving your relationship and well-being.
do you know when you really need counselling: When you feel desperate or you are
contemplating separating; you are depressed or anxious about your issues; you
are contemplating an affair – emotional or physical; you feel distant or
isolated; you lack intimacy, emotional or sexual; you suffer abuse in any form;
one or other person simply says, “Let’s go”.
my grandmother used to say, “Don’t throw it away until after you’ve seen
if it can be fixed.” If you think you need counselling, you will likely
benefit from it.
Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
Direnfeld, MSW, RSW
Call Gary for your next conference and for expert opinion on family matters. Services include counselling, mediation, assessment, assessment critiques and workshops.
For information on Direnfeld's book, Raising Kids Without Raising Cane, click here.
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