Is Relationship Counselling Worth It?
By Bryan Greene
If you are on this website and wondering whether, with all the difficulties in your relationship, counselling is going to be worth the time, effort and money, here are 4 important factors to consider:
1. When we fell in love and chose to be with the person we are with, this was neither an accident nor a mistake. It was, and still is, an opportunity for something great!
The thrust of life is to improve, to become greater, to evolve. And so life will always present us with opportunities to do so. We choose a particular partner because we instinctively and mostly unconsciously recognize the opportunity to grow and develop as a person. Imago Relationship Therapy can support you in this process and provide you with the necessary tools to grow and to significantly improve your relationship
2. It is in understanding the difficulties in our relationship and learning how to overcome them, that we grow and develop.
When we feel frustrated, upset or angry with something our partner has said or done, deeper down there is either hurt or fear or both. A sensitive spot in us has been triggered and we react to defend ourselves, usually by fighting back or withdrawing. In Imago Relationship Therapy we get to recognize and understand our sensitive spots, where they came from in our past and learn how to respond instead of reacting to our feelings and partners. This helps us to stay in relationship, despite our frustrated feelings, and attend to our sensitivities in a way that is healing and connecting.
3. The only person you can change in a relationship is yourself.
When our sensitive spots are triggered in a relationship, we try to get our partner to change the way they are behaving towards us. Our partners resist and try and change us in return, often because their sensitive spots are now being triggered. This, in Imago Relationship Therapy, is called the “power struggle”. We both want to be right and want our partners to feel, think and behave as we do instead of accepting that we are different and that there can be another perspective of the same situation. With the help of Imago Relationship Therapy we start to take responsibility for our feelings and to stop holding our partners responsible for them. We start to heal our sensitive spots and, as they become less sensitive, not only do we grow as a person, but we become less reactive and our relationship becomes more connected, harmonious and affectionate. Taking responsibility for your feelings becomes a win, win situation!
4. If you cannot resolve your difficulties in this relationship you will most probably take them into the next.
If we are unable to learn how to manage our feelings and reactivity differently, and to respond rather than react, we could end up separating. We will then most likely face the same challenges in our next relationship. Learning to relate is an ongoing process of healing and growth. Better to get the help you need from an Imago Relationship Therapist whilst you have the opportunity. The time, effort and money it takes will be well worth it and will no doubt save you time, effort and money separating and starting all over again.
By Bryan Greene