Relationship Counselling Pros and Cons
Many people who are thinking of having couples counselling want to work out how this would benefit them. Here’s a few things that come to mind from the perspective of an Imago Relationship Therapist.
So what are the pros and cons of relationship counselling?
Couples Counselling will provide a safe environment for you and your partner to talk to each other.
Safety is a key feature of Imago Relationship Therapy. An Imago Relationship Therapist is trained to a high standard to create a safe environment for both of you to explore where you’re getting stuck in the relationship.
The relationship counselling you have will teach you how to have safe conversations outside of the session too, giving you a different, more productive way of talking to each other.
Marriage counselling will help you see the woods for the trees.
Having a well trained couples counsellor to help you and your partner work out what’s going on in your relationship can be incredibly useful. It’s very easy to get over-invested in your position and not know how to step back and see what’s really happening between you.
A well trained Imago Relationship Therapist will help you both press the pause button and create space, so you can see what’s really going on in your relationship.
Often it’s not the surface issues that you bring to couples counselling that are at the heart of the problem in your relationship. Your therapist will help you dig deeper and make links to unmet needs in the relationship that you may not even be aware of. They will then teach you how to ask for what you need in a safe and connecting way.
Your Couples Counsellor will help you bring the joy back into your relationship.
Harville Hendrix, the founder of Imago Relationship Therapy, says “Energy Follows Attention”. If you focus on the negative aspects of your relationship then your relationship will feel negative.
If you have marriage counselling with an Imago Relationship Therapist they will help you bring joy back into the relationship. They will do this by helping you explore the ways in which you both feel loved and cared about, and encourage you to do those things rather than focus on the things that aren’t going well.
This ultimately comes down to you as a couple though. If you’re not willing to treat each other with care and gentleness then the therapist can’t make you!
Couples Counselling will give you direction in your relationship.
A key part of relationship counselling with and Imago Therapist is the Relationship Vision. This is where you and your partner will sit down and discuss what you want your relationship to look like. It’s done in a safe and systematic way and allows you to create a direction for your relationship so you both know and agree on what you’re working towards.
After all, you plan lots of things in life; your career, your holidays, your social life, yet if you’re like most people, you’ve probably not spent any time at all planning what you want your relationship to look like with your partner.
Relationship Counselling costs money.
Not a big shock to you I’m sure, but a good Imago Relationship Therapist will charge according to the experience and training they have had. You’re paying for the quality and the positive impact that they will undoubtedly have on your relationship.
Unfortunately there are plenty of therapists out there that call themselves relationship therapists but have had no specific training to work with couples at all.
With a Certified Imago Relationship Therapist (click here to find one in your area), you can be sure that they have been trained to a high standard and they have spent over 100 hours of training purely on working with couples.
It is also worth noting that therapists in training can often offer relationship therapy at a lower cost.
Also remember, a divorce lawyer will charge two or three times what an Imago Relationship Therapist does an hour! Spend your money wisely!
Relationship Counselling will demand that you do things differently.
There’s no point turning up to marriage counselling and ignoring what the Imago Relationship Therapist has to say. That’s the equivalent of having a personal trainer at the gym and spending the rest of the week sat on the sofa watching Netflix and eating pies – you’re going to have to get stuck in!
What’s this look like? Treating your partner with kindness and love; removing negativity in the relationship; talking about the things that you are struggling with safely rather than shouting or withdrawing.
All of these things can be learnt and it might feel a bit odd when you start doing things different for the first time. But before you know it you will start seeing your new behaviour paying off as you feel closer and more connected to your partner.
Marriage Counselling demands that you take responsibility for your part in the mess.
It’s not nice to realise that you are at least 50% of the problem! That might sting a bit! But it’s a reality. Any relationship is a co-created dynamic – it takes two to tango. During the couples counselling sessions with your Imago Relationship Therapist you will be encouraged to look at your part in the conflict and take responsibility for it. Once you’ve identified what it is it will be up to you to change your behaviour and move toward the relationship.
Chances are, whatever you were doing in the first place was simply a defence against the pain you were experiencing in the relationship. Your Imago Relationship Therapist will teach you to Dialogue about what’s going on for you so your partner can understand and validate your feelings.
As you change and your partner validates and empathises with you, your relationship will shift towards the positive and you’ll feel connected again.
And that after all, is what having couples counselling is all about!