Relationship Counselling Coomera

When relationships go through a rough patch, couples seek the help of a relationship counsellor and hope for a quick fix. It’s easy to get caught in the emotional whirlwind unfortunately there is no shortcuts to this process. Couples counselling can be a slow and steady process in order to rebuild a strong relationship.  To assist you, I have put together 5 healthy habits of couples going through counselling.

Most relationships—if not all—started with a bang; there’s just so much excitement going on and we have so much expectations and plans for the future. Great relationships take time to build, and so it can take even more time to rebuild. Just deciding to see therapist, even with the intention of getting help in your relationship, is the first step. Your therapist will help you identify what negative patterns of behaviour you get stuck in and teach you new relationship skills that will allow you to build a more solid foundation for friendship, regain trust, and rebuild commitment. But as a couple, you need to be fully committed to this process and understand that it takes time to fully master these new skills.

Why is couples counselling a slow process?

One reason is that it takes time to just process the feelings and emotions, and it’s completely understandable. Hurt, betrayal, anger, loneliness—these are big emotions and it’s not easy to make sense of them. For most people it can be difficult to express how they are feeling. How many people do you know, when asked “How are you?” give the blanket statement of “Good”. Typically when we used these statements we are disconnected from our emotions, usually because we don’t want to crack open the flood gates of built up emotion. It is natural to be scared of what is behind those flood gates, your therapist is there to guide and support you through this. Understanding your emotions beyond the “Good’s” and “Fine’s” opens the door for your partner to feel more empathy and have an understanding of what you are experiencing, which in turn builds  trust and commitment.


Healthy habits of couples going through counselling

In my past clients, I’ve observed a significant change in their relationships after undergoing (and continuing) counselling. Here are five of the healthy habits of couples going through the process of couples counselling:


1. Their relationship is free from external influences.

One of the most important things I advise my couples when they’re in therapy is that they need to lock down their relationship from outside influences—parents, in-laws, mates. These people may have the best intentions for you both but getting them involved in your relationship issues does more harm than good. They would offer their help and advice and think they’re experts in the relationship, and this can contaminate the counselling process.

Anything about the relationship should only be discussed in the therapy room with the therapist and your partner. This way, you can also prevent harmful gossip from spreading, especially when there are bigger issues involved such as infidelity or addiction.


2. They accept that they need to take things slow.

I tell my couples that it’s not good to try to rush things and fix them too quickly. Simply expecting your partner to get over it and move on isn’t going to work.  You need to allow each other time to learn how to identify what it is you and you’re partner are feeling and discover the reasons behind those feelings so you don’t build a wall between you.


3. They make an effort to rebuild trust.

When couples come to me for counselling, quite often there is betrayal involved. The thing with trust is that it takes years to build but seconds to destroy. It’s not easy to jump back in a relationship as if nothing happened. This feeling of betrayal and hurt comes with fear, fear that the same thing will happen again. So in rebuilding trust you need to take tiny, slow, steps, which, overtime, will slowly recreate that trust back into the relationship.


4. They learn to discuss heated topics properly.

Some couples make the mistake of pushing each other’s limits during a heated conversation, which often results in a shouting match that only makes things worse. In therapy, I encourage couples to make an agreement that any heated topic should be put on hold and be saved for the therapy room. Falling back to your old habits can risk damaging your relationship. Therapy will tackle these discussions in a way that it doesn’t get too overwhelming. In therapy, you will learn the skills to have the conversations that upset you or push your buttons. You will learn how to effectively handle these difficult discussions so they don’t turn into an emotional mess.


5. They are positive they can work things out.

The best, probably healthiest, habit I’ve noticed with couples undergoing therapy (and coming out successful) is that they are optimistic that they can improve their relationship no matter what. They believe they can go back to a place where their relationship is resilient to change. They are positive that they can learn the skills that will help them face the challenges together as a team. There is this sense of commitment that they want to be close to their partners and support each other.


Couples come into therapy with relationship issues that may be difficult to address, almost reaching crisis point and on the verge of breaking down. But I help them see the light after the tunnel that, yes, counselling may take time, but things will get better in the end. And you will want to really work things out because you believe in your partner and you value your relationship.


Fiona Stevenson

Fiona Stevenson counselling psychotherapist Gold Coast

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