People come for relationship or couples counseling at different stages in their lives. There is no “right” time to seek help. My clients have ranged from newly-married couples to couples who have been together for 30 years or more. Any relationship is a work in progress. It is easy to fall into set patterns of behaviour and to take one another for granted.
An American psychologist called Dr John Gottman who spent over 40 years conducting research on marital stability found that “happy couples” are not necessarily more clever or astute than anyone else. Dr Gottman’s research showed that such couples are simply better at managing their negative thoughts and feelings about one another and have found effective ways of keeping alive the positive vibes in their relationship. Keeping those positive vibes at the forefront of any relationship requires constant attention and work. This is what Dr Gottman describes as “an emotionally intelligent marriage”.
I have great respect for couples who come to me because they are resilient and persistent. They have hope even in the most painful and hurtful circumstances. They want something different in their marriage, in their lives and this involves hard work. And this is where I come in. It is often easier to have difficult or painful conversations in the presence of a trained professional. I not only listen but I make sure that couples listen to and hear one another (something that is hard to do if you are angry or hurting).
Couples Counseling FAQs
Is marriage counseling effective?
Marriage counseling (also referred to as couples counseling) can be very effective if both parties are equally committed to working out their issues. It is not always the case that two individuals will see eye to eye on everything but as long as there is some common ground and agreement, marriage counseling can help couples work through issues in their relationship and create a strong bond.