Even happily married couples can hit obstacles along the way. When this happens, couples can either go it alone and try to work through their issues themselves, or they can seek the guidance of a trained and experienced marriage counsellor. At times, only one partner is willing to attend couples counselling, sometimes because of logistical reasons (like childcare) and other times because the other person is not interested in working on the relationship.
This can feel really frustrating and discouraging for the person who is hoping to get some outside help with resolving their relationship concerns. People often ask us if it is any use to come to individual counselling when they are struggling primarily with relationship problems. We feel that it is.
Here are 3 ways individual counselling can help your marriage.
1. Identifying Behavioural Patterns
Most of us are aware of our partner’s behaviours but unaware of our own. And, most challenges faced by spouses is the result of the patterns between them. But when you only see half (or less) of the dysfunctional patterns, the problems in the marriage can seem confusing and overwhelming.
A therapist is trained to help individuals recognize their own negative patterns and how they manifest in a relationship. The result is both partners are empowered and able to take a step back during conflicts as they occur, preventing escalation.
As a bonus, a therapist can also point out the strengths and resources they find in your relationship so you can leverage and learn how to nourish them.
2. Change at the Root Level
Once your therapist has helped you identify negative patterns, they can then help you understand why they are happening and assist you in changing them. Most behavioural patterns are formed and ingrained when we are very young – before we become self-aware and before we’ve met our significant others.
Understanding why your partner reacts a certain way can create empathy and help communication. Once you’ve laid this solid foundation, your therapist can give you specific adjustments that can change your relationship for the better.
3. Deeper Intimacy
Learning new (healthier) ways you can relate to your partner, boundaries you can set or ways to communicate your needs more clearly to the other can often result a deeper intimacy and a understanding of yourself and the other in the relationship.
If you are struggling in your relationship, but can’t attend couples therapy right now, individual counselling might be right for you. Please call (902) 800-4627 to arrange a free 15 minute phone consultation call with a therapist to find out how we can help.