What Does Relationship Counseling Involve?

What Does Relationship Counseling Involve

“Love is a two-way street, constantly under construction.”

-Carroll Brynt.

Romantic relationships are one of the most beautiful relationships in a person’s life. Being with someone who loves you, cares for you, is ready to face all challenges with you, is a great feeling. But it isn’t always rosy. Just like one accepts the good and adventurous part in a relationship, it is equally important to try to acknowledge the part which might be dull one. Accepting the good and bad in a relationship and the individuality of self and that of our partner is an essential ladder in any relationship, only then can you go forward happily!

Often, the vulnerable part, the part that gives one distress in a relationship, is not handled well by the couples and here comes the relationship counseling in picture!

Starting Relationship Counseling:

“How much do you think an individual should contribute in a relationship?” asked the therapist. To which the client said “It should be 50-50”. “But why not 100-100?” asked the therapist.

Usually, the rifts in relationships are caused because both the individuals are not giving in their 100% in the relationship. The most heard dialogues in a therapist’s cabin for relationship counseling is “Why should I do it when he/she doesn’t even listen to me?”. Starting relationship counseling will give the couples an idea of how they can contribute to their relationship better, and most importantly, how they can take care of their own individuality in the relationship.

Relationship counseling isn’t ‘he-said, she said’ game. Rather, the counselor sheds light on the vulnerabilities and weaknesses of the individuals in a couple and help them understand how to take the relationship forward even with these weaknesses. Similarly, there is no right or wrong when it comes to counselling. Hence, the counselor would not take sides of any of the individual, rather the focus would be on making both the individuals understand each other better and make them efficient for resolving conflict.

Related Blog: Relationship Counselling: All You Need To Know

What Topics Are Covered in The First Session?

All of us cannot be exactly same in our behavioural or personality patterns, similarly all the therapists do not have a fixed or same ways to conduct a session. Even so, most of the initial sessions are conducted in a way to make both the clients feel comfortable and for the counsellor to gain important information from both the individuals about their relationship.

Sometimes, the counsellor might suggest an individual session for both the partners, instead of a joint session. This is done to understand the individuals in a better way and it also gives the individuals a way of comfort when they know that their partner won’t be listening to that conversation and hence, they can open up easily, without being judged.

Here are a few steps that are covered in the first session of relation counselling:

1. Introduction:

Initially, the counsellor introduces themselves for the couple to understand how well equipped the counsellor is. As clients, the couple who come in for relationship counselling have rights to know about their therapist’s educational qualification.

2. Establishing Rapport:

Explaining an unknown person some of the most intimate and at the same time, the most distressing things about your relationship can be overwhelming. It is therefore very important that the clients become very comfortable with their therapist and have no doubt of being judged or that their information will be leaked outside, to their partner or to anyone else. For achieving these factors, it is essential that the therapist establishes a good rapport with the couple in the first session itself.

3. Case history:

This is the most important part in the counselling sessions. Case history can be taken in a traditional way where the therapist asks the couple questions and try to find out what issues they are having by the answers that they give or it can also be done by letting the couple talk freely without asking any questions and without any interruption. Both the ways give the therapist an idea of what the root cause of the problem might be. Case history taking can go up to 2nd session as well, depending how much the couple is willing to share.

How Are The Sessions Conducted?

It is a strong belief that a person can find out the solution to their problems, what they might face difficulty with is trying to navigate through the solution. The counselor guides the couple to navigate through their journey of ups and downs which makes them understand what they themselves might lack individually; it might shed light on the partner’s perspective making the couple more understanding of each other. The crux of the sessions is to understand where the problem or the hurt and distress might be coming from and work accordingly.

Now to work on the issues, the counselor might try different ways and activities to engage the couple which will help them in progressing. The ways can be talk therapy, individual sessions, joint sessions, role plays, activities to be done together in the session and homework to be done individually and together in the absence of the counselor.  Since counseling is a process, it is hard to tell how many sessions a counselor might need to conduct for each couple. However, the counselor informs the couple at the middle and terminating stages so that the couple can prepare themselves for the same.

How Can a Couple Benefit from Relationship Counselling?

Counselling provides a safe space for the couples to talk about their insecurities, doubts, vulnerabilities which otherwise is not possible because of the fear of being judged if they open up to a friend or a family member. The counsellor works collaboratively with couple to help them understand where these insecurities and doubts might be coming from and how they can deal with it.

Relationship counselling provides you tools for effective communication, better understanding and decision making when it comes to the relationship and it also helps you to understand your role in the romantic relationship.

Here are few pointers which will help you understand how relationship counselling can be beneficial:

  • The most experienced problem in a relationship is not knowing how to communicate properly. Most of the times the things that are said between the couple are often misunderstood by one of the partners which leads to conflict. Relationship counseling helps couple to understand how to put their points forth so that they can be understood properly by the partner.
  • It helps to make the individuals understand that nobody is perfect and expecting a perfect or an ideal relationship can be dangerous. Relationship counseling helps the couple to view the reality of the relationship and accept it.
  • The counselor helps the couple to understand the concept of femininity and masculinity which is of utmost importance. This may help the couple to accept that no matter what, a woman might behave in a certain way and a man might behave in a certain way because that is how they are made, biologically.
  • Intimacy can be another issue that a couple might face after a few years of relationship, once the honeymoon period is over. The counseling can help them to improve intimacy and help them understand the concept of romanticism.
  • Other person’s behavior is not in our control, what is in our control is our behavior. Even in a relationship, one cannot control their partner and so looking inward and trying to improve yourself can help to maintain a good romantic relationship.
  • Personal boundaries are a must for any healthy relationship, and so it is for the romantic relationship. The counseling sessions will help the couple to maintain their personal boundaries without the other partner holding grudges for the same.
  • Undergoing relationship counseling sessions makes the couple regain their lost emotional compatibility. The counselor, through various tasks and activities tries to make the couple understand the importance of emotional intimacy and emotional acceptance of one another.
  • Relationship counseling also helps and individual to clarify their feelings towards their partner and helps them to decide whether or not to continue with the relationship.
  • Relationship counseling also helps to promote self-awareness in the couples.

Related Blog: Benefits of Relationship Counseling

Do You Need Relationship Help?

Couple may be apprehensive and face trepidation while approaching for relationship counselling, which is completely understood. But do not let that make you step down from starting relationship counselling sessions.

We understand your every need and are here to help you with your relationship difficulties.  Book an appointment with our relationship counsellor, who is expert in the field and well equipped to handle your issues.

We are happy to announce that we take in-person and online counselling sessions so you can reach out to us from any part of India!

To book your appointment with our counsellor, you can call us on – 02071171669 or book appointment here with our  relationship counselorto discuss your next steps.


About Author

Shriya Rajendra Khalate

MA Clinical Psychology, Psychological Counselor

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