Couples counselling can be a powerful tool in improving your relationship. Each counsellor may take a slightly different approach but to give you an idea of what to expect some of the major themes and topics that will be explored are given below.
- Who are we? Exploring who we are as a couple
These conversations may include – falling in love, friendship, caring and affection, acceptance, empathy, emotional intimacy and rituals. This allows you as a couple to reflect on falling in love, remembering what it was like to be best friends, how you showed each other care, affection, acceptance and empathy, how you enjoyed rituals and made time for intimacy and fun
- Who am I? Exploring who each of you are and what you bring to the relationship
These conversations include – childhood, family of origin roles, temperament, influences, spirituality, values and how each of you think. This theme allows you as a couple to reflect on the culture in your family of origin and the role you developed in your family. You will learn about your individual temperaments, talk about the people who have had an influence on you, what role spirituality plays in your life and what each of you value. You will learn more about how each other think so you can challenge each others thoughts and assumptions that may be getting in the way of the relationship.
- How do we work? Exploring dynamics of the relationship
These conversations include – how we communicate, conflict, defensiveness, sexual intimacy, trust, fidelity and boundaries, parenting, staying in sync. During these conversations you’ll learn about any blocks you may have to healthy communication, how to handle conflict in a respectful and constructive way, how to let go of defensiveness so you can hear your partner, learn how to talk about sexual intimacy. You may discuss areas in the relationship that require trust, importance of understanding how you define fidelity and what the boundaries are in the relationship. You may identify any unhealthy instructional styles you engage in so you can create a more fair, balanced and mature style. This may also involve defining the traits that you believe an ideal parent has.
- What do we want? Working together to strengthen the relationship
These conversations include – romance, joy, gratitude, respect, apologies, forgiveness, challenges, setbacks, loss, relationships saving accounts, our life path, past, present, future and keeping connected. These themes allow you to focus on what you need to strengthen your relationships going forward. This includes keeping romance alive, engaging in what brings you joy, experiencing gratitude and showing each other respect through words and activities. There is a focus on understanding the importance of apologies and forgiveness, helping each other cope with challenges, setbacks and loss. You may share your dreams and goals for the future and look at what you have learned on the journey and make a commitment to continue on a connected relationship path.
You may begin your journey speaking with a counsellor or with our self-help Couples Communication Workbook: https://eapassist.com.au/treatment-workbooks/