Counseling is about helping another human being realize that there is a way out of a difficult problem or situation. Sometimes, this is done by changing one’s perspective on it. It means helping people find the ways to effectively handle their situation and problems, or equipping them with tools to do so. Counseling may be given by a support group such as friends or done professionally by a trained therapist. Anyone can acquire counseling skills but it, is the trained therapist who invests time and energy learning how to maneuver a successful therapy session.
Relationship counseling involves giving advice to couples going through difficulties in their relationship. Couples who are thinking of giving up on their relationship are usually the ones who voluntarily go through counseling in the hopes of saving what they could save in their relationships.
For therapist doing relationship counseling or those who are sometimes asked for advice in solving relationship problems, there are a few guidelines to remember in doing the job. It is best to remember that you are not your client or friend that is undergoing the difficulty. You may empathize with the similar scenario but keep your emotional distance to avoid giving your client or friend your own understanding and point of view and advice. You must allow your friend or client to do the sorting of their own problem. As a therapist, you are there to listen and challenge your client or friend’s view of the situation and attempt to clear the image so it can be properly evaluated for possible concrete solutions.
Relationship counseling should help look at the relationship objectively. Couples should stop blaming each other and instead look at what is happening to them in the process. How the couple interacts with each other is the basis of how the therapist would be able to shed light on how to better help the couple look at themselves in the relationship.
Once the patterns of interacting with each other have been shown, relationship counseling aims at modifying the dysfunctional behavior. This stage is important in preventing more damaging actions as conflicts begin to escalate. It is the hope of relationship counseling that couples become more emotionally honest with each other. Emotional avoidance is a difficult pattern to overcome, but if both would start being open to expressing their feelings, then there is a great chance the relationship will survive. The ability to express their emotions will help the couple to communicate more effectively. It is usually the unmet needs of each other that start the downward spiral of any relationship. It is necessary that emotional awareness and positive communication be discussed so the couples can help themselves resolve their issues.
Relationship counseling must eventually promote the relationship strength for the couple. Other areas of the relationship where the couples are good at should also be discussed to emphasize that the relationship is not all problems. Couples should be able to make a positive narrative of their relationship to strengthen their partnership and help them move forward after a better understanding of each other.