We previously published a blog post discussing five things relationship therapy can do for you. It was so well received that we decided a follow-up post was in order. Below are five more things to consider if you are thinking about taking advantage of relationship therapy at our Rye, New York counseling center.
Please bear in mind one of the main points we made in the previous post: counseling cannot fix relationship problems in and of itself. Broken relationships are only made better when everyone involved agrees to find solutions and work together to make them reality.
With the preliminaries out of the way, here are five more things relationship therapy can do for you:
1. Teach How to Talk Respectfully with Others
More than one couple’s counseling session has gone south thanks to two people who could not speak to one another respectfully. Remember that talking is a big part of counseling. In fact, it is the number one tool that counselors use to help people solve their relationship problems.
It’s important for clients to learn how to talk with one another respectfully. Facilitating that sort of environment involves a combination of listening, speaking, and collaborating. A good counselor is able to set a respectful tone and then encourage clients to remain respectful throughout the conversation.
2. Teach and Reinforce a Proper Attitude
Along with learning to be respectful, many people involved in troubled relationships have to learn what constitutes an appropriate attitude. What do we mean by this? Simply put, broken relationships are nearly impossible to fix when those involved expect that the only solution involves the other person changing.
Relationships are two-way streets. Moreover, you cannot fix someone else. Telling them how they need to fix themselves will not work either. You can only control your own thoughts, words, and actions. A counselor can help you see that, thereby helping you adjust any destructive attitudes you might be holding on to.
3. Teach How to Identify and Solve Problems
One of the most important skills couples can learn in relationship therapy is that of identifying and solving problems. Remember the underlying point of these two blog posts? Counselors cannot fix relationship problems. Only those involved in the relationships can. However, a counselor can teach how to identify and solve problems collaboratively.
Identifying problems is the obvious first step. You don’t know what to fix if you don’t know what’s broken. But once problems are identified, it must be understood that solutions can always be found. Couples need to learn how to collaborate to find and implement them.
4. Remind of Past Successes
Experienced relationship counselors have a secret weapon: reminding clients of past successes. The strategy behind this is fairly straightforward. When couples remember how they succeeded in the past, they can draw on those experiences to help them in both the present and future. Remembering the past also acts as motivation to work together on improving the relationship. When couples want what they once had, they are motivated to work harder.
5. Gauge Relationship Progress
Rounding out the ten items described in our two post is gauging progress. That’s one of the counselor’s chief responsibilities. Gauging progress helps couples see that they actually are moving forward. This creates optimism in the relationship therapy scenario, optimism that can be self-perpetuating over time.
Relationship therapy is just one of the services we provide at Relationships & More. If you are struggling in any of your relationships, feel free to visit us in Rye. We want to help you and your relationship partners get back on track.