Relationship therapy in Westchester County is one of the things we specialize in. We help couples going through tough times. We come alongside parents and children whose relationships are suffering. Just about any troubled relationship can be addressed in a counseling session. However, counselors cannot fix the problems clients bring to them.
The primary goal for couple’s counseling, marriage counseling, adolescent therapy, etc. is to assist with the healing process. Unfortunately, there is no magic pill counselors can prescribe to fix all relationship problems. But don’t lose hope. There are plenty of helpful things relationship counseling can do. Five of them are discussed below.
1. Identify Relationship Positives
Counselors and therapists are trained to identify and address deficiencies. In other words, they know how to spot the negatives in a troubled relationship. That is both fine and necessary. But the most successful counselors know that the negatives only constitute one half the equation. Positives are the other half.
Relationship therapy can help identify those positives. And once identified, counselors can help clients make the most of them. By promoting the positives while simultaneously working on the negatives, relationships can be improved. But if you ignore the positives, fixing a broken relationship only gets harder.
2. Provide a Roadmap for Improvement
Relationship therapy is a lot like an infrastructure project. If you are building a highway from point A to point B, you put it on the map first. Otherwise, you don’t know where to build the road. The same is true for improving troubled relationships.
Counseling provides a roadmap for improvement. It identifies where you are, where you want to be, and how to get from here to there. Often times, couples cannot see the roadmap because their problems are too overwhelming. Yet counselors can break through the difficulties to provide clear direction.
3. Teach New Life Skills
More often than not, solving relationship problems revolves around developing the necessary skills for addressing conflict. Let’s face it, it’s impossible to maintain a long-term relationship without experiencing occasional conflicts. How those conflicts are addressed largely determines the state of a relationship. Therefore, counseling seeks to teach and reinforce those skills that make handling conflicts easier.
New life skills might include strategies for keeping emotions in check. They might include ways to have constructive conversations, strategies for expressing how you are feeling, etc. Even something as practical as learning to balance a checkbook could go a long way toward avoiding financial conflicts that could otherwise jeopardize a relationship.
4. Reduce Emotional Responses
Next, relationship therapy can help reduce the emotional responses people have while in conflict. This is important for the simple fact that highly charged emotions can lead to both words and actions those involved end up regretting. A good counselor has the ability to step in, as an outside party, and help clients look at problems more logically. By keeping emotions under control, rational solutions can be explored.
5. Provide Opportunities for Growth
It is quite normal for counselors to give clients homework between sessions. The goal is not to provide busywork. It is to give clients growth opportunities. In other words, the best way to grow from a counseling session is to put into practice what was learned. Likewise, counselors sometimes give homework as way of teaching what cannot be learned during sessions.
Hopefully, you have learned some things from this post. Just remember that relationship counselors cannot fix broken relationships. Only the people in those relationships can. The counselor’s job is to facilitate those solutions they and their clients come up with together.