Relationships are a key part of our lives. They bring happiness and support, but that doesn’t mean they’re easy. When we encounter problems in our relationships, it can be difficult to know where to turn. Talking to a relationship counsellor can really make a difference.
Relationships – whether romantic or platonic – can bring us a great deal of happiness and fulfilment. Strong connections with our loved ones, friends and even our coworkers allow us to be at our happiest, healthiest and most productive.
For many, these relationships offer an important source of advice, guidance, love and support. Research has even suggested that our relationships can significantly impact our well-being, with proven links showing that relationships can lower our rates of anxiety and depression, make us more likely to experience higher self-esteem and greater empathy, and can even lead to us trusting more. A strong, healthy relationship could even help you to live a longer life.
However, fulfilling and supportive relationships don’t come automatically. They require good social skills and a great deal of work, time and energy to last and stay strong. Sometimes our most meaningful relationships can break down, and this can be due to a number of reasons. But the loss of this connection can be difficult, leaving you feeling lonely, disappointed, or even confused as to what may have gone wrong.
How can counselling help with relationship issues?
Relationship counselling can help you not only improve your relationship but also improve the way you relate to and understand those around you. Working with a relationship therapist can help you to break free from old, unhealthy patterns of behaviour, and to find new ways of expressing yourself and your feelings.
Relationship issues can be attended to as an individual, or in the form of couples counselling, a type of counselling that utilises talking therapy in a way that is designed to help two people. It really depends on you, and what it is you want to gain from counselling.
Sometimes, a relationship can leave you feeling crowded and like you’ve lost your sense of self – you may benefit from individual sessions, to have the opportunity to talk in a safe space, free from judgement. Other times, you may both benefit from talking in a zone that is out of your usual lives – somewhere private, safe and completely neutral. It may not always be an issue in the relationship, but if one of you is struggling, it could be negatively impacting your partner and in turn, your relationship.
Trust, respect and communication are three key factors that lead to a successful, happy
relationship. When something happens that changes or impacts one of these factors, the relationship can start to break down. Sometimes relationships aren’t meant to be and you separate, and that’s OK. If you want to work through it and rebuild your bond, that’s OK too.
Counselling can help you work through a breakup or separation, help you rebuild a relationship and help you better understand yourself.
Does relationship counselling work?
As with all types of therapy, relationship counselling requires you to feel ready to admit that there may be a problem, and be willing to try and work towards talking about and trying to fix any issues. Relationship counselling aims to help you to better see and understand what is happening in your relationship, to figure out what you would like to be different, and enable you to start making those changes to get your relationship to where you want it to be.
Couples counselling can help you to gain new perspectives about each other and your relationship, but it isn’t a magic cure. You will need to put in the time, be honest, open, and brave, as you will likely be discussing issues that you both feel strongly about, in ways that may feel uncomfortable as you work through them.