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Common Reasons why Couples Seek Counselling

Posted on 2 June, 2015 at 19:20



1. Communication has become negative.


If communication has become negative between a couple, or has broken down completely, it is difficult to break the cycle of miscommunication and misinterpretation without help. Couples repeat the cycle of negative communication over and over.

Negative communication can include anything that leaves one partner feeling depressed, insecure, disregarded, or wanting to withdraw from the conversation. This can also include the tone used in the conversation. Sometimes it’s not always what you say, but how you say it.

Negative communication includes any communication that leads to hurt feelings, emotional or physical abuse, and nonverbal communication.

2. When one or both partners consider having an affair or one partner has had an affair.

There is no magic formula for recovering from an affair. But if both individuals are committed to the therapy process and are being honest, the relationship can be salvaged. It does take commitment and a willingness to forgive and move forward.


3. When the couple seems to be just occupying the same space.

When couples become more like roommates than a romantic couple, this may indicate a need for counselling. If there is a lack of communication, conversation and intimacy or any other elements that the couple feel are important, if they feel they just “co-exist,” this may be an indication that a skilled relationship therapist can help guide the couple back. The needs of each person are not the same. It is important to establish what needs are very high on your partner’s list and communicate what is very important to you. When your needs are being met in your relationship, the bond is strengthened.


4. When the partners do not know how to resolve their differences.

When a couple begins to experience discord and they are aware of the discord, knowing is only half the battle. Many times I have heard couples say, “We know what’s wrong, but we just don’t know how to fix it.” This is a perfect time to get a third party involved. If a couple is stuck, a skilled relationship therapist is able to help them explore the issues in a neutral setting, and share many tried and tested tools and techniques that have moved other couples forward.


5. When one partner begins to act out on negative feelings.

If needs are not been met and communication is negative, Behaviours might begin to reflect how the person is feeling. Couples can become spiteful and vindictive. They may resort to using money or children to get at their partner. Counselling tools and techniques can help the couple sort out negative feelings and find better ways to express them.


6. When the only resolution appears to be separation.

When a couple disagrees or argues, a short break from each is sometimes helpful. However, if this break turns into an overnight stay away from home or eventually leads to a temporary separation, this may indicate a need for counselling. Spending time away from home does not usually resolve the situation. Instead, it reinforces the thought that time away is helpful, often leading to more absences. When the absent partner returns, the problem is still there, but often avoided because time has passed.


7. When a couple is staying together for the sake of the children. If a couple feels it is wise to stay together for the sake of the children, it may help to involve an objective third party. Often couples believe that they are doing the right thing when staying together. But this may be detrimental to the children.

Children are generally very intuitive and intelligent. No matter how couples may think they are able to fake their happiness, most children are able to tell.

If the couple is able through counselling, to resolve issue and move toward a positive, healthy relationship, this may be the best decision for all involved

Not all relationships are salvageable. In the process of couples counselling, some couples may discover it is healthier for them to part. But, for those relationships that can be salvaged, for the couples willing to commit to the process, couples and relationship counselling will give you invaluable tools and techniques to clearly listen and be heard.

Communication is key.