What is relationship counselling?
Pathways to find the right support for your relationship.
How relationship counselling can help strengthen and deepen your relationships.
What is relationship counselling?
Relationship counselling, also known as couples therapy or marriage counselling, is a specialised practice that helps couples better understand their differences and/or perpetual conflicts to build a stronger foundation of trust and connection.
Many people don’t realise that relationship counselling isn’t only for romantically involved couples. Think about the various relationships you have in your life. It is suitable to assist you with any of these. For example:
- Parent and teen/adult child
- Work colleagues
Essentially, relationship counselling is suitable for anyone who is willing and feeling safe to explore conflict or challenges in their relationship, or those seeking to improve communication and maintain a healthy relationship.
Among many other things, we teach effective communication as a foundation of our work. This allows couples to communicate in a safe and confidential environment about any topic, even if it has been “off limits” or historically laden with conflict in the relationship. We work with couples to identify patterns and create new relational experiences so you can practice new patterns in your day-to-day life, bring successes and challenges back to therapy, and receive guidance and support to help you move forward. Going to therapy is akin to filling your toolbox with tools.
Everyone has their own idea of what a healthy and happy relationship looks like.
But ultimately, all healthy relationships are based on a strong connection, good communication, and a solid foundation of trust. Conflict usually arises when we experience issues in one or more of these areas.
Why attend pre-marital counselling?
Pre -marriage counselling is a form of couples counselling for couples who want to create a secure healthy foundation for their marriage.
As Sabrina Romanoff states, “Premarital counselling helps identify core beliefs, set realistic expectations for marriage, plan for the future, and decide the ways in which your lives will be merged.” This process provides both partners the ability to explore differing views about marriage, values and lifestyle.
An impartial and highly trained third party providing questions and suggestions can be hugely beneficial for premarital couples as it draws awareness to areas not previously considered. It also helps establish successful communication styles and techniques to ensure the couples have a long-lasting marriage. According to a 2012 study, couples who engaged in premarital counselling reported higher levels of satisfaction in their relationship.
How do we know it’s time for relationship counselling?
There are an abundance of signs and signals that counselling would benefit your relationship. If your relationship is on the rocks, it’s often difficult to admit it – let alone take action. You might tell yourself it’s normal, it’s only temporary, things will get better when your financial situation improves or a stressful scenario resolves.
It’s normal to experience some conflict and endure some difficult periods when you are married, considering marriage, or in any long-term relationship. However, the way we manage and navigate through these situations can be crucial in how well you bounce back and return to the happy functioning couple you once were. Here are 9 reasons to seek relationship counselling.
How do we find a relationship therapist?
Making the decision to see a therapist is often a big step for most people. But finding the right therapist can prove to be even harder than expected. Firstly, it’s important to know that not just any therapist can provide relationship or couples counselling. It is paramount to find a highly trained and experienced therapist who is dedicated to this area of work.
Research shows that having a good rapport with your therapist is vital to success, so it’s crucial to find one you are comfortable with and who is specifically trained in relationship counselling.
It’s also important to find the delivery of a service that works for you. Whether that is online or in-person is a personal choice, and you must take into account many considerations.
So where do we start?
There are many styles of therapists and therapies available, but unfortunately it’s not always clear which options will be best suited to you and your specific situation.
In order to make the process a little less stressful, I have provided some suggestions to consider when searching for the best therapist. You can use this as a guide and then you can fine tune your search.
Choosing Online or In-person Therapy?
The virtual world is expanding rapidly, increasing opportunities for online therapy and other helpful resources no matter your location. So how do you know when to choose online versus in-person therapy?
Online counselling is a convenient, safe and effective alternative to in-person counselling sessions. Online counselling is useful for people that have difficulty travelling to appointments because of distance, remoteness, mobility problems, people with childcare commitments or simply those with a busy family, work and travel schedule.
Some other reasons why you might want to try online therapy:
- The convenience of not travelling in traffic to our office
- Attend from the comfort of your own home or office
- You and your partner live or are staying in different locations
- You travel frequently for work and are away from home
- Minimising the risk of contracting COVID
- You live too far away to attend in person
Online relationship therapy is a great option no matter how busy your schedule is or where you live in Australia.
Couples counselling has never been more important and with greater resources online, such as online video conferencing, you can experience the same high quality service and benefits of a regular in-person therapy session.
In saying that, please note online counselling may not be suitable for all couples. It’s unlikely that online counselling is appropriate for you if you’re experiencing:
- Domestic violence – emotional, physical, or sexual
- Any impulse to harm yourself or anybody else
- Serious mood swings from big highs to terrible lows that leave you feeling unstable and emotionally fragile.
- Serious psychiatric illness or mood disorder that is not being well managed by a skilled health professional such as a psychiatrist.
Any of these factors may indicate you have a serious mental health issue that needs to be addressed by a number of professionals. I encourage you to seek help from your GP if you are experiencing any of these challenges.
If you are in crisis, please contact the 24-hour crisis counselling service Lifeline on 131 114 or 1800- RESPECT for immediate guidance and support.
In Person Therapy
In-person therapy is the traditional method of therapy. The advantages to this style of therapy are:
- When you visit your therapist in person, it is a neutral location where privacy is assured.
- As it’s a space away from your everyday life, it can minimise distractions and increase your comfort to share private information.
- When you visit in-person all the non-verbal cues, energy, smells, sounds, and conversations can feel more personable.
- You have a reason to leave the house and interact with others.
- You are a little old school, not overly tech savvy and prefer face to face.
- You may feel less isolated.
- Certain activities or exercises that you do with your therapist may be easier to do in person.
- Having you both as a couple in one location can often be beneficial – you’re already equally sharing the process, and being in an enclosed room with your therapist reduces the chance to storm out of a room or close a laptop lid.
- It’s important to note that some mental health disorders may not be able to be treated in a virtual setting.
Regardless of which pathway you choose for your therapy, the most important thing to remember is that you do not have to be alone with your struggles. Having committed sessions with an experienced relationship counsellor can help you gain the support you need to move forward and change.
If you’re experiencing some relationship challenges, want to find out what happens in relationship and marriage counselling, considering marrying the love of your life, or simply wishing to maintain a secure healthy relationship with effective tools, the team at Kylie Lepri Counselling are available to support you from our Bella Vista rooms or online from the comfort of your own homes.
Do you need Counselling Support?
If you need counselling support, contact Kylie Lepri for a FREE 15-minute phone call to discuss your situation and find out how she can help. Call us now on 0404 032636 or book your free phone call online.
The team at Kylie Lepri Counselling are all registered Counsellors and Psychotherapists. Specialising in Individual, Relationship and Family therapy, providing support to clients all over Australia. Get Kylie’s FREE ebook: 5 Proven Strategies to help manage stress today, by joining her newsletter below.