How Does Couple Counselling Work?

Our relationships can hit the rocks for all sorts of reasons. For instance, financial problems, infidelity, communication breakdowns, emotional distance, and childcare issues can leave us feeling stuck.

When such troubled waters threaten to capsize a relationship, couple counseling can help. To that end, the team of compassionate and caring professionals at Virtuous Circle Counselling might be useful. Our Edmonton Therapists provide couples counselling using various approaches. Plus, our inclusive approach to counselling acknowledges your relationship status, even if it falls outside the bounds of what we commonly consider “traditional.”

What Is Couple Counselling?

For a start, couple counselling is a type of therapy aimed at helping create a way out of the impasse. With a professional counsellor’s help, a couple can improve their relationship by identifying issues causing their conflict.

Plus, they get a confidential space to communicate openly without fear of judgment. In other words, couple counselling helps couples navigate their issues by:

  • Defining and understanding the problems
  • Working towards setting goals and objectives
  • Learning different ways of communicating effectively
  • Processing emotions that arise during a conflict and resolving them in a constructive way
  • Understanding each other’s needs even in challenging times
  • Finding the ideal way to press on despite the odds

The Process

Counselling sessions typically last 45 minutes to an hour, although this depends on the couple’s needs and the counsellor’s discretion. During counselling, each partner can voice their concerns and have their opinion heard.

Also, a counselling session can go on for weeks or months, depending on the issues at play or the nature of your relationship. This may also take place at a counsellor’s clinic or online.

Having both partners present at the session is also advisable since it helps them have a more open and honest conversation. However, you can still opt for individual sessions if your partner is unavailable.

Self-guided sessions are also available. They involve working with your counsellor to develop a plan for self-care and continued growth after sessions. The counsellor can also provide additional resources to help you move forward if needed.

When couples receive the proper guidance, they can find the necessary space and time to discuss their issues. This helps them air out their grievances and proactively find solutions. And once they hit refresh and start anew, they can build a stronger, healthier relationship.

What You Can Expect

Curious to figure out what transpires when the counsellor closes the door and sits down with the couple? Well, here’s an overview of what goes on behind the scenes:

  • A listening ear – The counsellor’s role is to listen to each party’s viewpoint and analyze underlying patterns causing a rift or tension. Likewise, they may request the partners to talk about their journey – the spark that drew them together, the qualities they love most about each other, their milestones, the joys they’ve shared, and more. Once they open up, a counsellor can use the information gleaned to help them navigate their issues and reconnect.
  • Ongoing feedback – Couple counselling is like a revolving door (issues can crop up during your session and threaten to disrupt the progress made). To that end, the counsellor must remain vigilant and give feedback to all parties involved. Thus, they should be proactive enough to know when they need to intervene and help the couple keep an eye on the prize.
  • Guidance– The counsellor helps the couple map out effective strategies to deal with current or future issues. By tapping into their knowledge base and experience, they can offer insight aimed at helping couples find constructive solutions to their problems.
  • Uncovering strengths– Most people believe that therapy only dwells on problematic issues. On the contrary, counsellors help couples establish a strong bond by recognizing their individual and collective strengths. That way, they help couples harness the positive aspects of their relationship and use them to solve their disagreements or conflicts.
  • Homework– As with other kinds of therapy, couple counselling means the couple may be tasked with taking actionable steps after sessions. This may imply attending workshops, reading books, completing exercises at home, or making lifestyle changes.
  • Review – The counsellor periodically checks in with the couple to review their progress and determine whether they’re on track. By reflecting on their issues and their progress, a couple can stay motivated and focused on their goals.

Our differences make us unique but can drive a wedge between us. That said, even the most broken relationships are salvageable. Consider seeking counselling if you’ve hit a rough patch and need assistance. Your situation isn’t a lost cause – you can foster a great relationship by partnering with a counsellor.