What to Expect from Couples Counselling


Couples counselling is the very dictionary definition of the kind of service almost everyone believes exists entirely for other people. They understand the basic principles of what it is and why it exists, but in terms of who it exists for, it’s assumed it’s always for someone else. In fact, the very suggestion that any given couple could benefit from relationship counselling is exactly the kind of thing that some would probably find nothing short of insulting. Nevertheless, relationship counsellors up and down the country are working tirelessly each and every day to transform, save and refresh relationships like no one else possibly could.

According to the experts at www.davidgoodlad.co.uk, the key to getting the most out of relationship counselling lies in improving your understanding of what exactly it is. The reason being that in the vast majority of instances, what actually takes place during couples counselling sessions and the reasons couples seek therapy in the first place turns out to be nothing like most people expect.  And contrary to popular belief, it isn’t necessary to have reached a rather disastrous brick wall before it becomes advisable to seek professional counselling.

Couple’s Counselling Dissected

In the simplest of terms, couples counselling is basically a professionally organised session in which the two adults present are provided with an open forum, in which they can bring to light any problems, grievances or issues they may have with both themselves and one another. The idea being that this allows anything being bottled up to be brought to the surface and dealt with, with the help and supervision of a trained and entirely impartial third party. By taking such an approach, what may usually descend into a chaotic and heated argument instead becomes a proactive and positive discussion, with the intention of reaching a mutually beneficial outcome.

Exactly what each therapy session looks like will vary significantly in accordance with the nature of the issue and the service provider in question.  Nevertheless, the process will usually work in accordance with four primary elements, which are as follows:

  1. Counselling sessions seek to isolate the specific problems that are causing issues with the relationship. Rather than seeking to correct a relationship that simply isn’t working in general, they instead focus on more specific issues.
  2. The counsellor organising and overseeing the sessions approaches each issue from an entirely neutral and objective perspective. They do not treat each partner independently, but instead focus on the relationship as one combined entity.
  3. The approach from the very first session is entirely solution focused, with the overall intention being to introduce intervention methods at the earliest possible stage.
  4. Objectives for both the short and long-term are identified and agreed upon, with the counsellor then assisting the couple in meeting them.

At the Session

As already mentioned, the primary purpose of counselling sessions is to provide two adults with relationship difficulties with the open forum to bring issues and problems to the surface. Nevertheless, as it can be somewhat difficult to begin discussing such matters in the first place, counselling sessions and courses more often than not begin with questions being asked by the counsellor. This helps ensure that nothing of importance is left undiscussed and the couple in question are as honest and open as possible with their feelings.

Quite to the contrary to an everyday argument, each individual is given the opportunity to speak freely and openly without interruption, criticism or fear of reprisal. The thoughts, feelings and opinions of each individual are brought to the surface in a calm and controlled manner, in order to then be discussed in-depth both with their partner and with a counsellor. The overall goal being to take each and every issue and devise a workable method for reaching a mutually amicable solution.

Given the fact that most couples will only spend a very limited amount of time each week with their counsellor, the vast majority of the process actually takes place at home. For example, it is common for counsellors to ask their clients to keep journals or diaries, while providing clients with certain tasks and activities to carry out in-between sessions. As is the case with most examples of professional therapy or counselling, it is therefore down to those taking part to ensure they invest the necessary efforts for their own success.

Professional counsellors effectively light the way for those looking for a brighter future, but it will always be up to the participants themselves to take the most important steps forward.