Why do couples seek counselling?
Couples seek counselling for a wide range of problems. Some common presenting problems are:
Poor communication, Disillusionment,
Dissatisfaction, Frequent arguments,
Unfulfilled expectations, Loneliness,
Self esteem, Roles in the relationship,
Trust issues, Considering separation,
Attitude differences, Family / friends issues,
Financial problems, Mental and emotional abuse,
Cultural difficulties, Faith issues,
Sexual difficulties, Infidelity,
Alcohol / drug abuse, Domestic violence.
Singles lifestyle Health issues
Typical presenting problems that motivate couples to seek Counselling?
At some stage in life many people find themselves in unhappy relationships, but are unsure whether or not counselling would be helpful. Thinking can range from “Although things are not great it will get better and we don’t need counselling” to “Our relationship is now so bad that there is no point in even trying counselling”.
It may be helpful to consider the following composite collection of some typical presenting problems which I have often heard.
(Please note I use the term ‘partner’ for convenience. The word also means Spouse, Husband, Wife, Boyfriend, Girlfriend, Fiancée).
- Our communication is becoming difficult. It is often negative, hostile, or antagonistic to each other. Our attempts at communication usually end up in arguments.
- We have a lot of arguments and bickering and issues do not get resolved.
- We have been married for 10 years and on the surface everything seems great but we never really talk and I feel so lonely in this relationship.
- Stress and tension in our relationship has reached a point where my partner left home for a period.
- The tension is our home has become unbearable. I can only relax when my partner is out.
- I love my partner but I’m not ‘in love’ with him / her.
- We have been separated for a while. We are hoping it will be possible to get back together, but only if we can work things out.
- I am becoming anxious, depressed and insecure about our relationship. My partner seems to be withdrawing from it.
- My partner is never home and is still acting like a single person. I feel so frustrated that he / she won’t show any commitment and won’t even talk about it.
- We have sexual problems it is too difficult to resolve them. It is destroying us.
- I found out that my partner is having an affair.
- I’ve discovered that my partner has been lying to me. I just cannot trust him / her any more.
- My partner is just so mean. I cannot take it any more.
- We are staying together just for the children’s sake.
- My partner suffered from depression for a long time but seems okay now. It’s taken a big toll on our relationship. Do you think counselling will help us?
- We are unable to resolve family issues. We disagree about child rearing and our relationships with in-laws.
- We can clearly see what our relationship problems are but we are stuck and unable to negotiate and resolve our differences.
- My partner takes out his / her feelings on me. He / she is just so angry and grumpy all the time. I’m fed up with it.
- We are just sharing living quarters. We are no longer partners sharing a loving relationship together.
It would be wrong to claim that counselling / therapy will resolve every problem but experience shows that when a couple or individual engage sincerely and honestly with the process then there is a reduction of distress and tension and an increase of joy and happiness in the relationship.
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> Expectations and Attitudes
> Couple Conflict