Potential Pitfalls in Counselling

POTENTIAL PITFALLS IN COUNSELLING ONE HALF OF A COUPLE WITH RELATIONSHIP ISSUES

ROS WELCH

There is no doubt that Counselling or Psychotherapy raises self-awareness and intuition, provides new perspective and allows an understanding of motivation and behaviours, if one half of a couple begins counselling there is a need for a pact, an agreed agenda or ground rules between the couple just in case it gets worse before it gets better…..

The counselled party will learn new skills in understanding interactions, imagine the potential artillery for an argument, throwing bits of psychotherapeutic theory at your partner, recognising unconscious manipulating behaviours, telling them ‘they are in child’ that ‘they are in victim mode’ that they are patterning parental values, these skills could be used as a weapon, they could patronise and they could enrage!

Counsellors have to warn their clients of how the raising of self awareness and understanding of behaviour can impact a relationship, at times the counselling relationship can inspire jealousy that confidential and intimate details are shared with a stranger, that the issues that are causing distress are not solvable by them.

Understanding your issues and how they impact your relationship can dramatically improve your self esteem, your life and that of your family but, a pact is needed with your partner; an understanding that the therapeutic journey may be bumpy, that it should focus on the individual not on the partner, if the issue is the relationship then a commitment to couple counselling may be the best option.

The therapeutic journey in psychotherapy has been described as like ‘having the skin peeled from your eyes’, ‘driving a motorbike without a helmet on’, there will be personal discovery, an understanding of your place in the world, a new perspective and increased tolerance.

In a well bonded relationship counselling will strengthen those bonds, a relationship that encourages growth within itself will benefit massively from the process, in a rocky relationship, the counselling of one party can be the last straw…..

Examine your agenda, ask yourself what do you want from counselling, is it to explore an issue that hinders your relationship?, to understand pattern behaviour in multiple relationships?, support for infidelity?, support through a separation?, to develop understanding of your motivations within the relationship?; is it an agenda that you can share with your partner?

Counselling and psychotherapy can provide an illuminating and safe place to explore the above where the agenda is supported by your partner but, in a relationship which lacks honesty the process can exacerbate problems escalating inequality in the relationship. OTE: Quotes taken from my website.

The use of the terms Counselling and Psychotherapy can be confusing, it’s a sort of ‘what you do’ and ‘how you do it’ thing….

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