Recreating friendship together
What is Marriage Counselling
Marriage counselling is a type of psychotherapy where you explore, recognize, and resolve conflicts in your marriage aiming to improve your relationship. It provides a safe space for you and your partner to identify the hurdles and your emotions that have kept you away from a love-filled relationship.
Does marriage counselling work ?
Whenever someone calls my office looking for advice on marriage the most common question they ask is -
“Can my marriage be saved?”
Another common question that holds lot of inertia is -
"Should we continue this marriage?”
We know this is a tough one. If you ask me honestly, my reply is - "Indeed it is a complicated question, but for all those who aren't committed to creating friendship. I know that with a series of negative experiences, it is difficult for anyone to believe that there can be a solution. And I cannot convince people to believe that every problem has many solutions. What matters is - How willing are you to reach that solution? And if you are 100% willing, I can show the path and you can reach there too if you are committed to walk on the path, just like all those who did !"
IS IT AN EASY PATH ?
If you too have the same question, let me be straight to you -
"Marriage counselling is an uphill task and nobody can give guarantee for your intent and your capability. But surely we know one thing, friendship isn't tough. To be a friend is a matter of the heart. It is about your own energy that you need to wisely invest in your partner. You need to know your partner, keeping your biases away. Would you ?”
IS MARRIAGE COUNSELLING EFFECTIVE ?
Yes, marriage counselling is effective if you and your partner have the needed motivation. Now, what does the word 'motivation' mean? The word 'motivation' emerged out of the word 'motive'. What is your motive? You know your motive well. And your partner can read your motive, through your gestures, your body language, your expressions, and of course your words. Are you sure of your motive?
Some couples expect marriage counseling to work as divorce counseling. And this happens when either of them has made up their mind to get out of the marriage. They agree to come for marriage counseling sessions with an intent to prove to the other that the marriage is irreparable. In such a scenario it becomes very taxing for the marriage counsellor and also for the partner who wants to work on the marriage.
Some don’t disclose their deeper needs and concerns with the marriage counsellor, thinking that if they do, and things start improving, then how will they exit. The reason behind such intent is 'bias'. Cognitive biases act as strong forces that sabotage the mind in any other direction. Do you have a bias that your partner is immature or not genuine etc. etc. etc. You need to work on your biases first and then you can work on the relationship
What is the process of marriage counselling ?
Marriage Counselling sessions happen in a safe space. The work is done both at an individual level and at a couple level depending on the adaptability and course of sessions.
Generally, most of the transformation work is facilitated in the session itself, yet the fortification of the concepts and nurturance of the new dynamics are done at home amongst the couple in their daily life. We will assign you your home tasks between the sessions so that you perfect the learning. Such tasks include individual home tasks and couple tasks.
In the following sessions, the couple talks about the home tasks so that the positive impact is measured and also the challenges(if any) are addressed. Change happens mainly at the emotional and behavioural level.
Both Partners or One
Marriage counselling is best suited when both partners are willing to introspect, identify and work on the dysfunctional components together as a united team. But in some cases when one partner is not ready to come for the sessions, the marriage counsellor works along with the forthcoming partner to improvise the relationship within the best ability. This provides evidence to the unwilling partner, that counselling process is effective. In some cases, this change makes him/her ready to attend the sessions. And in other cases, he/she starts responding positively.
Although it must be remembered that it's not easy, success is certainly possible.
Dr. Kamal Khurana PhD.