Family counseling can take many different forms. There is couples counseling, counseling for children and family counseling where the entire family attends sessions. Couples counseling can become the impetus to begin addressing problems in the marriage or family that you have been unable to successfully deal with on your own. A trained counselor or therapist can look beyond the emotions and deal with the facts of the situation. This refreshing approach often is all that is needed to stop divorce.
Range of Emotions
When there are problems in a marriage, spouses can experience a full range of emotions. The husband or wife is burdened with worry, anxiety and some fall into a depression. Marriage is a union of two people that is bound up in a lot of positive emotions in the beginning, so when problems become persistent the subsequent negative emotions feel even worse by comparison. In other words, you remember the love and passion you once felt and now compare it to the anxiety and fear.
In addition, when having marital problems it is all too easy to look into the future and imagine the worst. The worst is divorce of course. A marriage going sour is like a train that picks up speed and at the end of the track is a big crash waiting that derails the entire train. Divorce derails a family and should always be a last resort. Unless someone applies the brakes to the train it is not going to stop.
Trying to ignore problems in your marriage can drive the train faster towards destruction. It doesn’t matter in what area of the marriage the problem occurs. It needs to be addressed and as quickly as possible. These areas include finances, children, careers, work, and infidelity and so on. But it can be hard to step back from a relationship so emotionally bound up and take an objective look at what is happening. That is where marriage and family counseling can show you and your spouse how to change direction in your marriage and get back on track.
Couples therapy is an effective way to address marriage problems. Often the sessions are held so that each of you have a chance to talk to the counselor alone and then together. That way the counselor or therapist is able to come to an understanding of each viewpoint in order to help you find resolution as a couple. There are several goals that marriage counseling hopes to achieve.
First the sessions should offer a chance to express the emotions that have been kept bottle up or have been expressed inappropriately in the marriage. This alone is sometimes all it takes to open up the lines of communication with your spouse again. If you have reached the point in your marriage where angry words are the primary form of speech, then it’s no wonder problems are not being solved.
Second, the marriage therapy sessions will work with you to identify what the real problems are in the marriage. Sometimes a spouse believes he or she knows exactly what the real issue is only to discover their spouse has feelings that had never been expressed. For example, you may believe he takes you for granted only to discover he asks you to do so many things because he believes in your competence and trusts you to handle many different decisions within the marriage.
Third, marriage counseling helps couples to stop blaming each other for the problems and turn their attention to actually dealing with the issues. When a discussion dissolves into the “blame game” it is going nowhere. Instead of talking about real solutions, you are both busy thinking about how you can prove to your spouse that he or she is responsible for the problems.
The overall goal of marriage counseling is to identify problems and then find solutions. How many sessions you need to attend depends on many factors including the types of problems and the willingness of each spouse to make a sincere effort to resolve them. The length of time you are in counseling is not important. If it takes 2 sessions or 200 sessions, the important point is that you can restore your relationship and stop divorce.
The train you want to be on is the marriage train leading to a long, happy and solid marriage. There will always be problems along the way, but they are always surmountable with the right attitude.