Does marriage counselling work?

Tessa Burns MartinCouples Counselling, Relationship, Tessa Burns

Being in a relationship can be one of the most difficult things you could ever endeavour to do. When you first meet, it can seem like you are floating on a cloud. Regardless of your history of previous relationships, it can seem like you have finally met someone different. Sometimes it lasts, but as divorce rates would illustrate, things change.   If your relationship is struggling, you may be wondering if marriage counselling works. Here is one way that marriage counselling can help you:

Change your behaviours so you are no longer engaging in patterns that do not work for your relationship.

As Bruce Lipton points out in his book “The Honeymoon Effect,” “No matter how complicated the organisms are, they display repetitive patterns” (p.10). We are creatures of habits and those habits are not always positive. Look at your own relationship and you can see predictable patterns. You probably know what things will start up an argument, what happens to escalate the argument, and the way that it gets resolved (even if that means ignoring each other for a few days and pretending nothing happened). It’s your repetitive pattern but you continue engaging in that pattern because it is familiar and often you don’t know how to change it.

The change can be as small as using a different word when communicating with your partner. Moving from “You never” to “I need” can sometimes be the catalyst for change. It may mean you have to start focusing on doing nice things for one another again.

Where counselling comes in to the equation is because it can be hard for couples to recognize the small changes they can make to shift their pattern into a pattern that is more constructive. You have your emotions, your history, and your habits that get in the way. The counsellor gets to act as a neutral third party that can notice the pattern and offer some small suggestions that will help change your repetitive behaviours.

So, if you feel like you are caught in the movie “Groundhog Day” and need another set of eyes to help you see a way out of the cycle, give me a call.

Let’s get you started on a new repetitive pattern!

Tessa Owner/Registered Psychologist