Another relationship bites the dust. It's an occupational hazard for a couples counselor, but still, it's always sad. Despite my best efforts to help people negotiate the choppy waters of relationship distress, many of them simply don't make it.
It goes something like this: A distressed husband or wife pleads on the phone, "I am calling for couples counseling. We have a problem with communication." So, we set an appointment and begin the process. The specific problems are wide-ranging and many of them have gone unresolved for months, even years. So why can't they make it work? Therapy can save your marriage, but you have to be prepared. Here are my tips for couples to come out of counseling sessions successfully.
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1. Do some indepth soul-searching before you begin. Do you want to fight for this relationship even when it is painful, challenges you and is profoundly uncomfortable? Know that it will be difficult.
2. Don't wait too long. Most couples come to therapy six years later than is ideal, so the clean-up effort is difficult. Even still, it is worth a serious try. So go for it! Jump right in and give it all you have. Here are some things you can do to be a wise consumer of couples counseling.
3. Find a counselor with whom you feel comfortable. Interview three or four before you make a decision. (Specifically, read FAQ in the blog section at my website.) You are going to be taking a journey together. Choose someone you trust and then listen to them.
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4. Find out if your counselor has bias towards or against marriage. You will ultimately make the decision to stay in or leave your relationship, but you are going to be influenced by the biases of this person. So make sure you are choosing biases that fit with yours. Your counselor may have a big impact on this major life choice. Keep reading...
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