“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” – Chinese Proverb.
Barriers to couples counselling
The prospect of attending couples counselling can be intimidating and unfortunately comes with stigma, as many still carry the belief that it is a last-ditch effort to save the relationship.
Many couples have a long journey before arriving in a therapist’s office (research shows an average of 7 years from when it was first considered!) This is not hugely surprising, given that it comes with an investment of time, money, and most importantly, emotional energy required to listen and grow in a meaningful way.
In this article, we will outline 3 of the most important times to consider couples counselling.
1. If your relationship is in crisis
In this case, couples counselling can help to put out some fires and prevent further damage from occurring. By setting some boundaries and working towards repair, a couple can gain a broader perspective & insight into what needs to change moving forward.
2. If you feel like your relationship is stuck
Couples counselling can help by amplifying each partner’s strengths and fine-tuning areas of growth. Both partners are encouraged to look within themselves to gain insight into what they want from their relationship, who they are trying how they can show up in a healthier way.
3. If you are about to reach a significant milestone or take a big step
This could include cohabitation, engagement/marriage, or having a baby. Going to counselling during this time can help your relationship be as strong as it can be, which goes a long way in adjusting to the stress & uncertainty of upcoming changes. By being proactive, you can learn a lot about your partner & enhance your relationship toolkit!
As you can see, you do not need to be in crisis for your relationship to benefit from couples therapy. By being proactive, you can avoid unnecessary hurt & resentment, and you are much more likely to be receptive to learning about your partner in the process.