A couples counselling session can actually be something to enjoy. If you haven't been able to communicate well, then this is a unique way to emotionally reconnect:
You can present your individual view
In the first session, each of you will be asked to talk about your relationship and the issues you are currently struggling with. You will be asked to present your individual view of the situation, and this often helps to clarify where you both stand.
Your counsellor will never take sides
This is often something couples fear at the beginning of the sessions: "Will I be the one to blame?" Your counsellor will never be looking to blame one partner for the problems. It always takes two people to create a relationship issue, and the aim is to understand how each of you contributed to this.
Understanding the dynamics of yourself and your partner
Couples often argue intensly about banal things, such as housework, children or how to spend your free time together. If not dealt with properly, these seemingly harmless topics can erode the partnership in the long run. But they are mostly not the actual reason of why you are arguing. If you start couples counselling, you should be ready to face the underlying problems, which have just found an easy outlet in ordinary things. It's easier to fight over who does what around the house, than to confront yourself or your partner with your unhappy feelings.
Start looking at your partner in a positive way
Positive emotions are not merely a distraction, but a powerful tool to make you happier as a couple. Maintaining a positive perspective will open you up and will help you to see possibilities, which you were not able to see before, due to the fact that negative emotions shut you down. Because we all have our particular set of automatic negative thoughts, the ability to think and feel in a positive way needs to be practised. Having a positive perspective of your partner is a major part in my couples sessions.
The main goal is to reconnect
There are many reasons why couples lose their connection: Loss of physical attraction, merged identity, letting yourself go (physically or mentally), failing to share activities, less personal relating or harboring anger or resentment - these are just a few examples. No matter what led to your relationship problem, it's essential to make it a priority to reconnect. This is achieved by changing communication and behaviour patterns, as well as letting go of negative beliefs about yourself and your partner.
The importance of self love
Self love is essential in relationships, because your partner will always treat you the way he sees you treat yourself. When you treat yourself without respect or love, you will give your partner permission to do the same. You have to love yourself first. For many, this is the most challenging part in couples counselling.
I'm Natalie Marby, an English speaking therapist in Hamburg, Germany. I offer psychotherapy and couples counselling in English, especially for expats living in Hamburg. To contact me, you can send me an email or call me: (040) 46090233. (Please don't forget to send me your phone number and the times I can reach you). I look forward to hearing from you!
Read more about my therapy method: Healing the inner child.