Goal setting is very important for couples who want to improve their relationship by seeing a counsellor. Although there are many standard goals for couples counselling, my experience shows that these five work best:
1. Getting feedback
When given at the right time, in a respectful, positive and constructive manner, the counsellor's feedback can be the key to a successful relationship improvement. You will become aware of the areas that need improvement and the feedback will increase your potential for taking responsibility for your actions.
2. Learn healthy thought processes
Relationship trouble can distort the way we think. Counselling will encourage you to learn how to process your thoughts in a positive way. Many couples have very unhealthy thought processes and tend to think in black and white. Sometimes partners catastrophize or they believe in an all-or-nothing way of thinking. You can turn your thought process from negative to positive by setting the intention to learn how.
3. Understanding triggers
Once you know what triggers you, you can effectively cope through whatever is happening to you. Understanding triggers that arise in your relationship is an important goal to make for counselling, as it will quickly make both of you feel more relaxed and in control.
4. Overcoming obstacles
Obstacles in a relationship can be mental, physical or emotional. Your goal should be to overcome what stands in your way of feeling good as a couple. Typical obstacles are: Old wounds, family dynamics, irritating habits, managing money and communication issues.
5. Seeing what your partner mirrors back to you
The purpose of a relationship is not to have another person who might complete you. It should be, instead, to have another person with whom you can share your completeness. Many couples, however, unconsciously experience their current relationship through their past memories, and by doing this, they do not realise that their partner is always a mirror. Therefore, relationship is one of the most powerful tools for growth and mindfulness, because without a mirror, it is impossible to fully see yourself.
I'm Natalie Marby, an English speaking therapist in Hamburg, Germany. I am half German and half British and I offer couples counselling in English, especially for expats living in Hamburg. To contact me, you can send me an email or call me: +49040 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!