Ever wonder why there are times when you go to counseling yet nothing changes? Why you expressed your feelings and it “appeared” s/he understood, yet nothing changes?
Many times this is due to a misunderstanding of what the counseling process is all about. Counseling is not like going to the doctor where s/he gives you an antibiotic to take when you leave. With the antibiotic, all you need to do is remember to take the pill. In psychotherapy or couples counseling one not only need remember to take the pill, but one must also swallow it with “intention” to “digest” it.
I often remark to my clients prior to their leaving the first session, “if you check at the door as you leave what you have learned today, life will be no different upon your return”. Couples counseling is a combination of discovery of self and other. It includes tools and suggested resources such as readings, videos, simulcast, classes, and the like.
Those whom arrive at the counseling office “hungry” for a new beginning will excel much faster than those who have already decided it is near impossible to achieve. I rarely use the word “change” as it implies we are no good in the first place. I often refer to personal change as a personal “shift” in life. I believe most people are good at the base. However, they may need to grow, or mature, or morph, find the hope, or begin to see life as a glass half full rather than half empty, to “shift” if you will.
There is only one permanent “shift” we make. That is one we buy into. That is if our partner ask something of us on a personal level, say in the way we treat them, and we, without thought, say “sure”. One generally will only continue that action as long as they get out of it what they think they should get making the change in the first place. In short they are doing their partner a favor. The word “favor” is indicative of short term.
However, if our partner asks something of us on a personal level and after having given it thought, see the value in it. If they come to a place where this is how they would like to be known…maybe even added to their epitaph one day, and then they say yes…this is more likely to be a permanent change. Why? The person has bought into it and the “shift” is not solely for the partner, it is for them as well…they too see the value in the shift.
Psychotherapy and couples counseling are a wonderful medium within which to reconnect, discover things about yourself and your partner and to gather tools to enhance your relationship(s).
Have a wonderful week!