These days, people have a much better understanding of what Relationship Counselling is and what it involves than ever before.
But there are a number of myths that continue to pervade around the subject that we think it’s important to debunk. These myths are unhelpful because they can cause people to misunderstand and, ultimately, be put off coming to counselling when it could be a really useful way to approach their relationship issues.
Here are five of the most common.
1. Your counsellor will tell you what to do
Your Relationship Counsellor won’t tell you what to do. In fact, your Relationship Counsellor won’t be giving you any direct advice at all. What they’ll be doing is asking questions – helping you to understand things that you may already know but are struggling to get in touch with. Counselling is about focusing on what matters to you, and the counsellor's role is simply to facilitate and work alongside side you in that process.
2. The counsellor will be deciding who is ‘right’
Counsellors don’t take sides. Some people worry that the counsellor and their partner will gang up on them and that they’ll feel press ganged into saying they’re wrong. Some people attend counselling hoping this will happen – that they’ll finally get the chance to be proved right in front of their partner. This isn’t what counsellors do. They won’t give unfair preference to either member of the couple and they won’t be acting as a judge. They will simply act a go between between you and your partner so you can open up a dialogue and begin to talk in a constructive and positive way.
3. Going to counselling means you’ve failed at your relationship
This couldn’t be further from the truth. Going to Relationship Counselling often means beginning to stop failing. It means you’re accepting that there are things that need work with your relationship and that you’re prepared to put in the effort to address them. That’s not failing – that’s trying. Don’t be swayed by the idea that attending counselling is somehow admitting you can’t fix things yourselves – admitting you need help is actually a very brave thing to do.
4. Counselling takes a really long time and doesn’t get any results.
Actually, most people who come in for counselling with us complete their course after only a few sessions. Sometimes, coming in for a single session is all it takes to help people get things back into perspective and which issues need addressing. Although other issues do sometimes emerge throughout the course of treatment, counselling isn’t about coming in week after week and having the same arguments. You may be surprised by how quickly things begin to change.
5. Relationship Counselling is just for people with really serious problems
This is a particularly damaging myth and one that means many people don’t try counselling until their relationship is in real trouble. Counselling isn’t just for really serious or challenging relationship problems – it’s for all kinds of relationship issues. In fact, you can come to relationship counselling even if there’s nothing wrong with your relationship – you may just want to come in to make sure things continue to tick over. Think of it like taking your car for a service. You could wait until things are so bad that the car barely works anymore. Or you could make sure you get it regularly MOTed so any potential problems are sorted out before they get worse.
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