To do or not do couples counseling?

I believe that couples have nothing to lose by trying to improve their relationship through counseling. If the counseling works then that is great! Couples who overcome adversity in their relationship develop stronger deeper relationships. (Because relationships are interactive it is also possible for one member of a couple to work on his or her relationship and make changes in positive ways. I have worked with many individuals and helped them turn their troubled relationships around without ever seeing their partners.)

What does it mean – if the counseling works?

My role in couples counseling is to help couples develop a good working relationship with each other. When a couple has a good working relationship they can successfully deal with their differences and more easily resolve problems. I am amazed how creatively and easily couples are able to resolve problems when they have a good working relationship!

With a good working relationship many couples are able to come together in a new way – a healthy loving way that they have never been able to achieve before. This can help them reclaim the loving way they used to be with each other earlier in their relationship and allow their love to grow into something deeper and more meaningful. Staying in a healthy marriage/relationship is emotionally enriching and financially wise.

What if counseling doesn’t work?

If the counseling does not work then each member of the couple will know that they gave it one last shot before giving up. When I work with a couple I ask each to invest in the process of counseling whether his or her partner does or not. The counseling is more likely to work then. But if it still does not work, then the partners who invested in the process know that they gave it an genuine effort before they gave up. They didn’t just go through the motions. Although going through a break up is painful and difficult they will be able to face it better knowing in their own heart that they tried their best.

Even if counseling does not work each partner will gain new awareness of self, as well as new knowledge and skills that they can use in future relationships and in their life in general. So there is a lot to gain.

With care and concern,

Dr. Bea Mackay

Do it Yourself Relationship Help at

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