"Counselling helps couples come together"
No relationship comes baggage-free and when there is baggage, there will be conflicts.
It is only natural. No two individuals have the same thought process and world views.
As such, learning how to deal with conflict becomes important, and that’s where couples’ counselling comes in.
Husain Minawala, founder of Beyond Thoughts, said:
“A counsellor can help analyse the behavioural patterns of the partners and identify those which lead to conflict.
“Counselling helps couples come together to really focus on themselves.”
Couples face various challenges and problems in their relationship. Husain opines that effectively communicating problems with the partner is the core of a healthy relationship.
He advised: “Effective communication means better understanding between the couple.
“If there is a lack of communication between the couple, the counsellor will then act as a mediator and facilitate healthy and effective communication.
“Through therapy, the couple can start improving communication by eliminating habits such as constantly interrupting the other or speaking too much and not letting the other partner respond.
Couple counselling can help partners address and confront underlying issues.”
The Gottman therapy method attends to the impact of negativity in relationships.
Husain said: “Approaching your partner with a positive orientation can lead to greater stability and empathy during arguments and otherwise upsetting situations.”
The Gottman method can be used with partners who are experiencing difficulties at any stage of their relationship, as well as with specific issues such as money, parenting, sex and infidelity.
It assists couples in developing tools for effectively resolving conflict, and has been shown to be effective for same-sex relationships, interracial relationships, ethnicity, economic status or religion.
The Narrative therapy method may be helpful for couples who feel like their relationship is failing due to both of their faults.
Husain explained: “The practice of narrative therapy revolves around people describing their problems in narrative form and rewriting their stories.
“By doing this, the couple gains a new perspective on the situation.
“It allows you to explore the past to bring to light negativities that otherwise remain hidden.
“Over time, with the use of narrative therapy, both partners are able to understand themselves better and separately from their problems and recognise how the language of their stories shapes their life and identity.”
Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) helps couples who are seeking to deepen intimacy and improve the quality of their interactions.
“Distress occurs when the fear of abandonment is triggered.”
“EFT helps couples understand each other’s attachment needs and insecurities, so they can learn to respond to each other in more empathic, emotionally connected ways.”
One of the key aspects of a good relationship is to listen to what your partner is trying to say. Do not just hear, but listen.
As the old saying goes, “communication is the key”. Simple and effective communication can go a long way.
Imago Relationship Therapy views a couple’s problems as a result of unmet childhood needs and unhealed wounds that later become their sensitivities and cause conflicts or pain in relationships.
Husain shared: “Imago concentrates on the connection between childhood experiences and adult relationships.
“The goal of the therapy is to bring these images into consciousness so that you can identify negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviours to help you understand the childhood experiences that impact how you behave towards your partner.”