On the face of it, marriage and family counselling are two different types of therapy that provide solutions, coping mechanisms and life management skills in different ways.
So does the family have a place in marriage counselling and how common is it for the family to attend this type of therapy?
Problems in a marriage may affect the rest of the family and therefore it is quite common for families to attend a couple of sessions in order to address their issues.
Some of the common areas that may be addressed with the family within a marriage counselling session include:
- Enabling communication between all family members.
- Allowing the family to ask questions in a safe environment and receive open and honest answers.
- Give the family an understanding of the marriage counselling process and what is hoped to achieve realistically.
- Provide support for any personal emotional or behavioural issues that may have arisen from the reason that marriage counselling was necessary in the first place.
That said, there does not need to be a specific reason why a couple may seek counselling. All relationships go through hardships and personal issues can often negatively impact a marriage.
There is often no blame that can be assigned to one or the other partner in the marriage and it is more a case of facilitating good communication in order to encourage the growth of each individual as well as the relationship as a whole.
To answer some more questions about how common it is for families to attend marriage counselling, let’s take a look at some of the reasons a therapist may suggest this as part of the therapy.
1. THIRD-PARTY INTERFERENCE
This is most common where a father, mother, sister or brother of one of the spouses become over-involved in their relative’s personal life or marriage. Mothers-in-law are often most guilty of this.
The ability of the spouse in question to address this person directly in a therapy session will give them the courage they need to ask for some space.
It will also provide the other spouse with a platform to air their feelings of what they may feel is an intrusion into the marriage.
2. DIFFERENCES IN CHILD REARING
Having differing beliefs in how their children should be raised can be a very sore point for many married couples, especially as the children get older and into their teen years.
Being on the same page and providing each other with support presents a united front that is critical to child-rearing.
Bringing the children into the conversation can assist both parents in seeing what the child needs and how they can address the issues together as a team.
Resolving issues around how children should be raised can often save a marriage.
3. AN OUTSIDE POINT OF VIEW
It is often possible to become so embroiled with the problems of the marriage that it can be difficult to see the forest for the trees. Taking a step back and seeing issues from another person’s perspective can be challenging.
Bringing in a family member who knows each partner and is aware of the problems that exist can bring a different perspective to the relationship.
While a therapist can often offer this outside perspective, they can only work with what each party is willing to reveal.
Remember that marriage counselling will in and of itself not automatically resolve the issues in any marriage – no matter how big or how small.
It does, however, facilitate communication and provide the tools and techniques that can be used to heal and grow a relationship.
It is up to the married couple to use these tools and techniques and do the work necessary to achieve their goals for their marriage.
Our counselling can help you rebuild your relationships and develop the skills necessary to manage any type of crisis confronting you.
Please call us today on 1800 331 441 or contact us through our website to make an appointment.