Professional Counselling for Couples in Conflict

Socio-economic pressures consistently lead to marital strife and counselling for couples has never been more necessary than it is today. It is quite natural for individuals within a relationship to differ. Sometimes they do so over significant issues but, more often, their disagreements are over relatively trivial matters that could be easily resolved. Factors such as financial difficulties can lead to intolerable pressures that serve to intensify such differences and, without intervention, all too often the result is unresolved conflict that ends in a failed marriage or civil partnership.

One of the reasons for the failure to resolve such conflicts amicably is that most of us tend to be overly subjective in our judgments. Furthermore, we are inclined to focus not on the perceived offence, whether valid or otherwise, but rather on the offender – a strategy that simply invites greater conflict and will often result in excessive reprisals, verbal abuse and even violence.

The objective of counselling for couples is firstly to emphasise the fact that the problem is a joint one. Too often those involved perceive themselves as an innocent victim. While a husband or wife might be prepared to share his or her innermost feelings on an individual basis, he or she will often find it far more difficult to do so in the presence of a partner. Sometimes this diffidence arises from a genuine reluctance on the part of one partner to reveal something that may prove to be hurtful to the other. Ironically, it is often this tendency to edit our interpersonal communications that leads to the misunderstandings that escalate into conflict.

The truth is that most people are not skilled communicators and, in airing their feelings to a partner, are as likely to intensify a conflict as to defuse it.  With the help of professional counselling, for even a single session, couples will normally experience an immediate feeling of relief, firstly that someone is finally trying to help and, more importantly, that both partners are actually expressing a desire to save their relationship.

Under the guidance of a skilled relationship counsellor such as Dr Tienie Maritz, each partner will be encouraged to examine both the functional and dysfunctional aspects of their relationship and also learn to recognise their individual roles both in the origin and the resolution of conflict while focussing on repairing any collateral damage such as an accompanying decline in intimacy.

Dr Maritz has a proven track record in this field and other applications of psychology that has been gained over almost a quarter of a century. Many have benefited from his skilled counselling for couples – a service for which he is registered with the Health Professional Council of South Africa (HPCSA) as a counselling and educational psychologist.

Among the many factors that are most frequently the cause of marital dissent is money or, rather, the shortage of it. It is often this shortage that prevents those in need from seeking professional help, fearing that the fees involved could prove crippling.

Those attending Tienie’s Pretoria practice may rest assured that they will only be charged approved medical aid rates and that their fund will be billed directly with no need for up-front payment. Those without medical aid may arrange to negotiate repayment terms when seeking counselling for couples.

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