Professional Marriage Guidance Offers Hope for All with Relationship Problems

In practice, a course of professional marriage guidance counselling could well prove to be just as valuable to a couple who may still be contemplating matrimony as it often is for those who are on the verge of a divorce or a legal separation. The whole basis of any successful relationship whether it is between friends, business partners or work colleagues or the binding product of a wedding or civil partnership ceremony is effective communication. A close inspection of almost any failed relationship will almost invariably reveal that the inability or failure to dialogue effectively played a major role in the eventual breakdown.

A few minutes of reflection should make it clear that the transition from an essentially autonomous existence to a shared one can pose some serious challenges for newlyweds. The subsequent need for marriage guidance, once the first flush of passion has run its course, will often be shown to have its origins in the habitual independence and self-interest of their formerly singular existence. Though it may sometimes seem like an insurmountable challenge, the difficulty of seeking consensus in the face of differing needs or interests or of placing the needs of a spouse above one’s own may, nevertheless, be overcome very effectively with a little professional help.

Among the first essentials in any attempt to broker conciliation lies in assisting each of the involved parties, through a process of self-evaluation, to recognise and to accept that as unique individuals their personalities, values and perceptions may differ and that this is not a recipe for disaster. The marriage guidance counsellor then needs to demonstrate that conflict is an inevitable and essential part of a healthy relationship and that problems arise, not from their differences, but from an inability or unwillingness by one or both of the partners to resolve them. Much of the hurt that couples experience is both unintentional and unconscious in its origins even though frequently perceived as otherwise. Nevertheless, the pain may seem no less severe and tends to promote retaliation.

The therapist may adopt a variety of techniques by which to assist the parties to display more rational and less emotive behaviour. Encouraging the replacement of inherently destructive behaviour patterns with more constructive ones enables the parties to experience the potential benefits directly and is a primary objective of the counselling process.

As vital to the success of that process as the knowledge and experience of the therapist, is his or her attitude to those in need of help. In order to promote the empathy, respect and tact so vital to successful relationships, the marriage guidance expert must also display these same qualities throughout.

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