Relationship Counseling – What is it?

29May '17

Relationship Counseling – What is it?

What is the difference between marriage counseling and couples counseling?

In short, marriage counseling is for couples who are actually married. Whereas couples counseling refers to couples who have a commitment, but the commitment has not yet resulted in marriage. Children may or may not be present in both relationships. Both marriage counseling and couples counseling focus on a relationship and the individuals in that relationship. Relationship counseling is different from individual counseling.

Marriage counselors and couples counselors help their clients discover the challenges and problems and then guide them through the path to reconnection. It’s almost like helping clients make a map and leading them down the right road. Change occurs in therapy when a professional counselor manages the clients’ emotional experiences and works to understand the underlying issues.

If you’re wondering if you’d benefit from either of these types of counseling, most of my clients would emphatically say yes! First, you have to decide whether your relationship is healthy or unhealthy. A healthy relationship fosters an environment of respect, sharing, communication, support, and trust. Both partners are equal, and power and control are equally shared. Both people benefit from a healthy relationship, and both people have their needs met. Signs of an unhealthy relationship are a lack of respect, sharing, communication, support, and trust. There may be verbal, physical, and emotional abuse and almost always an unequal balance of power.  This typically results in only one person having his/her needs met.

Another way to look at healthy and unhealthy relationships is:

Healthy vs. Unhealthy
Equality vs. Control
Honesty vs. Dishonesty
Sexual Respectfulness vs. Sexual Abuse
Independence vs. Dependence
Respect vs. Disrespect.
Comfort vs. Intimidation
Physical Safety vs. Physical Abuse
Humor vs. Hostility

In your relationship do you feel any of the above unhealthy effects on a regular basis? If so, seek help from a qualified professional counselor like Sarah Barrett located in Edina, MN. Her training and experience have prepared her to help you repair your relationships and reconnect with your partner.

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