What Are Healthy and Unhealthy Relationships?
As human beings, we thrive when we are in a relationship with another person. Everyone wants to feel accepted and as if they belong somewhere. Healthy relationships are directly linked to good mental wellbeing, while at the same time, unhealthy relationships can cause significant emotional and psychological distress.
Maintaining a healthy relationship is hard work, and people need to put effort into their relationships in order to keep them fresh, fun and healthy. There are many reasons why people struggle with relationship problems, one of which is neglecting to put the time and effort in. This can sometimes lead to conflict in the relationship, a partner can become aggressive and then in some cases, the relationship can become abusive.
Many people also seek couples counselling and relationship counselling Brisbane when their relationship becomes boring or stagnant; when the couple has lost interest in one another and the relationship has lost its ‘spark’. Others seek assistance when the intimacy in the relationship fails; perhaps the couple has stopped talking to one another and their physical intimacy has diminished or disappeared. When one or both partners don’t feel loved by the other, then there is also a clear need for intervention by a qualified Brisbane psychologist. Or when the conflict in the relationship has escalated and the couple are no longer communicating in a respectful way with one another; when issues feel stuck and communication becomes aggressive and abusive.
Many couples will only seek help as a last resort, almost when the relationship has completely fallen apart. However, it is always better to seek assistance before things get out of hand so as to resolve any issues before they become irreparable and to get your relationship back on the right track.
Sometimes it happens that one partner does not want to go for relationship counselling Brisbane, and while the therapy is far more effective with both partners present and willing, it is still possible to work on the relationship from an individual perspective.
Your dedicated psychologist at CFHP can provide effective couples counselling Brisbane wide for people from all walks of life and in all types of relationships, including:
- Same sex couples counselling
- Relationship counselling
- Marriage counselling
- Couple’s therapy
- Family counselling
How are relationship issues treated?
Couples therapy is a separate branch of counselling and is aimed at enhancing the communication style between the partners so that they are better able to discuss their feelings and issues, without it escalating into an argument. At the root of it, each person wants to feel heard and understood. They want their feelings validated. When couples become stuck in their conflicts it is as if they can no longer ‘hear’ and empathise with their partner. Your psychologist Brisbane acts as a neutral facilitator to encourage a more gentle form of communication, and helps the couple tune into one another in a more empathetic way.
Once the communication problems are dealt with, other problem areas of the relationship are also addressed in this non-judgemental and safe space to help you strengthen your relationship together, one step at a time. As a result, a few sessions of relationship counselling Brisbane will help the couple reach a place where they are able to communicate more empathetically in general and without the help of a counsellor or psychologist. They will be able to sit down and discuss their issues in a safe and positive way that does not escalate into dangerous arguments. And if the conversation does become heated, the couple will also have ways in which to cope with this in a new adaptive way that prevents them from getting stuck in heated conflict. They will also experience closer connectedness and enjoy spending time together again. Often, intimacy significantly improves after counselling and the couple will learn how to fully appreciate each other.
What can I expect from Brisbane relationship counselling and/or couple's therapy?
Relationship counselling is typically a shorter process than couple’s therapy and aims at improving the aspects of a relationship between two partners, or between members of a family. The idea is that counselling assists in improving the communication and connection in the relationship.
Couples counselling on the other hand, while related to relationship counselling, is a more specific and lengthy process aimed specifically at guiding and helping all types of couples (whether married or not, heterosexual, homosexual, cohabiting or living separately) to work through their individual difficulties and communication problems.
Both relationship counselling and couples counselling sees the qualified psychologist Brisbane listening to the different perspectives of each individual in the relationship, while validating and normalising the emotions being addressed. The aim is to find new ways of coping with old problems while gaining a deeper understanding for why your partner feels and behaves the way they do. Often couple’s therapy will take each partner’s personal history and experiences into account, creating a deeper and shared understanding of how past experiences can shape current behaviour within the relationship.
There are many different models of couple’s therapy and it is recommended that you find out just how your psychologist works in this area. At CFHP our psychologists are experienced in couple’s therapies, designed to teach you new ways of communicating, understanding each partner’s perspective and moving your relationship forward to a fair resolution of specific conflicts, and a healthier, more positive space.
When should we seek help?
As stated earlier, many people often only seek assistance with their relationship when things are falling apart and therapy becomes a ‘last resort’ in an attempt to pick up the pieces. While couple’s therapy and relationship counselling Brisbane is certainly useful in this area, it can also be extremely beneficial to seek counselling when you feel like your communication styles are not working, when you feel you are stuck on a particular issue, or even when you feel you are experiencing some emotional distance in the relationship.
Couples counselling Brisbane is of help for many stages of a relationship, from having a few minor setback to extreme argumentative situations, and the psychologists at the Centre for Human Potential are a team of dedicated professionals with training and experience to be able to help you in your specific circumstances.
The following are some indications that relationship counselling and/or couple’s therapy may be the next step for you:
- The relationship feel stagnant and boring
- You have stopped talking to each other about personal and intimate things
- You don’t feel loved and appreciated by your partner
- If feels like you simply don’t understand or ‘hear’ each other
- Your discussions quickly escalate into arguments that don’t seem to get resolved
- Arguments may become verbally or even physically abusive
- It feels as if you are ‘stuck’ on certain issues
- You don’t enjoy spending time together anymore
- There has been a betrayal to the relationship, such as an affair or infidelity
- There is verbal or physical aggression in the relationship
- You don’t feel equal in the relationship, and one partner is in control
- You are dissatisfied with your sex life, or are experiencing difficulties with intimacy
What if My Partner Won’t Come to Counselling With Me?
Sometimes it happens that one partner does not want to seek professional help. But this shouldn’t stop you from working on your relationship on your own – while couple’s therapy is certainly far more effective when both partners are present, it is also possible to work on your relationship individually with your CFHP psychologist Brisbane. In this instance, the therapy will assist the individual to recognise how their own feelings, communication style and behaviour impacts on the relationship and on his/her partner. New ways of being in the relationship are explored and the relationship is improved in this way. In many instances, your partner may be able to see the progress and improvement through you and change their mind about the value of couples counselling.
But if one partner in the relationship is adamant about not seeking professional help through relationship counselling Brisbane, there are still ways to improve it through one partner. While there is always a greater chance of success when both partners are committed to the process and engage with the relationship counselling together, it shouldn’t stop you from taking the first steps on your own.
If you feel that your relationship needs some guidance and counselling, or you know someone who would benefit in their relationship from couples counselling, talk with our professional team of Brisbane psychologists to see how we can help.
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