Unfortunately, many couples see professional counseling as an unattractive last result, whether they are having minor emotional connection issues or are in major turmoil. The truth is, counseling is nothing to be ashamed of; it is a healthy way to work out differences with a knowledgeable, neutral mediator.
Studies have shown that the most common reason for seeking counseling is a loss of emotional connection, which can manifest in arguing, misunderstanding, and more. No one wants to feel stress, and if the two partners cannot work it out on their own, counseling serves as a safe, healthy alternative. This is especially true to partners who are interested in EFT, or Emotionally Focused Therapy. Understanding and sympathizing with emotions is one important factors in keeping a relationship together; counseling can help repair the emotional base and connection that once existed, and cement it for years to come.
Counseling, however, is not a snap-of-the-fingers, fix-all technique. Rather, the counselor has been trained to ask the right questions and push the two partners in the right direction, and in the right discussion. Once you find the right counselor—by using Internet reviews, friend recommendations, professional recommendations, and by checking the counselor’s background in emotional and couples therapy—then you can give him or her a call, and prepare for, on average, twelve counseling sessions.
The discord in emotional connection is often complete misunderstanding on one person’s part, or maybe even both. It is the counselor’s job to adjust the emotional connection so that you both are on the same page. A few weeks into the counseling, you may see that you can now see things from your partner’s point of view, and they can see things from yours. This is a solid sign that the counseling is working. It is the start of a renewed sympathy that will help establish a new, strong emotional relationship.
There are plenty of excuses to not go to therapy—for example, one partner might declare that he or she is perfectly happy with themselves, so it is only the duty of the other partner to seek out therapy. This is not true—relationships are 100% one person, and 100% the other. It requires full participation and understanding from both sides, and nothing will be fixed if only one person seeks counseling. After all, emotions are built on connection, the relations between two people, not one. If one person is too withdrawn into their emotions, the counseling may help bring those out and secure a safe, welcoming environment within the relationship.
Emotionally focused therapy is a fantastic way to recognize the strengths and weaknesses in a relationship, and counseling can help reinforce them. A relationship is like a tree; it starts out with strong roots, and eventually it grows into a complicated being with dozens and dozens of branches. EFT and counseling seek to address the roots, to make the relationship stronger than it ever was. If you think that you may be in need of counseling, it can never hurt to call and ask!