It's one of those things that when mentioned to a lot of the older generation, they believe something is seriously wrong with you. I do believe our generation is getting so much better with the thinking but there still needs to be work done. I genuinely believe (now) counselling both individual and couples, is something that is so beneficial and can only make your development a lot better. I will caveat that by saying I think couples counselling should only be done with someone you actually see a future with and that you have plans for 'more' with whether that's baby or getting married. If you are in the first month of your relationship and you can just about remember the other persons last name then please, a beg, sit down and focus on you before you start to involve some else! Counselling requires a high level of vulnerability and openness that I do not recommend giving to someone you barely know!
Anyway, back to it.. I remember suggesting counselling to my husband early on and he was totally against it. In his eyes he did not want 'an outsider' telling him how to do things in his relationship and he openly admits this. I do think it's more of a male thing though as a few of our male friends have said the same but the women are very open to it. As a result, we did not end up having pre-marriage counselling which I highly recommend that people do if you are engaged and ready for that journey!
This one is a must! I wish we had done this before we got married as I genuinely do believe it would have helped us avoid some of the issues we initially had! It's basically sitting down with someone (a qualified someone) and going through a series of sessions with the aim of getting you prepared for marriage. The conversations you have within these sessions would be ones that make you go deeper than the surface level conversations a lot of us have in the dating stages. They would highlight any potential issues/differences you may have when it comes to different topics e.g. money, children, raising children, faith, etc... the list goes on.
I wholeheartedly believe pre-marriage counselling is so vital if you are heading down this route because it can help you see whether or not you actually want to be with this person in the long run. Let's be honest, love can be so blinding and a lot of people push things to the side thinking the other person will change eventually or they ignore the red flags all because of love. If it's in your face and you're having to deal with the issues there and then, you can still say no to marrying that person. If you're like me and don't believe in divorce for anything other than physical abuse and infidelity, then take those sessions seriously and use them as the time to make your final life-long decision.
This one be life long ooo... Marriage isn't always a bed of roses and it's important to know that if you feel things are becoming too difficult within the home you can actually seek professional help. We spent a lot of 2020 so far in marriage counselling and what I thought were big issues in our marriage turned out to actually be things we could easily deal with if we just implemented a few things differently. Like I said, my bobo is not someone who liked the idea of counselling but eventually, because he could see how much I wanted it, he decided to give it a try. Now he's always the one recommending it to couples.
There is this shame associated with counselling which really bugs me. I told someone we were having sessions and the first thing they said was "ahh I hope you guys are not looking to divorce, what's happened". Just because a couple is having counselling sessions does not mean things are at the end! We recognised that if we continued on the path that we were on then things wouldn't be as enjoyable in our marriage and we want to avoid that at all costs! Marriage is challenging and so anything we can fix to make things a little easier we most definitely will. We acknowledged that something needed to change and we didn't know how to change them so we sought professional help so we can get a few extra tools under our belt for now and for the future.
I'm adding this one in because I think it's important to understand more about it!
Now therapy is slightly different to counselling. This is more long term and frequent (anywhere from 1 - 5 times a week for 6 months to several years) in order for you to really see the benefits, deals with more complicated issues and generally speaking, therapy is more in-depth. Emphasis is placed on creating a space for you to feel comfortable enough to open up and share experiences from your past. The idea being that once these buried experiences (and their accompanying emotions) are brought to the surface, they can be fully processed, and ultimately, released. This is something that is on my to do list but I will be honest it scares me a little bit. I am a person who has childhood trauma and it's taken me right into my 20's to acknowledge and begin to deal with things very slowly! I have begun to recognise how my personal past trauma has impacted me growing up and continues to impact me now that I am older - not as much anymore though I am very happy to say! I guess my fear is that a ton load more will come up and then it will be a whole load that I will have to deal with, but if I'm better for it in the end then is it not better to just deal with things now? - Rhetorical.
As someone who has spoken to many people who are and have been in therapy I think again, there is so much power that can be derived from going through this. When you know yourself better and know how to harness the powers within you (ohh goodness so cheesy) then you can cut through a lot of the bullshit that can become your life and focus on what you actually want and being a better you.
Counselling is GOOD!
Marriage counselling is GREAT!
Pre-Marriage counselling is the BEST idea!
Marriage is challenging, if you can make it easier by facing your ish then bloody do it!
Do not be afraid of something you have not even tried.
Do what you got to do to make sure you are mentally in the right place! - Everyone around you is better off for it
What's your opinion on counselling and therapy? Let's talk!