Marriage counseling is a type of relationship counseling, but it’s far from the only type. Relationships that can benefit from counseling do not even have to be romantic. Business partners, siblings, parent and child, and even best friends may benefit from relationship counseling. In today’s world, with all the choices available to us and all the stresses that affect our lives, maintaining healthy relationships can be a challenge.
People often find themselves in relationships that are in some way unhealthy. It may be harmful for the person to be in the relationship at all, or it may simply be that the dynamics of the relationship are unhealthy. I serve as an objective observer to help two people decide if it is healthy for them to remain in the relationship, and if it is, how they can correct behavior patterns that are no longer working.
I will often carry out this work by encouraging each member of the relationship to talk about the feelings underlying their actions, and by asking the other person to listen and validate those feelings before sharing their own. As these skills improve, they will become better at recognizing the types of behaviors that draw them into a cycle of conflict. Eventually, they will able to short-circuit those counter-productive behavior cycles and replace them with positive ones.