15 May 2018

BY: Dr. Prince Oteng-Boateng

((Note: This is a guest article by Dr. Marc Shulman, a Long Island Psychologist with offices in Garden City and Lawrence, New York. Many of his local New York clients are couples in need of help. I have invited Dr. Shulman to our blog to talk more about relationship counselling and therapy. If you’re interested in learning more about his Long Island practice, visit his website at www.lipsychologist.com, and if you are interested in relationship counselling in Calgary, give Innovative Counselling Solutions a call today.))Relationship counselling is one of the most effective ways to improve your relationship. It’s not just for those on the brink of break up or divorce either. Relationship counselling provides a unique way to examine your relationship and learn new and effective ways to communicate and build trust.Yet as effective as relationship counselling is for couples, the truth is that every couple is made up of two individuals, and that means that each individual within that couple deserves their own private opportunity to share their thoughts and feelings.

Meeting One on One During Couples Counselling

It’s for those reasons that, in my practice, I try to make sure that I have an opportunity to meet with both couples individually at least once, if not more times. There are several advantages to this approach that can have a valuable effect on your relationship, including:

  • Chance to Share in Private

Maintaining open communication can be difficult at first, especially if you’ve lost some trust in sharing openly in front of your partner. But individually, people are much more willing to share what bothers them and discuss the issues that matter most. This provides the psychologist (in this case, myself) with the opportunity to really learn more about the person as an individual, and come up with strategies to communicate it to your partner.

  • Individual Mental Health Struggles

Similarly, individual problems that have nothing to do with the relationship can affect the relationship, and sometimes these deserve their own individual advice or counselling. For example, if you are struggling with anxiety or under work stress, it may have nothing to do with your partner, but affects your happiness in a way that hurts your relationship. So meeting individually can help uncover these issues.

  • Psychologist Help

You and your partner need to communicate. But sometimes you’re not quite at the place where you feel comfortable talking yet, or you just don’t know how. Meeting individually means that we can give you some guidance over how to communicate with your partner, and in some cases we can even help lead conversation ourselves taking much of the pressure off of you.

Moving Forward with Relationship Counselling

These are only a few examples of the benefits of meeting individually during couples counselling, and when I work with clients on Long Island I can tell that this makes a tremendous difference in terms of quality and effectiveness of the counselling services. Relationship counselling can be challenging, but meeting individually can help improve the likelihood of success and make your relationship stronger.