I've been reminded lately about the differing views people still hold, regarding whether or not it's OK to go to counselling/therapy, or is it a sign of failure..I take the position that to NOT go, especially if a relationship is in crisis, then there is an increased chance that there will be a relationship failure. Yet so many people walk away from marriages or long-term relationships without even considering going to counselling. Weird. Because chances are they would have been able to fix things. And if for some reason they were not able to, there is surely some self-reassurance in saying that well, we gave it a good shot anyway, by doing all we could...
I've also met with some couples lately who will attend counselling, even if there is no crisis, and even when they feel the relationship is currently pretty good. Conducting something of a ''warrant of fitness'' check is real front-end proactive stuff, and I think how smart those people really are.... It helps them to stay on track, and to expand on the ''temperature check" exercise that I mentioned in an earlier blog entry. Useful questions for those couples to focus on might see them asking themselves what makes their relationship work well? what do they each do, that contributes to that process? ...... If they are becoming more attuned to what goes well and why, they will be much better resourced to fix it, when they hit next hit a wobbly patch.
I hope that there is much less shame today, for people in going to counselling/therapy. I've read several times now, how the counsellor has in some ways replaced people who might have been available to couples in earlier days. Not so long ago families and couples were much less geographically mobile, and so would form enduring connections with significant people in their communities. The local priest or vicar was an obvious one, as was the GP or doctor. I also heard of people who would talk to their bank manager about relationship issues, that in small towns in particular, any professional in a role with any perceived status, was alikely font of wisdom regarding relationship issues...Mmmm, interesting. So maybe the increase in mobility of the family has meant those traditional community-based relationships are less likely to occur... So I guess the (now long-winded) point I am trying to make here is that, in the absence of those traditional sources of support, counsellors & therapists do exist. And they are likely to have more skills at fixing marriages than bank managers do....
"Some occasional thoughts about families, relationships, and other things that distract us...."