What is Relationship Counseling?
Recently my kids were playing with a group of their friends. After being together for awhile, one of them noticed that their play time was not nearly as conflict-filled as it normally is. They discussed this observation and realized that one person, who they normally play with, was missing. The kids began to reflect upon the notion that they interact differently, depending on who’s present. One of them commented, “wow, it’s calmer and quieter today. Without _________ here, we’re fighting less.”
This observation, that we impact and change the “relationship mood” of those we’re around, and that others impact our “relationship mood” and style, is the backbone of Relationship Counseling. This “influence” is generally referred to as “relationship dynamic” and kids notice it quite well. Kids regularly shift their behaviors, moods, and reactions depending on who their with (i.e. home vs school – grandparents vs. parents). And adults are no different, we change depending on who we’re interacting with – adults generally just notice and acknowledge the dynamic of relationship less.
Relationship Therapy and Counseling helps bring light to how we each contribute to the success and difficulties of the relationships with which we’re a part. It’s not a blaming therapy, but rather a curious therapy. It’s not a criticizing therapy, but a questioning and observing therapy asking “how did we get to this point, and what are we doing to stay stuck here?”
Relationship Counseling, in part, focuses on:
- Old disappointments
- Unmet Expectations
- And “wounds”
All of which get re-activated, re-ignited, or re-injured in the current relationship dynamic.
Relationship Therapy asks…
- “Do you notice when each other are hurt or bruised?”
- “Do you both know how to comfort each other’s discontent?”
- “What fears keep you from responding lovingly to your partner?”
- “How do we make and perpetuate this mess together?”
It’s all about the relationship dynamic.