It is disheartening to note that the number of failed marriages has been increasing in recent times. It is important to know that through couples counseling, marriages can be saved. The techniques used in the process will be couple-specific because unless a collaborative alliance is developed with each of the partners, they may not yield results. Both the partners should support this process that is nothing but a relationship-focused therapy. This therapy mainly involves empathy because the experiences and more specially, emotional experiences of both the partners should be validated.
The first step is to eliminate the reservations in the minds of the partners about the efficacy of the therapy because such reservations may be a stumbling block in the whole process. The therapy also involves formation of an alliance or a cohesive unit with both the partners. The aim of this step is to re-frame the presentation of their problems with a focus on strengthening the relationship and not on widening the rift. Focus should also be there on their individual concerns as well as concerns they share as a couple.
The partners may have their own sense of individual identities and at the same time, they should realize that they are an integral part of a unit. This means that they should reassess their positions. The therapy is also intended to encourage the partners to interact directly without seeking the help of the therapist to convey their minds on their behalf.
Improved Communication Can Help Reducing Stress in Couples
The therapist who undertakes Couples Counseling Therapy should ensure that the partners learn to listen actively, without debating. Such an active listening will remove the cobwebs of wrong assumptions from their minds. They should also learn to make clear and unambiguous statements. They should show a sense of appreciation to the views of the other partner though they may have concerns. In fact, concerns should be voiced without criticisms and with a soft approach. Communications should be concise. There should not be any bottling up of feelings nor there should be controlled expression of thoughts and experiences. There should also be clarity in expressions and feed-backs.
Management of Stress may Help in Saving Marriages
This process that is a very important part of couples counseling involves a step-by-step approach and it begins with removing low-level stress and moving towards removing stress of higher levels. Both the partners should offer empathetic support to one another so that identifying ways to manage stress becomes easy. There should be fairness and equanimity in their approach.
How Changes in Behaviors Can Help
The partners should identify the goals of this Therapy and establish rules as well as procedures to achieve them. They should also know the reasons for the success or failure of the behavioral agreements. Changes in behaviors can instigate the other partner reciprocate positive behaviors. They may increase the frequency at which positive exchanges take place and decrease the volume of negative exchanges. For this to happen, the partners should focus on non-controversial things. The next step is to increase positive behaviors that do not depend on reciprocation of behaviors.
Solutions to Problems May Pave the Way for Saving Marriages
In this step, the focus is on hopes as well as fears. There should be enhancement of the quality of daily rituals that may improve connections between partners. Complaints and criticisms should be reduced. Problems should be addressed one by one according to their importance. Methods like discussions, brain-storming, evaluation of advantages and disadvantages of the alternatives available, and negotiating should be used purposefully and with aim to save the marriage.