Couple counseling is supposed to be an opportunity for both partners to meet in a neutral location and work through some of the issues that have been bothering one or both of them. If approached with an open mind and willing heart it is a chance to establish a new foundation on which to build a productive and meaningful future together. However, if one or both parties comes to the counseling session with a specific agenda (say to change one or more of the other’s perceived weaknesses) or is simply going through the motions couple counseling is unlikely to produce much more than frustration.
Counterproductive Behaviour during Couple Counseling in Toronto
In order to get to uncover and deal with the source of friction in a relationship both parties need to be present and emotionally accounted for. However, any one of the following behaviours is often enough to derail couple counseling in Toronto and they should be avoided at all cost.
- Pointing fingers – “He’s the one with the problem.” “She never shuts up.” Just rehashing the standard complaints isn’t likely to do anything but feed the fire of anger and resentment. Instead of trying to “win” by forcing your partner to accept blame and absolve you a better approach is to talk about how certain behaviours make you feel.
- Name calling – Words are powerful things and once an insult or put down has departed your lips there is no way to un-say it. While your partner may ultimately forgive you the sting will always be present on some level. There are some occasions where silence really is golden and no more so than when you decide to say nothing rather than say something you’ll regret.
- Interrupting your partner – Counseling is an opportunity for both partners to talk about their feelings while they search for accommodation. None of this is possible if one person is constantly interrupting the other. Reconciliation rests on a foundation of mutual respect. Not letting the other person finish is not the way to build that respect.
- Not listening – Some people do not know how to have a conversation, and that’s often a big part of the problem. Instead of listening to what their partner is saying they simply wait for their partner’s mouth to stop moving so they can continue. Listening is a skill that pays dividends in all aspects of our life and the counseling office is a good place to cultivate that skill.
- Looking at your watch or smartphone – As stated earlier reconciliation is built on a foundation of mutual respect. If one party is constantly checking their watch or smartphone it indicates they respect neither the process nor their partner. If you have gone to the trouble of making it to the counseling session turn your phone off and try some of that listening mentioned above.
Couple counseling in Toronto can help repair the bonds between people, resolve long-standing conflicts and provide valuable insight into our behaviour. Learn more about how it can help you by calling Esther Benbihy on 647-295-5935.