Many marriages are troubled with conflict and become a source of pain instead of love and happiness. At Inner Space, we work with couples through marriage counseling in individual and joint sessions in order to resolve relationship and marriage problems. Initial sessions of marriage counseling or couples counseling involve working with one partner at a time. After some headway has been made individually, joint sessions are encouraged.
In these sessions, we focus on the following:
An improved understanding of oneself and one’s partner:
When in a difficult relationship, we are often too distressed to understand not only the opposite person but even our own behavior. We often experience this when for example, we have a sudden aggressive outburst and later on wonder what led to it. Hence, this is one of the first steps towards a healthier relationship.
Gaining insight into each other’s personality differences, needs and expectations:
This of course is understandably a core area of focus. Often in a troubled marriage, conflicts occur not because we do not intend well, but because both partners have different emotional needs. Our needs and expectations are active all the time. It is essential for us to appreciate each other’s needs and also understand where incompatibilities arise.
Developing better communication skills:
Successful communication is when the sender and the receiver of the message perceive the same intent behind it. It often becomes difficult to achieve this when we are in a state of conflict and damages the relationship further. We therefore focus on active listening, assertive communication and other such skills. Moreover, we coach both partners to communicate effectively even during an argument, to prevent escalation of conflict.
Learning problem-solving and conflict resolution strategies:
These strategies are coping skills that enable one to manage the situation better when either one person is undergoing a negative emotion or has incompatible expectations. Reducing catastrophization and introducing more objectivity into the situation often relieves a good deal of stress in itself.
In sum, we do our best to help both partners envision the healthy relationship they want to be in and work towards creating and sustaining it. Although our key focus is the relationship, addressing self-growth and self-enhancement in each partner is inevitable as achieving comfort with oneself is the first step towards achieving comfort in relationships.