Would you consider Couples Counselling before getting married?
What would the decision to have Counselling before getting married communicate to your partner, to others, to yourself?
The implications of a Wedding and the later commitment it entails are a life changing decision. The gap between how we expect a Relationship to be (fill in your imagined expectations here) and how it actually turns out (fill out your experience here) can sometimes be significant and quite challenging.
Would your PreWedding counselling experience make a difference to your decision to commit? Or if you found difficulties would you simply think things would be different after making the commitment?
For Couples that are separating as their best option, Author Warren Farrell lists the following 4 points for parents to consider in order to minimise the impact on Children:
1)Equal Time: (Children have equal time including overnights with each parent)
2)No Bad-mouthing: (this includes non verbal signals like eye-rolling, huffing and sighing)
3) Proximity:(Parents live close enough to each other that the child does not have to give up friends or activities to see a parent)
4)Counselling:(“Consistent Couples Counselling occurs even when there is no emergency”)
Perhaps Point 4 is the most contentious.
Couples might say: But we are separating! Why do we need Consistent Couples Counselling? This is the last thing i want! I can’t stand this person! I’m so angry/upset/out of love with them that I can’t bear it
A Couples Counsellor might say: Even during/after separation:
-I don’t mind whether you separate or stay together, but you might want to make sure that you are making your decision from a Conscious position
Each of you is still in Relationship with each other because of the Children. You will need to discuss their future and your continued need to co-parent
How good are we at passing between generations our learning though experience ?
We are great at documenting and passing material, scientific, technical, and factual information between generations. Year on year more discoveries are made and progress is made as a body of wisdom is generated…..
Or is it?
How good are we at passing between generations our learning though experience, our learning about things that can’t be measured….things like
-Feelings, Thoughts, Intuition, Perception….our Psychology or
-Experience in Relationship, Marriage, Choices, Life, Vulnerability, Daring to tell someone how we feel, taking a risk, opening our hearts?
Alain De Botton in this article likens this absence of sharing of the latter things to being similar to asking each generation to discover the Laws of Physics for themselves…..How crazy would that be?
Counselling can be one way to learn the type of Wisdom that is harder to measure and harder to pass from one generation to another
You have a problem. You go to the Doctor. You might carry some of the following conscious or unconscious assumptions…
– I will tell the Doctor my problem -The Doctor will draw conclusions relatively quickly to allow a ‘treatment path’ to be activated -They will make my problem go away, ideally without me having to do much (apart from maybe take medicine, take it easy etc) -The ‘fix’ is from the outside to the inside -Many similar ‘fixes’ might have been offered by this Doctor to other patients -It might be about getting rid of something or removing something from you
Counsellor or Doctor? How is a session Different?
How is this different from coming to see a Counsellor / Therapist?
-I won’t try to ‘fix’ you -It’s not about making progress necessarily (unless you tell me that’s what you want) -Instead it’s about understanding more clearly WHERE you are and WHY this might be -It’s about understanding how you are affected -It’s about understanding your hopes, fears, imagination, worries, thoughts, and feelings -We might wonder, ponder and consider things in more detail and with more time -You are an individual-We will consider your past, your present, your future -I believe you have all the wisdom and help you need within yourself, but there are some things getting in the way of you being able to access this inner wisdom -You might have to put a bit of yourself in the process and I realise this can be difficult, scary, and hard to imagine, but I’ve taken these steps before you so I might have an idea of how it could work for you
-There is the potential for lasting, real change and growth
Do you sometimes find yourself feeling Anxious or Avoidant in company or in Relationships? There are many many ways to consider this. One possible way is using the idea of “Attachment Theory”.
Your Attachment “style” influences how you are, conciously, or perhaps also unconciously or just in the edge of awareness.
There are 3 major “styles” of Attachment: Anxious, Avoidant, Secure.
Your attachment style evolves as a result of several things like, how you were related to throughout your life starting with pre-verbal times. It is influenced by your experiences, ie ‘nurture’ but also perhaps by “nature” ie how you were born.
How we relate to someone and feel in someones company can change from one person to the next ie it is person and situationally specific.
“Earnt Secure” is another Attachment Style. This means that you “Earn” this way of being/Attaching. For example, it can be possible to change your Attachment style (eg from “Anxious” to “Secure”) by working for/earning this transformation . This can be achieved by any sort of inner or soul or reflective transformational work, whether it be counselling, retreats, reading, journalling etc.
However I’d argue that to change an Attachment Style that was formed “through relationship” (ie as a result of early relational experiences, ie experiences with another) , it is also more likely that your attachment style can be changed more quickly if the work you do to change it, involves relationships or ‘Relational Work’.
Getting to know your Counsellor and working in depth with them is an example of the sort of “Relational Work” that has the potential to change your Attachment Style.
Can the phenomenon of absent fathers ever be a blessing in the life of their sons, rather than the curse it is conventionally purported to be?’
What can it learn from Queer Theory, Transgender and Non Binary Stances?
Sons of our Fathers, an article from Therapy Today covering Trump, Zuckerberg, Mythology, and placing modern mens work in context by Manu Bazzano who is a therapist, supervisor and visiting lecturer at Roehampton University and the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London
Parent Child Connection is illustrated as 11 year old boy shows Stepdad a video he made of their time together
2 minute video that hints at a childs desire to belong, to be part of something, and hints at the joy the 11 year old feels when in the company of his step-parent. Even when a family still lives under the same roof, it takes some effort, awareness and availability on the part of the parent or caregiver to create a relationship with their children like this. Sometimes there can be reasons why this sort of connection isn’t possible.
What was your experience like of being parented or looked after by a guardian?
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Thought provoking animated style video about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES)
Although this Video is in animated form, you may see aspects of yourself in this video…You may be reminded of yours or others history. You may experience an emotional response watching this.
We could say the video is a little simplistic. It implies that getting help via police and social worker is the way to resolve or get past Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES). It may also imply that if you have an Adverse Childhood Experience then you will be more likely/or inevitably suffer later in life. It is not inevitable. Many factors are relevant in considering the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences. These include the natural resilience of each person, the nature and number of difficulties and the nature and number of supportive influences and Protective factors or Counter-ACES in a young persons life.
You may find that Counselling is one of the many ways that you can come to terms with. and help understand Adverse Childhood Experiences