AN INTERESTING STORY TO BEGIN.
A phone vibrated on the table in an ongoing meeting. Everyone looked around; being a larger conference room her colleague sitting beside gave a puzzled look. She continued to concentrate on the presentation in the meeting after she declined the call. The phone screen showed ‘Home Minister calling’. After the meeting got over her colleague asked her,” Why do you have Home Minister calling you? Do you know a VIP?” She laughed about it and said, “That was my husband calling me. We have counselling session in the evening.”
The looks on her colleague’s face changed and a more intense face turned towards her to question, “Is everything alright? Are you people getting a divorce? “She replied frantically saying,” Why would you think like that? We are happy and content in our marriage.” There were many unanswered questions in her mind, she choose to ignore them and moved on with her work.
Ignorance is bliss but not every time. We think alike and act differently relating particular things to specific reasons. Counseling is only advisable for a person or married couples if there are problems in a relationship. The stereotyping needs to stop here, let us not jump to conclusions as humans but think before we act.
Counselling has been prevalent in married couples if there have been problems between them or couples have filed for a divorce and ordered by law to trial under separation for counseling. Yes, this is every time the case, unfortunately. The modern approach to counseling has changed couples undergo counseling to retain a healthy relationship and marriage.
A MODERN APPROACH
Today, the definition of relationships have changed but the ideas to sustain a relationship are the same. We seek advice only if there is a problem. The best idea, if couples have a problem is they move to their peers and common friends for advice. Hope, some friends do offer good advice in such situations, whereas some are just there standing letting you fall apart.
If the problem persists then it is always the woman taking the high road to get proper counseling. Men are hesitant at first after the word counseling comes out of their partner’s mouth. Counseling is a two-way process for couples. In this process, married couples undergo counseling from a certified counselor or a practitioner regarding problems occurring in their married life. Counseling takes place in sessions over a given time period of one year or six months depending on the depth of the problems the couple is facing.
COUNSELLING, WHAT GOES IN IT?
In a counseling session, couples discuss problems ranging from a wide variety it could be physical, emotional, and psychological problems. The word ‘problem’ has been the main deficient in attending counseling. In Asian countries, the marriage culture has a different aspect rather than Western countries. We seek advice only at the time we need help.
To understand counseling better we need to look at it as an open communication channel to enhance our living. The scenario explained in the introduction is very uncommon and rare for married couples to get advice to sustain their relationship. The practice of taking advice from a counselor just for the benefit has been more experienced in the West.
In India, a negative approach is undertaken towards marriage counseling. We consider ourselves as the best gurus, at the time of giving advice. We hinder such practices and consider this a waste of time. Counseling does not help but a way towards a happy living. Couples consider it a huge decision before enrolling themselves together for counseling.
The approach towards counseling is under two verticals positive and negative. We have observed the positive approach does not work always the negative aspect is at the forefront. Scientific evidence has proved the benefits of marriage counseling but no accurate studies published towards it being useful.
IMPACTS OF COUNSELLING.
If we decide to look after the problems, taking place in a married couple during the time of counseling the list would be never-ending. If we consider a scenario of couples undergoing counseling only because of problems that would make a major impact as problems arising out of it would be unresolved. For a counseling session to be efficient, couples need to practice therapy advised by the counselor.
Even if a couple undergoes counseling but the end result depends on the couple entirely if they want to work together in this marriage or get away from each other which is not a suggested remedy by any counselor. Counseling is under all kinds of notions and as something awful. There have been positive studies about couples engaging in counseling willingly. A partner with a similar mindset can be encouraging towards getting the relationship to a balanced emotional, physical, and mental aspect.
WOULD IT WORK?
Couples see counseling, as a last resort after everything has fallen apart that should not be the case. Timely endeavors with a counselor can work like magic in the relationship. However, counseling has been the universal solution to any problem but the significance of it has been declining. All those hooked on to this till now, looking for appropriate relationship advice, please look into a proper counselor and trust in your partner.
Trust is an important foundation of any relationship. Counseling between couples is on trusted issues that require immediate resolution. In the end, it all depends on the couple about their willingness to be together and having a positive approach. Resolving a conflict is easy but when it comes to situations escalating towards downfall, it requires discussion and not an argument.
A WAY TOWARDS CHANGE.
Change takes place always over a period and the situation between couples improves with time. The remedy of marriage counseling is not the exact solution to retain a marriage but engaging together to resolve conflicts through an open channel is the right way to move together. We advise you to look after your actions affecting your loved one and enact this through a proper medium. Sometimes do it for fun, or sometimes just because your partner wants it. Being reliant at times is not good taking initiative and working together towards a couple of goals is the better way of life.
So, once you reach home today, go sit and speak with your partner about the times you have not appreciated him/her or missed something important related to both. Indulge yourself with activities you both have not done in a while or go down on your nostalgic lane to get that ripple effect. Simple things have simple answers and counseling seeks exactly the same outlook from couples.
So, get that run and seek your inner voice from advice.
Mediating modern marriage, social changes, and modern problems through marriage counceling have been well explained by McCarthy, Peter. in “Mediating modern marriage: A role for marriage counseling?.” Sexual and marital therapy (1997).