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The making of this term-paper has become possible due to the guidance, efforts and co-operation given by many people who have played an important role however, small or big, in it’s successful completion. I wish to extend my humble gratitude to Dr. B.L. Bajpai for his kind efforts and guidance for this term-paper, whose ever presence in my mind with helping attitude encouraged me to complete this term-paper. I express my deep sense of gratitude to my friends for their valuable help and continuous motivation, and my family members for their co-operation and support during the making of this termpaper.


Relationship counseling is the process of counseling the parties of a relationship in an effort to recognize and to better manage or reconcile troublesome differences and repeating patterns of distress. The relationship involved may be between members of a family or a couple (see also family therapy), employees or employers in a workplace, or between a professional and a client. Couple therapy (or relationship therapy) is a related and different process. It may differ from relationship counseling in duration. Short term counseling may be between 1 to 3 sessions whereas long term couples therapy may be between 12 and 24 sessions. An exception being brief or solution focused couples therapy. In addition, counseling tends to be more 'here and now' and new coping strategies the outcome. Couples therapy is more about seemingly intractable problems with a relationship history, where emotions are the target and the agent of change. Marriage counseling or marital therapy can refer to either or some combination of the above. The methods may differ in other ways as well, but the differences may indicate more about the counselor/therapist's way of working than the title given to their process.

5 Reasons Counseling






There are always going to be times when, in relationships, there are challenges that come up. The important thing, when it comes to "saving" broken relationships, is recognizing that there is a need for change and developing an understanding that marriage counseling or couples counseling can help to put that change into motion. There are a number of situations in which marriage counseling can help couples to uncover what is really going on when they are struggling to communicate and it seems as though the challenges in the relationship cannot be overcome. Here are some of the most common reasons why couples turn to marriage counseling:

1. Couples turn to marriage counseling when they cannot overcome a sense of boredom within their relationship. In many cases, it seems as though as time goes on, familiarity with one another leads to a sense of boredom, that the relationship becomes routine. Marriage counseling can help to reignite the spark that had been present early in the relationship. 2. Couples turn to marriage counseling when they find themselves caught up in past events. Rather than simply justifying their conflicts by saying "too much has happened," with couples counseling it is possible to find ways of moving beyond past hurts. 3. Couples turn to marriage counseling when it seems as though they no longer are able to make time for one another. With work, kids, and other relationships, it seems that some couples struggle to connect in the same ways that they did while they were dating; marriage counseling allows them to work towards a solution. 4. Couples turn to marriage counseling when they recognize that there are changes that need to be made in their relationships but they don't quite know how to begin. Whether it is because of a perceived lack of appreciation or there is difficulty working though infidelity, when both the husband and wife want to be able to work through their challenges but are having trouble moving forward, marriage counseling with an unbiased third party can help to set a plan into motion. 5. Couples turn to marriage counseling when they are having parenting disagreements. Challenges with parenting may be the result of a difference of opinion about having children to the right way to handle rebellious teenagers, but in either case they can drive a wedge between a husband and wife. Marriage counseling can help to bridge the gaps that are left. Communication is the key to successful marriages, and it is therefore the primary focus of marriage counseling. Communication, after all, is not just about which party can speak louder, faster or first; communication is about freely talking about both situations and emotions and hearing what the other party has to say. Marriage counseling is a service provided by therapists who want to be able to help couples uncover the issues that are lurking below the surface - a

service that is designed to enhance communication so that couples can work through their issues. Regardless of whether the issue is boredom, parenting, the past or something else altogether, marriage counseling can help couples to move beyond the issues and to find solutions and, perhaps more importantly, to learn to communicate. Given below are some of the important reasons why a couple should go for marriage counseling: - You need counseling, when you are not able to forget all that has taken place in the past and you just cannot overcome those events. Marriage counseling helps you in overcoming blame-game as well as it helps you in mending the damages from those past events. - When you start feeling bored with your married life and there is no healthy communication between you and your partner. Marriage counseling can really help you in healing your marriage, as it helps you in discovering the lost love and in reorganizing your marriage. - There are times when you feel that your marriage needs a change but you just do not know how to make the first move towards the betterment. Various logical and illogical reasons can affect a relationship; marriage counseling helps you in providing solutions that will help your marriage when struggling with issues and difficulties. - Differentiation of opinion can create a gap between you and your partner, but marriage counseling successfully help in building this gap and bringing the happiness back. - You might seek marriage counseling when you are not able to take time out for your partner. In this fast life, you realize that you are just not able to maintain that same feeling that you used to share before marriage, with your partner. Marriage counseling provides you with the ideas and solutions on how can you manage your relationship, along with your other responsibilities. Marriage counseling teaches you that it is important that you communicate with your partner, as well as share your difficulties. Communication should involve a healthy discussion over the problems affecting the two of you, but it should include any kind of bad mouthing or screaming over each other. Therapy teaches you that sitting together and trying to find the solutions for the different problems helps. It also lets you know that keeping an ego will only destroy your marriage, which is why it is important that you speak your heart out.

Marriage counseling helps in finding out the reasons those are affecting your marriage and it helps in increasing your communication with your partner, so that you enjoy a happy married life. Here are some things one should know if one is going to a therapist with his/her partner for domestic abuse. 1) Expect the therapy to be fertile ground for a continuation of what you experience in the privacy of your own home. 2) Anticipate that when you return home, the dynamics that you sought help for have solidified. That's right you heard me: the abuse dynamic is stronger, might even say, "more in your face." 3) Expect that when push comes to shove, the therapist will most likely be singing the abuser's song, and you will feel like you have two enemies. 4) Know and trust it's not about you. An open ear gravitates to the louder, more domineering voice. And when it comes to abusive relationships, we all know which partner will have the more convincing voice, no matter how compelling the victim's story. 5) As soon as you are willing to take responsibility for your error in choosing this type of therapist/therapy, request termination. You see, you are in the wrong kind of therapy for domestic violence. Marital and couples therapy is actually contra-indicated for domestic abuse. It's more likely to exacerbate intimate partner violence. 6) Find a therapist, who has expertise in domestic violence intervention, to work with you individually. And encourage your partner to seek individual therapy if he/she is willing. If he/she does (which is not likely), request that your two individual therapists interact from time to time. There are as many ways to impact change in a dysfunctional relationship as there are dysfunctional relationships. One thing is for sure: marital and couples therapy is not appropriate for domestic abuse. You see marital therapy is based on a "systems" approach. And the goal of the system is to maintain its homeostasis (that is, its balance). To this end, the responsibility for the dysfunctional dynamics within the system is spread equally across the system. However, this is what solidifies the abuse dynamic. Suffice it to say, marital therapy and couples counseling is not the right therapy for your problem. The sooner you find the appropriate type of

intervention and the right therapist for yourself, the sooner you will be on your way to safety and peace in your life.

Basic Principles
Before a relationship between individuals can begin to be understood, it is important to recognize and acknowledge that each person, including the counselor, has a unique personality, perception, set of values and history. Individuals in the relationship may adhere to different and unexamined value systems. Institutional and societal variables (like the social, religious, group and other collective factors) which shape a person's nature, and behavior are considered in the process of counseling and therapy. A tenet of relationship counseling is that it is intrinsically beneficial for all the participants to interact with each other and with society at large with optimal amounts of conflict. Conflict is not intrinsically adverse to relationship happiness. In fact 60% of divorces occur in low conflict marriages. And where conflict arises as inevitably it does, to manage those conflicts consciously. Most relationships will get strained at some time, resulting in their not functioning optimally and producing self-reinforcing, maladaptive patterns. These patterns may be called negative interaction cycles. There are many possible reasons for this, including insecure attachment, ego, arrogance, jealousy, anger, greed, poor communication/understanding or problem solving, ill health, third parties and so on.

Changes in situations like financial state, physical health, and the influence of other family members can have a profound influence on the conduct, responses and actions of the individuals in a relationship. Often it is an interaction between two or more factors, and frequently it is not just one of the people who are involved that exhibit such traits. Relationship influences are reciprocal - it takes each person involved to make and manage problems. A viable solution to the problem and setting these relationships back on track may be to reorient the individuals' perceptions and emotions - how one looks at or responds to situations and feels about them. Perceptions of and emotional responses to a relationship are contained within an often unexamined mental map of the relationship, also called a love map by John Gottman. These can be explored collaboratively and discussed openly. The core values they comprise can then be understood and respected or changed when no longer appropriate. This implies that each person takes equal responsibility for awareness of the problem as it arises, awareness of their own contribution to the problem and making some fundamental changes in thought and feeling. The next step is to adopt conscious, structural changes to the inter-personal relationships and evaluate the effectiveness of those changes over time. Indeed, "typically for those close personal relations there is a certain degree in 'interdependence' - what means that the partners are alternately mutually dependent on each other. As a special aspect of such relations something contradictory is put outside: the need for intimacy and for autonomy." "The common counterbalancing satisfaction these both needs, intimacy and autonomy, leads to alternately satisfaction in the relationship and stability. But it depends on the specific developing duties of each partner in every life phase and maturity".

Types of Marriage, Relationship Therapy
Marriage or relationship counseling helps couples to rediscover themselves and their feelings for each other. Many marriage counselors suggest that it can take at least 12 sessions (1 a week for 3 months) before a relationship can get back on track. Keep in mind though, it could take longer depending on how difficult the problems experienced by the couple are and their ability to deal with them effectively. If you are experiencing problems in your relationship that you haven't been able to solve on your own, then it may be time to turn to outside help. There are several different types of relationship therapy which may be beneficial. Family counseling or therapy may help to promote better relationships and understanding within a family. It may be incident specific, as for example family counseling during a divorce. Family counseling often occurs with all members of the family unit present. The therapist observes interactions between family members and also observes the perception of non-interacting family members. Thus, if two family members get into an

argument in a session, the therapist might want to know how the other family members are dealing with the disagreement or the way in which the two fighting members comport themselves. Family counseling often teaches family members new and more positive ways to communicate to replace old, negative communication patterns. Couples counseling involves the couple directly. Couple’s counseling is based on the premise that individuals and their problems are best handled within the context of the couple’s relationship. Couples therapy or couple’s counseling is a useful method to help couples who are experiencing difficulties such as repetitive arguments, feelings of distance or emptiness in the relationship, pervasive feelings of anger, resentment and or dissatisfaction or lack of interest in affection or in a physical relationship with one another. At times, the therapist may resort to individual counseling if one partner has difficulty communicating honestly when the other partner is in the room. Group counseling can be used in combination with individual and couple's therapy. In group counseling, the couple individually, as well as together, are grouped with others facing similar problems. There are various group discussions as well as lectures or workshops dealing with communication, how to fight fairly, dealing with feelings of anger or rejection, etc. This helps the couple not only express their own problems in front of others, but it also lets them know they are not the only ones dealing with relationship or marriage problems. The work of a marriage or relationship counselor is usually to help the couple communicate and develop, understand and reignite feelings for each other. The therapist helps the couple to explore ways to stay together in a positive and fulfilling manner. Finally, if all of this does not work and the couple cannot manage to solve their problems, the counselor can help them to have a reasonable and civil separation. With the aid of a qualified clinician, couples can bring peace, stability and communication back into their relationship thus affecting their lives and the lives of those most impacted by them and their relationship.


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