Tuesday, January 12, 2016

What is Marriage Guidance?

What is Marriage Guidance?

Marriage Guidance occurs when a romantic couple (straight or gay) choose to seek the help of an expert 3rd party to help them address underlying issues in their relationship, which is negatively affecting their lives.  Sessions will generally focus on communication and improving it within the relationship.  Relationship counsellors are communication and intimacy experts and will provide you with ways of improving these 2 things within your relationship.

How can I improve communication and intimacy within my relationship?

At the start of the session the counsellor will make sure that you are ‘warmed up’ towards the process.  They will want to make sure that you are ready to communicate with your partner.  Very few people will come to the session completely warmed up and ready to communicate.  At the start of the session, oftentimes a therapist will use a psychodramatic method, focusing on group dynamics within the room to warm both parties up and prepare them for the session.  One common method is for each party to look at the other person and hypothesise what they may be thinking and feeling at that particular moment in time.  At this point in the process, spontaneity is encouraged.  Then the therapist will ask the other person to respond and to either confirm or deny whether they are thinking or feeling these things.

At these early stages in the process, the therapist is encouraging both parties to bring themselves forward.  In relationships, there is a tendency for people not to do this and wait for the other person to bring themselves forward.  When this situation occurs, oftentimes communication is stifled.  The human mind is constantly thinking and making judgements of situations.  Oftentimes these judgements are sub-conscious.  For example, “Mary doesn’t like me” or “Bill is being really aggressive tonight.”  Bringing yourself forward involves making these thoughts or judgement about the other person or yourself public and then allowing the other person to respond.
Once the therapist in convinced that both parties are sufficiently warmed up then they will start the formalised process.

What does the process involve?

Marriage counselling focuses on underlying issues and bringing out each parties response to them and making public what they have been thinking or feeling, relevant to the issue.  Both partners will be physically facing each other and the relationship counsellor will facilitate the session.  Their job is to ensure that parties are communicating not only intellectually but also emotionally about underlying issues.  Oftentimes couples will be stuck in either defending their actions or blaming the other person.  This is not helpful towards the process.  The therapist is interested in both parties explaining where they are coming from in relation to an issue but doesn’t want them to defend themselves.

As parties start to talk about their personal issues, the therapist will be very mindful of moments of connection and body language.  Oftentimes they will make comments or observations as if the other person isn’t in the room.  For example, “Mary, Bill is feeling a lot right now, even though he is finding it difficult to show it to you.”  This will encourage parties to continue to open up to the other person and increase their vulnerability.  The way that we communicate in a marriage counselling session is not typical and both parties need continual prodding and encouragement.

The therapist will also coach parties at significant moments during the session of how to respond to what has just been spoken about.  For example, Party A may have revealed that they are scared of losing Party B and don’t have social support from anyone else in their life.  But they may take 10 minutes to fully explain this point.  After 2 minutes Party A may try and explain their point of view thinking that Party A has finished talking.  A skilled therapist needs to stop Party B from talking and allow Party A to finish making their point.  Or after Party A has finished making their point the therapist may instruct party B to reassure them or to hold their hand or to say nothing at all.
Two key communication skills that the therapist will ensure that both parties do continuously throughout the process is (1) reassure each other (2) tell the other person what they understand by what has just been said.  These are both listening skills but extremely affective.  Reassurance is probably the most important communication skill.  When people have problems in a relationship they are at an extremely vulnerable point and desperately need reassurance.

How do you know when an issue has been successfully resolved?

Intuition plays a very important role because there is no objective way of knowing when an issue has been resolved.  Ultimately, the therapist will be able to feel it in the air.  Sometimes it will be when both parties have said all they want to say or when there is a greater connection in the room.  Other times it will be when strong emotion (e.g., crying) comes out.  Ultimately there is an “ahh ha” moment where something clicks for both parties.  Once an issue has been successfully resolved the therapist has to be very mindful of both parties ruining the moment by going back to their old communication dynamics.  For example, one party may attempt to go back to their blaming or going over old ground.  If this happens it is up to the therapist to jump in and stop this from occurring.  Usually at this point, this is a very good time to end the session and it allows parties to leave the session with momentum, which is very important during the process.
Once the session has ended, it is very important that no analysis or small talk happens as this will detract from the session.  At this point both parties will be processing a lot and normal social norms do not apply.

If you are wanting to find out more about relationship counselling Brisbane please visit my web-site at  Mark Korduba Marriage Guidance Brisbane or  http://markkordubapsychologist.com/relationship-counselling-brisbane-northside/ You can also call  us on 3857 3777 to make an appointment.
To read more about surviving heartbreak you can click here: http://survivingheartbreakbrisbane.blogspot.com.au/2013/08/surviving-heartbreak-how-relationship.html

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Dealing With Strong Emotions In Relationships PART 2

About 1 year ago I met a girl. At the start of this relationship I promised myself that I wanted to have difficult conversations with her and essentially to be vulnerable and to express myself emotionally. Up until this point in time I hadn’t really managed to achieve this mean feat in relationships. In other areas of my life, this was a piece of cake. For example, if I needed to have a difficult conversation with someone at work I just went up to them and said what was on my mind but romantically I found that there was some sort of block there. Essentially I had problems with vulnerability and being emotionally open. This journey actually led me to a yearlong personal development course in psychodrama, which was amazing and helped to bed down the process. But I also needed practice in my new romantic relationship as well.

From the get go, I didn’t want to hold back in my relationship with my new Girlfriend. I had to challenge the assumption that one only has difficult conversations with someone after you have been with them for 6 or 12 months. I was amazed at how much psychodrama helped this process and how different I was as a result. It also helped that she was a no-bullshit type of independent women who was extremely open herself. What also helped us out in this process was the decision to be friends prior to getting into a relationship. I strongly believe that getting to know someone in the context of a series of dates with sex as the reward, cultivates a very superficial interaction.

When I reflect on our 3 or 4 serious conversations and the at times overwhelming emotion, I realised that it is within all of us and not something that needs to be learnt. What is required is the unlearning of some behavioural patterns that stop this process from occurring. Some of you may be thinking, “what does it feel like?” It is like being completely naked and not giving a damm and being completely confident within your own skin. Ultimately the experience is beyond words.

Some people say that humans are not meant to be monogamous. With all the choice and distraction in modern day city life I can understand where these people are coming from. But I do believe that there is a way to have a long lasting monogamous relationship. Through embarking on this process. It is the best drug in the world. And the highest of highs can occur through having a normal, everyday relationship and not constantly looking for your next adventure.

A lot of generation Y’s are not happy with their lives and are looking to challenge traditional norms towards work and relationships. And good luck to them I say. Ultimately, though having this type of relationship – nothing else compares. Not even having 100 of the most gorgeous supermodels at your bed everynight.

As human being we have all sorts of needs. We have physical needs, sexual needs but lets not forget out emotional needs. Some people choose to go on self-development courses to get their emotional needs met. By all means, go ahead and do this. But also try and get your emotional needs meet in your current relationship…it is a hell of a lot cheaper.

For Relationship counselling in Brisbane click here or Visit the website or follow this link. http://markkordubapsychologist.com/couples-counselling-brisbane/
To learn more about What is Marriage Guidance follow this link: http://survivingheartbreakbrisbane.blogspot.com.au/2016/01/what-is-marriage-guidance.html

Dealing With Strong Emotions In Relationships PART 1

Relationships are one aspect of life that we generally experience strong emotions. In most areas of our life we are able to stay rational and stay in our intellectual mind for the most part. For example, at work or when interacting with our friends. But this is a good thing. Romantic relationships allow for our emotional needs to be met. And if they are not being met then maybe you should think about leaving your relationship and doing something different or doing someone different.

For a long time in my romantic relationships, I felt that they had to be rational and that I wasn’t able to me emotional. In affect, I felt that I wasn’t able to be me! I thought that I had to be this perfect boyfriend who had everything completely under his control. The problem was that when strong emotions came (e.g., anger or jealousy) I felt that I wasn’t able to express them. As a result the relationships didn’t last very long and run their course quite quickly.

This is my advice to my male clients…”that it is ok to be vulnerable in a romantic relationship.” Women crave it. Once you as a male have an emotional connection with your partner, it will reduce the chances of them leaving you. Why do you think women stay in abusive relationships? Because they have an emotional connection with their partner. This is a major problem in modern day society, especially for Gen Y’s in their 20s. They have soo much choice for mates that they leave romantic relationships at the drop of a hat.

Now for most people, this maturing process where they feel comfortable expressing themselves and having real relationships takes time. For most people this doesn’t happen until way into your 20s, even 30s. Dating that gorgeous early 20-year might look physically appealing but chances are that they don’t know how to be with you in a romantic relationship. Whereas the battle hardened older person may be able to be a little bit more real with you.

In practical terms, strong emotions usually come up through arguments, confrontation and difficult conversations within a relationship. Let’s be honest, most people are scared out of their wits end at the prospect of having a difficult conversation with their partner. Why? Because it means that they will have to be emotionally vulnerable and will have to engage in conflict. Both of which aren’t particularly appealing to most people in relationships.

Read part two

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Surviving Heartbreak: How Relationship Counselling can help.

A good relationship is like a diamond, beautiful to behold, possessed with an inner radiance and precious beyond all measure. Yet also like a diamond relationships can crack, split and even shatter if external pressure is applied in the wrong place.

Many relationships are subjected to severe strain that cause significant and long lasting issues. Some relationships do not survive these circumstantial difficulties and others only make it with the able assistance of a relationship counsellor.

Perhaps one of the hardest circumstances a relationship has to cope with is that of financial strain. This pressure can be brought to bear in a variety of fashions. Perhaps one of the more common ones is that of unemployment. When one person in a relationship is unemployed, particularly if the unemployment is long term, it can bring great hardship to a family. Being made redundant from a position can raise questions of one’s own worth, particularly if jobs are competitive in that field. There can be a spiralling effect with feelings of worthlessness resulting in less effective action and the loss of self-confidence necessary to win a new position. Repeated failures to secure employment cause greater feelings of worthlessness and so it goes.
The supporting partner must not only deal with the strain of supporting the family and children financially, but also must witness the gradual loss of self confidence in their partner, and no matter how hard they try, are able to do nothing about it. Only meaningful work and the sense of self-reliance that gainful employment brings can heal someone who has been long term unemployed.

We all want our partners to stand on their own two feet, to be an inspiration for us, and to be there when we need them. Unfortunately for those who have to endure accident, illness or injury, the experience of needing help is a difficult and at time even shameful experience. I would like to speak about all forms of illness here, not simply physical ones. It can difficult to be partnered with someone who is struck down with a debilitating disease or a horrible accident that renders them incapable for a long period of time. It can be just as difficult to be partnered with someone who is afflicted by depression or mental illness, if not more so. Often with a physical affliction progress is more tangible, we can see the healing process taking place, we can hope for a better future. Yet with mental illness progress is less defined, people can seem to make ground yet suddenly suffer a setback rendering them paralysed again in the grip of depression. Depression can be cured however as with many forms of mental affliction, with counselling and possibly anger management therapy those so afflicted can over come these hardships.

Then there are those who have suffered irreparable trauma, whether physically or mentally. A scarring that will forever change that person. This is possibly the most difficult situation a partner has to deal with. The one they love has gone and a shadow of their former self takes their place.

A Relationship Counsellor can assist couples who are suffering with external hardship by working with the couple and creating coping strategies to deal with the stressors of injury or illness. By facing the problem squarely and being wise enough to know that these kinds of pressures make a relationship difficult and prepare wit the help of an expert may just save your relationship.

Please contact Relationship Counselling Brisbane or Marriage Counselling Brisbane for Counselling Brisbane for information about how to cope with difficulties in your relationship. To read more on Dealing with Strong emotions Click Here: Dealing With Strong Emotions