Successful Couples Counseling When There Is A High Level of Conflict.
Below is an overview of how to progress is made in counseling when there are a lot of strong negative feelings in the relationship.
First phase – When there is a high level of anger and resentment in a relationship, the first thing to do is to improve the quality of the couple’s communication; to help them to have conversations that are calm and respectful. It is not what new information couples find out, it is learning, during counseling, a better way to talk to each other
Second phase – In this phase couples can develop a way of getting their message across so that their partner can really hear them; how to disagree agreeably, without putting the other person down.
Third phase – In this phase folks can learn to understand and respect your partner’s point of view, even though they may disagree with their partner.
Final phase – In this phase couples learn to negotiate* the important issues with their partner and not have resentment and anger. During therapy folks can learn strategies and techniques that can open up lines of communication and develop emotional connection.
Helping a couple strengthen their relationship and feel good about each other, is not about learning new things it’s about being able to have positive ways of communicating and negotiating.
*If you’d like to learn more about how to negotiate you can read my book Negotiation Handbook for Couples: From conflict to connection