Depending on the nature of the problem and couple involved, the psychologist will generally spend one to two sessions gathering information and assessing the current state of the relationship. Usually this involves spending time with each party individually, as experience shows that two people often see the same problems completely differently and it is important that the psychologist gets a clear picture of how each party sees it.
This is where the value of working with an uninvolved third party comes into play. A trained psychologist serves as a neutral entity that can validate divergent opinions and perspectives. By the term ‘neutral’ we mean that by being disinvested, a psychologist can acknowledge and/or challenge what either party is saying without taking sides. He or she is not a magistrate who listens to the details of a case and then pronounces a judgment as to who is right and who is wrong. Rather, a psychologist is more like a referee who ensures emotional safety for both the speaker and listener and makes sure that both parties have equal opportunity to give voice to their thoughts and feelings.
From here, the psychologist then tries to skill up the couple so that they can learn the tools to effectively manage the conflict and sort through the key issues towards a resolution. This process also acknowledges that working on a relationship is a continuous commitment, beyond just the sessions with a psychologist. Just as our car and other important items need a ‘tune up or service’ our relationships also require our attention to keep them working efficiently.
Common areas addressed in couples’ therapy include;
Communication Skills Training
Relationship dynamics counselling
Healing and forgiveness training
Jealousy, Insecurity and trust issues
Sexual & intimacy Counselling
What is a “normal” “healthy” relationship? Getting realistic expectations
Relationship tune ups- Making a good relationship better
Life transition issues
(c) 2004- 2015 QUEENSLAND PSYCHOLOGY CENTRE