• Monika Bassani

How Couple Counselling Differ from Individual Counselling

Updated: Jan 18

With couple therapy there are two clients in the room and their relationship, thus the therapist will be involved with the relationship as third "client", other element to be considered by the therapist is the therapeutic balance this is the capacity within the counsellor to remain congruent and to provide a fair and balanced service to both of the individuals involved.

Couple counselling involves the individual needs and emotional issues as per individual therapy, however, is within the contest of their rapport and those dynamics and cycles creating a substantial framework for the therapist to explore with the couple. The therapist will have to take the role of a "leader", to be able to interrupt hostilities, dominant behaviours and avoidance too.

It is a common belief within couples that the therapist is there to "fix" the other partner, in reality the counsellor is not to fix any of the participants instead he / she is there to support and offer tools to both individuals, while not taking sides the therapist will address interactions, language, behaviours, dynamics and any other elements present in the couple work that are surfacing during the session.

There are times where the therapist is an immediate participant of painful and complicated situations between the couple narrative, for instance when one of the spouses decides to end their relationship while in session,or when a partner reveal to have been involved in an affair - or they still are - to the other person. Couple therapy is likely to be a short period work, however, this is also very dependable by the couple issues and how they interact, participate and commit to the course of therapy.

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