Ultimately, relationship counseling explores issues in relationships. The focus is on factors that may have led to challenges that cause couples to disagree, fight, and even end relationships (Harmon, 2017).
Individuals may also seek relationship counseling if they are in the early stages of a relationship, looking to learn more about patterns in romantic relationships, or exploring why they are struggling to find the right person.
Typically, relationship counselors and therapists work with the couple together and individually to gain a more specific understanding of why they are seeking counseling and what steps both parties need to take to ensure that their relationship continues to bring them long-term satisfaction and personal fulfillment.
Not sure whether relationship counseling is for your clients? Although any couple or individual can request relationship counseling at any time, there are a few factors that might indicate that relationship counseling may be beneficial.
A history of interpersonal communication issues
Progression to a new stage of the relationship (e.g., getting married, moving in together, the addition of a child or children, combining finances)
Issues with sexual or emotional intimacy
Entering a relationship with someone who has children from a previous relationship or blending your families
Assistance with managing other relationships (e.g., extended family, friends)
Navigating the end of a relationship
Issues with trust because of past or present trauma
An emotional or sexual affair with a person outside the relationship