During marriage counseling, we help couples work through their differences and their challenges. Counseling is not a solve-all for your problems, but rather, it is a process where you can learn to communicate, work together, reach compromises, share your dreams, goals, etc. There is no limit to what you can accomplish in counseling when you are willing to work together. However, in order for it to work, we must first create a situation where both of you feel safe to share your thoughts, feelings, and emotions. Marriage Counseling Is a Judgment-Free Zone When couples first visit us, it is normal for people to hesitate on sharing or to hold back for fear that they will be judged by each other or even by their counselor. It is important for you to know that this is truly a judgment-free zone. We will not judge or condemn you, make you feel ashamed or guilty, or try to make you feel like the so-called “bad guy.” You can share openly and freely without any of these concerns. What You Say Is Confidential Anything you say to a counselor is held in the strictest of confidence, and you can be certain that it will not be shared with anyone. There are very few exceptions to this rule, typically only when you are an immediate harm to someone else. We Teach You to Communicate With Each Other Once you both feel safe, we can show you how to openly communicate with each other, without condemnation or judgment. This is done by creating a safe space in our office. Most couples find that they can discuss things here that they would never dream of sharing at home. We do not tell you what to say or force you to share, but by helping you to relax and feel safe and by providing you the tools to share, most couples find themselves naturally opening up. Once you learn to share during marriage counseling, we can begin to give you the tools you need to communicate effectively at home. Sharing at Home Remember, that if you or your spouse need to discuss heartfelt or important issues at home, you need to create a safe space there to do so. Trying to discuss serious issues with the kids running around and the toddler needing a snack is not a good idea. Those situations can be loud, chaotic, and stressful, which can put you both on edge. Even if you snap because of the kids, it will be perceived as judgment or anger by your partner. Instead, wait until you can have quiet time and the kids have gone to sleep. Even if you don’t have children, it is important to put the television off and the computer and iPhone down, so you give each other your undivided attention. Remember to speak in calm voices and to use words of reassurance to let the other person know that you hear them and are listening, even if you do not always agree. When you visit our office, we will help you communicate and give you the tools you need to do so on a daily basis.
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