Counseling in English
As part of your individual development you go through cycles of stability, distress and change. Sometimes you are able to cope; sometimes you might fail to do so. If you fail or struggle, you can look for support within your close relationships, family, friends, books, workshops etc. You can also seek help from a professional counselor.
What does counseling mean
Counseling is a process through which clients work one-on-one with a trained therapist in a safe, caring, and confidential environment to explore their feelings, beliefs, or behaviors, work through challenging or influential memories, identify aspects of their lives that they would like to change, better understand themselves and others, set personal goals, and work toward desired change.
The first step
Your first step is to call us to schedule your initial appointment. During your first session you will have the opportunity to build rapport with the counselor and provide him/her with some background about yourself and the reasons you are seeking counseling. In addition, the counselor will be able to answer your questions regarding services, fees, confidentiality and what to expect in counseling.
Individual counseling works best when you
- have some idea of what you would like to talk about;
- feel motivated to do so; and
- feel comfortable enough with your counselor to address your concerns.
Are you feeling alone in your relationship?
Have you tried everything you can think of - and it still hasn't worked?
Is your marriage falling apart in front of your eyes?
Are you having the same conversation over and aver again?
Has there been an Affair or Betrayal?
Couples counseling helps a couple resolve conflicts and improve their relationship. Couples in all types of intimate relationships can be helped by counseling. You can use counseling:
- to help you make thoughtful decisions about your relationship and gain a better understanding of your partner in general;
- to work on specific issues such as anger, substance abuse, sexual problems, communication problems, divorce and infidelity;
- to work out differences before marriage or other relationship commitments.
Talking about your problems with a couples counselor might not be easy, but making the decision to seek help could be the key to improving/saving your relationship. Maintaining a relationship that can grow and develop is a challenging journey.
What is couples counselling?
Couples counselling (which can also be referred to as marriage guidance) is a form of therapy that looks to improve communication and resolve issues within an intimate relationship. While couples counselling is ideally suited to couples attending the sessions together, if your partner is reluctant you can look to speak to a counsellor on your own to begin with. Most of the "work” of couples counseling will take place within your counselling sessions themselves - however sometimes you might also be asked to carry out 'homework'. Typically your counsellor will ask you either to do a task or discuss something specific when you get home. During your next session you will get the chance to talk about your homework, discuss any challenges you came up against and how the experience made you both feel. Successful therapy depends on each partner’s motivation and dedication to the process, and couples can expect to become better listeners and communicators and to find new ways to support one another. Goals will be established by the couple under the guidance of the therapist, and in order to achieve these objectives, each partner must be prepared to acknowledge and understand their role in the relationship.
What couples counselling isn't
In couples counselling you will not simply be told what to do. Your counsellor will not offer her/him personal opinion and you will not be told whether or not you should separate. The role of a couples counsellor is to facilitate change and resolution by helping you both communicate more effectively, explore your relationship dynamics and reach your own conclusions under the guidance of a professional. Counseling is a space free of judgement where you can explore your actions openly.
What problems can be addressed
There are many different concerns that may bring you to couples counselling, ranging from a lack of communication right through to a betrayal or affair. Some common issues that can be explored through couples counselling include:
- lack of trust
- betrayal or affair
- lack of communication
- financial issues
- work-related stress
- different sexual needs or other sexual issues
- family conflicts
- different goals and values
- different parenting styles
- life changes.
However, these are just some examples. In counseling we will look at your specific issues, needs and concerns and seek ways to address them. Whatever the concern is, speaking to a professional is often an incredibly helpful step forward.
When is the right time to seek help?
Every couple is different. When and if you choose to seek help will depend on the nature of the issue you are facing. However, if you are concerned about your relationship (for whatever reason) and feel you are unable to reach a conclusion alone, it is likely that you will benefit from couples counselling.
Though counseling is recommended as soon as discontent arises in a relationship, for some, the suggestion of couples counselling is considered a 'last resort' to save a relationship/marriage. Studies show partners will not seek therapy until they have been unhappy for an average of six years. The more time has passed, the more difficult it may be to repair the relationship.
In some cases, a couple who has already decided to separate may pursue therapy in order to end the relationship amicably and respectfully.
Mediation is based on open communication and a sincere desire to resolve the dispute. Participation is voluntary. Family mediation helps all sorts of people: married and unmarried, parents, grandparents, step-parents and young people can all take part. In mediation an independent, professionally trained mediator helps you to work out an agreement about issues such as:
- Arrangements for children after you break up (sometimes called custody, residence or contact)
- Child maintenance payments
- Finances (for example, what to do with your house, savings, pension, debts)
It can also be used to help with the other issues you might face, for example, your children keeping in touch with their grandparents, step families, or in-laws. Mediation can also be helpful when arrangements you’ve made before need to change, particularly as your children grow up. In mediation your make your own decisions, meaning you stay in control. No-one will make you do anything against your wishes. The mediator will help you find a solution which works for you both and explain how you can make an agreement legally binding.
Our secretaries speak German and English. If you like to ask a question or schedule an appointment you can contact us via telephone or use the contact sheet.