Why do any of us change?
This is the most important question that lies at the heart of all counselling. It’s all about change.
Relationship Counselling often gets side tracked by all kinds of stuff; blaming each other, trawling over the past, outlining past broken promises, explaining behaviours, threatening each other to name but a small selection. As important as some of this maybe it doesn’t address the most important questions; what needs to change and how are we going to change it.
Change is at the heart of all motivational counselling which is why it works so well with relationship problems; it gets straight to the centre of things. It seldom gets side tracked into the usual retrospective pit falls.
In explaining what a motivational approach looks like its helpful to look at what it is not.
What A Motivational Approach to Relationship Counselling Is Not
- A motivational approach does not assume that we are failing to change because of a lack of skills. It maybe that we might need to improve our listening skills, communication skills or even our anger management skills, but it does not assume that things are failing to improve because of a lack of skills.
- A motivational approach does not assume that we lack insight. Quite often we know all about the problems we are facing, we don’t really need someone to point out that we are jealous or hurt or bullying. We tend to know these things deep down anyway. Again this does not rule insight out completely and maybe totally appropriate and helpful. The big difference is that it is not assumed that change is dependent upon insight.
- A motivational approach is not Life Coaching. It does not push you through a prescribed range of exercises and hope for change.
- A motivational approach does not believe that change is “time dependent.” In other words it does not believe that it necessarily takes ages to change, sometimes it does and sometimes it doesn’t. Motivational Counselling is not a long term intervention, it is not a form of psychoanalysis.
Motivational Relationship Counselling
- A motivational approach believes that all people can change. There are, it is true, some pathological personality traits that are fairly immovable but these can be worked with. Essentially we can all change and as life demonstrates to us, we often do!
- Motivation for change can be increased. Motivation is not a fixed commodity. We are differently motivated to achieve different things at different times. Motivation can be increased through counselling.
- Motivation is linked to how important it is for us to change and confident we are in changing. If its not important and we don’t believe we can change, then we probably wont. If it is important and we believe that we can we often do change. It’s not rocket science.
- Motivation is linked to language and self belief. What we sat to others, as well as ourselves about change is important. If we hear ourselves saying “things will only get worse” they probably will. Sometimes we need to look at how we are describing out problems.
The relationship counselling programme that we run is 20 hours long. In that time we aim to work intensively with couples both individually and also together to identify problems, clarify personality types, facilitate open and respectful communication and establish a change plan. After 30 years of experience we’re good at what we do.
To read more about our Relationship Counselling holiday: Couples Therapy Retreat