Caroline McDougall interview

Relationships counselling is a speciality. If your counsellor does not practice sound evidence-based relationship strategies in their everyday life, and without specific academic training in couples counselling, these poorly trained couples counsellors may well harm your relationship to fix sexual problems or effectively address old resentments. Those who have received Bachelor of Arts in Social and Development Studies, Bachelor of Arts in Education or a equivalent and have completed a suitable internship or placement as a social worker in a relevant field are well qualified to provide relevant relationship counselling.

For an effective couples counselling session, it is important that you make sure that both your therapist and your therapistess have an understanding of your needs. Your therapist should have appropriate competencies in relationship systems, cultural diversity, ethnicity, family systems, work/family balance, work/life balance, trust, emotional intelligence, skills and tools, relational style, communication styles, body language, moods, beliefs, experiences and emotions. You and your therapist should also have an understanding of how each of you sees, feels, thinks, dreams and seeks fulfilment. This enables effective couples counselling sessions.

When engaging in couples counselling sessions, the therapist and the couple should also have an understanding of the importance of open communication and non-verbal communication. A therapist can help you to become more open and expressive through questions and comments, which will often help you to confront and overcome feelings of guilt, shame and powerlessness. If you and your therapist are of different belief systems, then a good therapist will be able to discuss those differences with you in an informative manner. There is no “right” or “wrong” way to feel. Rather, you should find the way that works for you.


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