Now more than ever, couples of all ages up and down the United Kingdom are exploring the extraordinary benefits of professional couples counselling. It’s taken some time, but the general population is slowly but surely coming around to the fact that couples counselling isn’t only for those who are on the brink of separation. Quite to the contrary in fact, proactive counselling at any opportune moment has the potential to strengthen bonds, intensify connections and generally take relationships to the next level.

From sex addiction counsellors in Kent to marriage counsellors in Edinburgh, the right advice at the right time really can make all the difference in the world.  But at the same time, it remains the responsibility of the couple undergoing counselling to ensure that they themselves are putting in the required effort outside the office. After all, there’s really only so much even the best counsellor can do – the rest comes down to you.

Here’s a quick rundown of 9 helpful tips and ideas from the experts on how to further and enhance the benefits of couples counselling:

  1. First of all, it is important to periodically take a few steps back and think carefully and honestly about what matters most to you in your life. A way of doing this would be to think about exactly what you would do with your time if you only had one more year to live? Would this make you approach your relationship differently and how would it affect your priorities and behaviour?
  2. Try to remember that there is a big difference between compromise and agreement – the former of the two being the most important in any relationship. The reason being that if you can learn to compromise, it essentially means that any differences you have in terms of opinion, behaviour, lifestyle, preferences or really anything else across the board do not have to become a matter for dispute. Compromise means acknowledgment, rather than agreement.
  3. Make every available effort to separate and isolate the things that annoy you or make you happy. For example, you may be in a position where your everyday working life drives you insane, but this doesn’t mean you have any excuse to take out your frustrations on your partner or family. Learn how to draw clear and concrete lines between separate frustrations and annoyances.
  4. It may be somewhat cliché, but it’s also entirely true to say that one of the most beneficial things anyone can do during an emotionally charged time is to walk away and count to 10. The simple fact of the matter is that anything you say or do on the spur of the moment is guaranteed to be exponentially less objective and well thought-out than what you will say or do after giving it a few minutes.
  5. Little surprises can make all the difference in the world when it comes to relationships and have a tendency to mean so much more than even the biggest of planned/obvious gestures. Quite literally, anything you can think of will please your partner and should be something to think about doing on a more regular basis.
  6. Think long and hard about absolutely everything your partner does that impresses you, inspires you, make you happy or fills you with a sense of pride. If necessary, make a list and continue adding to it each and every time you come up with something new.
  7. While it’s often said that all grievances and annoyances should be brought out into the open, it absolutely doesn’t count if it is you yourself that is being picky or difficult. If you intend to bring a contentious issue out into the open, think carefully about whether there is in fact anything to discuss or whether it is just you.
  8. Just as it is the case with children, it’s quite incredible how beneficial and effective an occasional timeout can be. This is particularly true in instances where things are getting heated or either of you is coming close to losing your temper. Even just 30 minutes apart to carefully think about what’s going on can be enough to make a real difference.
  9. Last but not least, learning to listen is perhaps the single most important of all tips and guidelines when it comes to managing relationships. There are still so many who do not understand or acknowledge the difference between listening and hearing – the former of the two meaning that you actually take into account everything your partner says and give it comprehensive consideration.
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