Couples Counseling: Developing Effective Communication Skills

Couples Counseling: Developing Effective Communication Skills

It has been said, that the foundation of a healthy relationship is good communication. In most of our daily activities, we are required to talk and communicate with others to accomplish the tasks at hand. This communication may be done in face to face, telephone conversations, e-mails, texts or the old fashion way by a letter. In today’s world, as we become more divisive and angry as a society the opportunity to communicate in a respectful and appropriate manner seems to be lost. It is much too common now a day to see individuals screaming, accusing and name calling throughout our society. It seems that these behaviors in some places have become the norm. Therapists sometimes see the same divisiveness in couples and in family relationships. The way someone communicates within their personal relationships is often similar to their communication style in their business and public life.

Learning How to Communicate through Counseling

Therapists often view the breakdown and the collapse of good communication skills as the driving force that causes the couple to seek a separation and divorce. In some situations, one partner or a family member may initiate a total cutoff of the other individual because of the inability to communicate their needs and feelings. In therapy, the counselor may explore with the couple or family members how accessible is the other partner or family member. Couples explore and discuss whether they can easily get each other’s attention. The question of what is the level of emotional attachment partners and family members have with each other can be a starting point for developing and improving communication skills. It is interesting to hear if individuals feel important and wanted by the other even when they disagree or fight. One intervention to improve communication skills is to teach and demonstrate to clients the gift of listening. Catherine de Hueck Doherty stated, “With the gift of listening comes the gift of healing because listening to your brothers and sisters until they have said the last words in their hearts are healing and consoling. Someone has said its possible to listen a person’s soul into existence.

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