November 11, 2015

Skills for Dealing with Relationship Issues

couples and relationshipsby Maeve Halpin, Registered Counselling Psychologist

Every relationship will have its ups and downs. In my experience as a counsellor, many relationships break down unnecessarily because couples do not possess the basic skills to negotiate predictable life challenges such as the birth of a new baby, redundancy, illness, bereavement, or changes in interests and personality with age. Our superficial cultural values promise happiness on the basis of appearance, wealth and status, offering little in terms of insight or wisdom about the real-life ups and downs that require maturity, skill and self-awareness to handle successfully.

In fairytales, the story always ends when marriage begins: after overcoming obstacles to meeting, the couple finally come together and inevitably live “happily ever after”. This myth of a guaranteed future of uninterrupted bliss once we “find the right person” is constantly reinforced by Hollywood. This fictional world gives people no preparation for the humility, compassion, effort and ability to compromise involved in actually making relationships work in the face of all kinds of change, both positive and negative.

Luckily the skills required are well researched and eminently learnable. In counselling, couples learn to listen, to recognise and manage feelings, to communicate calmly, to appreciate each other’s needs and to resolve conflicts. By working together to overcome relationship difficulties, their bond is strengthened and deepened. Counselling can help many couples rescue their relationship and move forward with renewed commitment and understanding.


If you would like to find out more about relationship counselling, call me on 087-2877837 or mail