Who's the expert on your relationship?

Who are the experts on your relationship? Counsellors? Family therapists? Doctors? Psychologists? Newspaper columnists? Self-help book and blog writers???

All these professionals have expertise to offer that may or may not benefit your relationship, if you feel that you are needing help. But the fact is - no matter how skilled, no professional can possibly have as much knowledge about you, your partner or your relationship as you do. YOU are the experts.

Good relationship counselling acknowledges this from the outset, and a skilled counsellor will work with you in a way that helps you to access and activate your existing 'expert knowledge' and resources. Be wary of anyone who guarantees they can 'fix' your relationship for you - the problem with this idea (great though it sounds!) is that it is based on the belief that you can check your relationship in at the counsellor's rooms (rather like taking your car to be serviced) and they can work on it while you go off for a coffee. In other words, somehow the work can be done for you by an 'expert', rather than you having to do the painstaking, even exhausting process  yourselves of working out what the problem is, then developing a range of possible solutions to trial and evaluate for their effectiveness.

Sometimes there are no easy answers to the problems couples face. It may be that you simply need the support to acknowledge this, and from there decide whether you can tolerate the anxiety of working through a process, sometimes over a long time, of figuring out if this is a relationship that is good enough for each of you, one that can meet your needs, at least to some extent.

Till next post, Vivienne

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