How effective is the marriage counseling in saving my marriage?

2017_1image_11_54_079681812newly-married-couple.jp-ll“I have always had a very problematic marriage and all efforts to make things right have been of no use. I have been advised by my friends to seriously think of consulting a marriage and family therapist .But every time I think of reaching out to one, “the only thought that comes to my mind is, “What if this too does not help. Let, me ask you a simple question, “does marriage counseling really work?’.

Priti (name changed) had expressed apprehensions about the process of marriage counseling when she had, asked me this question.

Experts differ on the effectiveness of marital issues in marriage and family therapy. Some of them will simply say no to any external intervention in a marriage. They are of the opinion that “marriage is sacrosanct and privacy of the bed room should stay within your bedroom. Most of them however will speak in favor of getting a professionally trained family therapist’s help. Marriage is often an adjustment of two different personalities who come together to raise a new family in their wedlock. In this journey some distance can be smooth, some part of journey could be rough too, where an external help can smoothen the edges and provide the necessary cushioning.

advice-newlywed650x325Your life can be difficult and beautiful both at the same time. The life of the newly married couples is like a baby conceived in the womb of a mother, giving tough time to the mother all through nine months of its growth from the embryo to delivery but once the baby is born life becomes joyfully beautiful, yet bringing with it challenges everyday of raising a child. The joy of watching your baby grow always is greater than the challenges that come in the process of being a mother.

photo-1523975989600-f61068b1a4b3Marriage offers similar such journey of smooth ride and rough road of mutual problems .The partners to a marriage love each other and at times hate each other but they continue with the journey of matrimonial bliss. Sushant and Daisy (names changed) are in one such relationship. They have had fights; yet they have been living into their marriage despite all odds for ten years. “It had never occurred to me even once that I should walk out of this marriage. I am from a conservative Christian family and Sushant belongs to a kind of liberated Hindu family. Our marriage had not been accepted by our respective families for almost five years. There were issues of social norms, of cultural differences, of devotions and faith. My mother has been a devout Christian and it was difficult for her to conceive that her daughter will not follow a religion of the family”. “Both I and Sushant had made a pact that we would always refer our matters to a third unbiased arbitrator in case of any of the differences that might crop up into our marriage. We found one such unbiased opinion and advice in Family Therapist and Marriage counselor Dr Ramneek Kapoor and all our differences get resolved to our mutual interest”.

couple therapy“I have had many cases of family differences, husband wife disputes, cohabitation problems and other adjustment issues and working through their disputes and differences can really be worth it. Most such married couples come to us when they face communication issues, marital discords and even the personal ego matters, at the breaking point of their marriages, but they are benefitted by consulting a professional family therapist and marriage counselor who help them in dealing with those difficulties, look at their disputes from a much wider point of view and different perspective. The couples are encouraged to sort out the difference, take them on to find satisfactory resolution instead of being judgmental and giving up on the relationship. They are made to work hard to eventually come to an understanding of the beneficial fruits of making their marriage a success.

download“Much of the ideas people get about their marriage counseling at times can be wrong. It is not necessarily the bed room story that is talked about in the counseling. A marital life holds many other points of discord and differences of opinions. There can be personality issues, adjusting with other members of the extended family, household issues, individual career matters, spouse behavior concerns, children growth subjects, older parental care concerns and of course faith and trust fears . Only a third party intervention may not solve these issues but a detailed worked out therapeutic strategy and planning with the help of a qualified professional Family Therapist and Marriage Counselor can definitely go a long way in resolving all such matters.

“It sounds good. It makes sense to me” said Dinesh(name changed) when he had walked into our clinic for consulting us on his broken marriage of fifteen years. “The problem is my wife feels it usually doesn’t work. We had gone to a traditional matchmaker to help us reconcile a broken marriage. Their process is not very professional”.

counseling-clipart-marriage-family-therapist-16You really have to be careful when dealing with a delicate matter of marital compatibility and communication breakdown. It cannot be resolved merely by advice of do’s and don’ts. All matters need to be handled in a manner that the counseling given has to achieve the outcome, the couple and the family looks forward to. An untrained and non professional marriage counselor has no idea what he or she is faced with and how this needs to be analyzed and resolved.

In a complex family therapy situation counseling an estranged couple may be the hardest thing to do .It takes longer to resolve their differences and the couples are advised to be patient and cooperate with the therapist ,whose basic aim is to help the client come to agreement and understanding within them.

Surveys indicate that many of the match makers, social activists and soothe Sayers undertake family therapy and couples therapy. They do not possess the professional qualification and they never got their training into marital counseling and family therapy.

We need to understand that couples coming for family therapy and marriage counseling are mixed agenda couples. Often one or the other party will have thought of either divorce or separation. Traditional matchmakers or even normal psychologists will not prove effective in dealing such marriage counseling as they do not know the professional way to deal with those problems.

Much of the advice couples get from family advisors or traditional matchmakers sounds good to the ears but it doesn’t work in real life. When it comes to marriage counseling, one solution cannot be applied to all situations. Each marital discord will have its own unique dynamics and a professional Family Therapist and Marriage Counselor takes into account the uniqueness of each dynamic while dealing with a husband and wife disconnect.

Couples can at times become disconnected emotionally for various reasons. Their passion and excitement can wear out faster than expected out of their marriage if their fights and day to day quarrels continue. Their novelty can finish sooner as monotony creeps in into their partnership. It happened to Nidhi (name changed) who admitted in a session

images (12)“I decided to call our marriage off because I felt like I have been living with a rival roommate not a husband, after we got married his attitude and tone changed towards me. His true nature comes to the fore as he sheds the facade of pretended love.”

What can married couples do if they’re having some difficulties?

I would advice, “one person in the marriage doesn’t have to wait for the other to start working on the reconciliation .Either of the spouse could begin with positive changes in the marriage. Don’t wait for your partner to agree, you can initiate the process of contacting a trained professional Family Therapist and Marriage Counselor.Do Not say to yourself that things will improve with passage of time. That’s the wrong ideation. The key to succeeding in your marriage is to sort out the differences at your earliest. What better time to begin doing this than now. Now is the time to find the right therapist; who will help you to connect with the person you married .You do not have to wait to be lucky in love .You make it your choice to be happy in your marriage, the love will flow thereafter. Get in touch with us today, and take control of your marital bliss. Let’s make it happen.

One last advice though, as far as possible stop discussing with your friends about your marital problems. You must not break the unwritten code of privacy of your marriage. Many a times it’s fatal to talk about your marriage or your spouse to family or friends. It’s a mockery marriage’s privacy and it’s not the done thing.

You should come to us at Family Therapy India and we will help you resolve all issues of your marriage in more amicable manner .Find us @ http://www.familytherapyindia.com.

Email us @mansikpramarsh@gmail.com

Call: 09179383554,917324263087

Ramneek Kapoor – Family Therapist, Psychologist Counselor and Science of Living Expert.

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Roles Reversed – Taking Care of Parents

elderly care

As I was growing up, I had always missed one major factor of any child’s growth. That was the presence of grandparents into my life. I would often hear my parents talk about my grandparents in a very fond manner reminiscing about their life with them. I am currently in my mid sixties and I have experienced many different roles so far that being of a son, a brother, a husband, a father in law. I have been a mentor, an academician, a psychologist and a family therapist. During all these roles, l have noticed that the roles of elderly in the family have always been that of providing love affection and a sense of stability to the family. Yet of these roles I have had positive experiences and some negatives, and I have been grateful of the experiences that life had taught me in all these years. But again in the major years of my growth I could simply reminisce about my parents to my children as my parents had long been dead before my wife and my kids came into my world.

But the story I am discussing here is a little disturbing for many of us, though to some it may seem absolutely justified way of dealing with ageing elders of the family.

Santosh (name changed) contacted us for family counseling sessions after she had been physically beaten by her son after an argument and heated discussion on some family matters. As an old lady and mother of 30 years old married son (whom she has supported in all his endeavors of life) Santosh could hardly believe it that her son, her only dear son had beaten her so mercilessly. Her only fault being that she loved her son Shubham (name changed).She had simply advised him to not to create embarrassing moments for the family by doing things not expected of a person of his maturity.

Happy_older_couple_Phase4Photography_Fotolia

Similar is the story of Rajpal (name changed), who has been married to Binita (name changed).To his parents distress (who have so far been living with their son in their own house), Rajpal’s wife Binita does not want the ageing parents to live with them. She finds it very disturbing and difficult to establish a communication with her in laws she has been the lonely bird during all her pre marriage years. She had told, Rajpal that she would get married to him only on the condition that she would not be sharing her husband and their marital space with any one, be it his family or her family. She wants the parents-in- laws to be moved out of the house to someplace else .Rajpal should find another place for setting up their household as she needs complete privacy.

The youngsters in any society are today finding it difficult to play the role of a caregiver. They find it very stressful to take care of their elder members of their family. The stress of caring for parents and grandparents ultimately falls on the society and other welfare organizations. But not many such organizations exist in our country.

The country though is claiming to be the source of largest young population but the population of the elders and soon to be an elder too is proportionately very large.

In many cases it is seen the youngsters are willing to take up the responsibility of looking after their parents and other elders in the family, but their own commitment to their careers and jobs definitely make it difficult to do so. The youngsters in modern times want to be mobile not only within the country but they want to be globally competitive and hence the youngsters move away from home to charter new career paths for themselves.

old woman

The elders would never like to leave the places they have spent their lifetime in, at their old age .They feel comfortable living in their own cities and the homes in whichever they have spent the good part of their lives. With the children moving away, the empty nest syndrome hits every parent at this age coupled with the prospects of loss of occupations for the seniors. I can feel the same stress in many of my elderly clients as they talk about how they are dealing with their lives in their empty nests. I know how they find it difficult to cope up with their daily activities and failing health on account of age catching up with them.

old man

Mr. Shukla 70 years (name changed) had shifted to his son’s home, after Mrs. Shukla had passed away a year ago. Though he had a huge comfortable house with all facilities available, the family still preferred that Mr. Shukla moved to his son’s home in the nearby town. Mr. Shukla has ever since been suffering from anxiety and depression. He feels completely lost and rootless, in spite of being with his son and two grandkids.” I had a routine when she was there living with me .I would still have managed being alone in my own home where I have a kitchen garden my wife had so lovingly developed. I have a good collection of plants and trees in my backyard .But I find that loneliness creeps on me even after having done all that. I just do not have anyone to talk to now either in my home or in my son’s home. My son and his wife do take care of my needs but they have to lead their own lives and take care of their infant daughter. Most of my friends have gone to God’s home. Some of them have just shifted to their ward’s place. If only we could have a system that would take care of our short term and long term care needs, things would have been much brighter”.

old couple

The seniors would require someone to take care of their full time needs that can last for years. Such needs as cannot just be fulfilled by part time caretakers or by technology alone.

Not many commercial , government or non governmental agencies exist for providing such caregivers .There are some old age homes and few geriatric care commercial companies operating but these too do not serve the actual care giving purpose .Such agencies operate more on profit making terms for themselves and are very rarely subjected to any government audit for their services standards. We need to have more trained psychologists and family therapists well familiar with the geriatric care needs and the mindset to reach out to the needy.

We need to educate people on better self care in their old age and at the same time we need to have more social and community based institutional support for our growing population of old people.

old couples

The youngsters need to be trained as better caregivers for their elders and other senior members of their society. On the social front these young men and women should understand that the act of caregiving can be very rewarding. It enables them to build up their relationships to the generation that has just gone by and understand the nuances and cultural norms of the society and community. The love and affection that these seniors have always showered on their wards need to be returned by the family youngsters by taking care of the elders just when they need them in the far end of their lives.

We at Family Therapy India do hereby commit ourselves to take care of their needs with an empathetic human approach .Please reach us at http://www.familytherapyindia.com if you have any such caregiving needs for your elders in your family.

Ramneek Kapoor – Family Therapist, Psychologist Counselor and Science of Living Expert.

family therapyFamily will survive all storms with a little patience and perseverance