Sunday, June 28, 2009

I Don't Want To Talk About It!! But I DO!!

Men and women process differently. As a result of this, counseling, which is mostly verbal, tends to feed the woman's format more than the man's. This contributes to his hesitance and her willingness. Gaining an understanding of the structure and purpose of counseling may help.

Often times it is the woman in the relationship who want to see a counselor. She has issues she has tried to discuss with her partner on her own, but to no avail. She now wants help in opening up a dialogue with her partner. She may feel emotionally disconnected in the relationship finding the lack of progress extremely frustrating. Her belief may be that a disinterested party will be able to bring the issues to the forefront and begin real movement toward change. For her, talking about issues and hearing herself discuss them aloud gives her the ability to make a decision. She may talk all around the issue, bringing up seemingly unrelated details and scenarios until she feels she has found herself.

Very often her partner has no desire to have a third party involved in the dialogue. It is not unusual for men to feel uncomfortable talking about feelings. They may feel unmanly discussing their relationship issues with a counselor due to the interpretation among many men that seeking help of any kind intimates incompetency. Men tend to feel uncomfortable talking about issues. Their general processing pattern may be to mull over difficulties in their head, come to a decision then share that decision with their partner. Talking through a decision may not be helpful and may actually interfere with their processing pattern. In their growing years men are taught to be independent, not to rely on others for solving their problems and make decisions on their own. Men may believe that counseling goes against these ideals learned from society.

In fact, counseling gives both partners a chance to air their views, feel heard and validated and have a say in the solution to their difficulties. Many times partners have black and white views of their problem. They each see only their side of the issue. Life has many shades of grey. We want solution A and don't want solution B. However we have never even thought of solution C. That is the purpose of counseling, to give a fresh perspective that may spark a new solution.

Many times partners are stuck. They may need just a small prod to get unstuck and back into balance. Counseling may provide just that tiny nudge in the right direction to get partners back on track.

No comments:

Post a Comment