By Michelle Bery

We’ve all been at a point in our romantic relationships when trouble seems to brew more than ever before. Part of being in a committed relationship is working through those times when not everything is picture perfect. When people think of counseling they often think of marriage counseling – embarking on periodic meetings with professional therapists in order to save a marriage. But relationship counseling applies to all manner of relationships – whether married or not – and can help you achieve a level of communication and understanding previously unknown in your relationship.

Relationship counseling is nothing to be ashamed of and, if entered into with a professional, reputable therapist, can affect great change in your relationship and your life in general. Many people find that they require relationship counseling because of a particularly stressful period in their lives. Work stress, financial woes, and family issues can put an inordinate amount of stress on a relationship and sometimes it requires the assistance of a third party in order to make things better.

Couples turn to relationship counseling for a variety of reasons – both large and small. Sometimes such counseling can simply help a couple learn how to better communicate with each other and meet each other’s needs to the best of their abilities. We all come into a relationship with our own ingrained way of communicating; and often we may as well be speaking a different language to each other. Relationship counseling can help us redefine our ideals and find a common ground on which to communicate.

In some cases, the reasons for seeking relationship counseling are much larger; infidelity, financial hardship, and even abusive situations all warrant bringing a professional into the mix who can offer objective advice and help the couple determine the best course of action. In some cases, this may mean the eventual end to the relationship if it is unhealthy to stay together. But relationship counseling can help you understand what is most important to each of you as individuals.

Entering into relationship counseling, however, means finding a reputable professional who can work with you as a couple. Do not simply go through the yellow pages to find a counselor. Work with your insurance carrier or primary care physician to find relationship counseling that comes with reputable standing. Finally, meet with the therapist before embarking on counseling to make sure that you both feel comfortable with the choice.

There are many couples who find themselves involved in relationship counseling eventually. And while the process can be uncomfortable and even painful, the end result can be so worth the work – bringing the couple to new heights of happiness and understanding.