Self-help Marriage Counselling?
anonymous Asks ...
Is there such a thing as self help marriage counseling? For example, a self help course that we could both do together as an exercise to improve communication and reduce the number of stupid fights that we have in a week. We both love each other but we are going through a rough patch right now and we would both like to stop things from sliding in the wrong direction. Unfortunately, a lot of our problems are caused by job loss stress and financial stress so paying for therapy sessions is probably not a good option for us right at this moment.
Rebecca Ashton Says ...
Hello and thank you for your question.
I'm sorry to hear that you are both having a difficult time. When someone loses a job, it can also be like losing their identity and their self confidence, so there is often far more at play than the financial considerations. I think that it is a very positive sign that you can recognise where your difficulties lie, identify what you would like to change and most of all still focus on the love that you have for each other.
There are a number of self help books on relationships available that your partner and yourself could look at together which could be a step in the right direction. You could also look at books which help to improve your communication skills. Additionally, there are a multitude of online resources that you might both find useful-a quick Google search or Amazon book search will yield plenty of results and then it is a case of you both looking through for something that you feel suits your specific situation.
I feel that it would be worth looking to see what other help is available within your means in your area. Here in the UK, many therapists work on a pay-what-you-can-afford basis which helps prevent people from being hemmed in by their financial circumstances. We also have an organisation called Relate who specialise in relationships. They have offices all over the country offering affordable therapy, mediation and support as well as some fantastic online resources on their website. Perhaps there is an organisation like that where you live? Relate have a really useful tool in the form of a quiz that you could both do if you are able to access the link;
I'm afraid that without knowing where you are based, it is difficult for me to give you more specific information. Perhaps asking a doctor or doing an internet search to see what is available locally would be a good place to start.
Many therapists offer the first session for free, so it could be worth going along to one and explaining your circumstances and seeing if they can signpost you somewhere or recommend any useful books/websites.
I hope this helps and wish you both luck for the future.