Every business day, Relationships & More welcomes clients to their Rye, NY office for counseling. They offer couple’s and marriage counseling. They also offer individual counseling and specialized counseling for adolescents. The one thing all of their counseling sessions have in common is their temporary nature.
Counseling is a temporary solution to a complex problem. And in fact, counseling really isn’t a solution in and of itself. It is a means of facilitating a solution. With that in mind, counseling is also temporary. Any ‘fix’ that comes from it is permanent. The minute counselees abandon the fix, they are on the road back to the problems that led to them seeking out counseling.
Identifying What Needs Fixing
Ultimately, the counselors at Relationships & More cannot fix anything. They do not have a magic wand or a bowl of pixie dust capable of healing broken relationships. What counselors have is advice and wisdom. It is up to counselees to apply that advice and wisdom in an effort to fix what is broken.
Let’s say you have an adolescent who comes in for counseling along with his parents. He is constantly at odds with his mother and father. This young person isn’t doing well in school, finds himself constantly in trouble with teachers and administrators, and recently had a minor run-in with the law. His parents have turned to counseling in hopes of changing things.
A wise counselor will help the three of them uncover the root cause of the dysfunction. With that will be sound advice and appropriate suggestions for modifying behavior. But that’s about all the counselor can do, other than providing a listening ear and words of encouragement. It is up to the adolescent and his parents to make use of what they learn in counseling sessions.
Too Easy to Go Backward
Listening to people talk during family counseling reveals something curious: most people don’t set out to create family problems. They do not decide to be dysfunctional and then take action to bring it to pass. They just live their lives until they finally wake up to the dysfunction around them. Only then do they seek to figure out what happened.
The ease through which people find themselves dysfunctional demonstrates something important: how easy it is to go backward. Relationships that become dysfunctional with relative ease can just as easily return to dysfunction if those involved do not continue to apply the solutions that offer them genuine relief.
Something as simple as running out of gas offers a perfect illustration. Let’s say running your car empty is a chronic problem for you. Your mechanic tells you that the solution is simple: pay attention to the gas gauge. When it gets low, stop at the gas station and refill.
As long as you heed that advice, you will not run out of gas. But the minute you stop doing what the mechanic told you to do, you’ll fall back into your old habits and find yourself calling AAA just as often as you used too.
Counseling Is Just a Tool
Wise counselors understand the fact that counseling is just a tool. For some people, it is a tool of last resort. Others run to counselors as soon as they recognize they have a problem. One way or another, counseling doesn’t really solve relationship problems. It only brings solutions to the forefront.
As such, counseling is a temporary thing. Applying the prescribed fixes is permanent. Continue to apply them and that particular issue will be kept under control. Stop applying them and you go right back to where you started from.