The relationship between a counselor and a patient is often one-sided. Most of the time, the patient is the one who talks, while the counselor receives information and tries to process it. This kind of counseling process can lead the patient to feel unsatisfied at the end of the session.
As such, there are many kinds of therapy nowadays that try to address this problem. A notable example is a humanistic therapy.
Humanistic therapy can be applied to various kinds of counseling, one of which is marriage counseling. Marriage counseling can be challenging because the counselor is dealing with two distinct individuals, each with their own problems and desires. But Dana Baduna, PhD, LMFT said, “Through the counseling process, couples find ways to improve their level of relationship satisfaction, sometimes they can also identify obstacles or characteristics that are too much to bear for either person or for the relationship to overcome.”
Know more about what humanistic therapy is and how it can help troubled marriages in counseling.
What Is Humanistic Therapy?
Humanistic therapy presents an unconventional approach to counseling. Compared to other approaches to therapy which reduces patients to their specific problems, this approach focuses on the humanity of each. Moreover, there is no particular method to this approach. The patient leads the conversation and directs it, not the other way around.
In addition to digging deeper into the past experiences of individuals, humanistic therapy focuses on present experiences.
Here are some of the key ideas of this specific therapy.
- Emphasis On The Now
Humanistic therapy focuses on the present. Rather than understanding the past, the patient should focus on solving his present problems and improve his future. This approach also advocates for self-development and the self-actualization of its patients. It is believed that through self-actualization, the patient can lead a more meaningful life.
- Less Prescription, More Sharing
Humanistic therapy believes in every person’s ability to solve his own problems. Thus, the counselor only acts as a facilitator during therapy. The therapist makes the patient aware of how he feels in the present. Eventually, the natural course of the conversation directs the patient to address problems himself.
Also, because the patient is the one choosing the topics to talk about, he or she can emphasize which among the problems are the most critical ones to address.
Humanistic Therapy And Couples Counseling
According to Dr. Chantal Gagnon PhD LMHC, “Couples’ expectations about what marriage should be like are completely off from the reality of what marriage is actually like” Based on that reason, humanistic therapy can thus be used to strengthen a couples’ bond.
The self-actualization of each person involved in marriage can definitely improve the quality of their relationship. The couple becomes more aware of their actions and how it affects the other party. More importantly, they become more in tune with themselves. Self-awareness addresses feelings of inadequacy and low self-esteem. Eventually, the couple will not easily be swayed by outside pressures as well as the need for validation.
In summary, the role of counseling cannot be understated, especially in troubled marriages. Neglecting or forgoing counseling and therapy can intensify conflicts in the home. These conflicts can lead to broken homes that can seriously affect growing children if there are any.
Humanistic therapy can be used to improve any strained relationship. As an approach to couples counseling, it trains the couple to focus on the present situation and move forward. Believe in what Nicole Tammelleo, LCSW-R when she says “Love is not about power and control. Everyone deserves a healthy relationship.”