“My goal in couples counseling is to help a couple develop a good working relationship so they can work through whatever life hands them.”

In every relationship people have differences. Having differences in an intimate relationship is normal and healthy. How the couple works through their differences determines the quality of their relationship.

Often couples have good intent with each other but get locked in a pattern that is negative and hurtful. Dr. Mackay’s goal in counseling a couple is to help couples build on the strengths in their relationship and shift negative dynamics to positive ones.

Dr. Mackay views a couple as a team, and as their coach, she helps them develop good teamwork so they can enjoy a winning relationship.

“Respect for each other is the basis of every session.”

Dr. Mackay’s role in couples counseling is to:

  • create a safe non-critical environment.
  • make each session productive.
  • explain, not blame.
  • help a couple interact in a positive productive way.
  • support each person in the process.
  • see and understand each partner’s side clearly.
  • identify the positive aspects of the relationship and build on them.
  • teach communication skills.
  • facilitate positive change.
  • help a couple get unstuck and back on track.

“When couples talk about the past or the future they are really dealing with their relationship in the present .”

When a couple is able to resolve issues from the past, their relationship in the present improves and each is more willing and able to invest him/herself in a future together. When a couple’s relationship changes for the better in the present, forgiveness for past hurts and mistakes is possible.

Tip: Let go of the need to be ‘right’.

Couples get caught up in who is ‘right’ and who is ‘wrong’. There is no value in being ‘right’ if it is harmful to the relationship . (If you are killed in a car accident it does not do you any good if you are ‘in the right’.) Instead, talk to each other about what is said (words) and done (behaviors) in terms of whether or not it was helpful or harmful, a problem or not a problem, appropriate or inappropriate, hurtful or not hurtful, etc.

For more tips on improving your relationship visit Bea’s Blog