When a couple decides to venture into the realm of couples therapy, they are often on an emotional roller coaster ride. A good couples therapist must play three pivotal roles to help their clients through this challenging journey: being FOR their client, being WITH their client, and being AGAINST their client. These key concepts, articulated by renowned therapist Dan Allender, form the cornerstone of effective marriage counseling.
Being FOR the Client
The first task of a proficient couples therapist is to be “for” their clients. This doesn’t mean simply nodding along or agreeing with everything the clients say. It means being their advocate for advancing their well-being, growth, and the health of their relationship. Therapists must help clients set and achieve relationship goals, while also promoting individual growth.
Being WITH the Client
The second role is to be “with” the client. A couples therapist must show compassion and understanding, creating a safe space for the clients to voice their fears, frustrations, and hopes. Therapists need to attune themselves to the client’s emotional state, supporting them through every emotional high and low. They must walk the path with them, celebrating their successes and offering guidance through the difficulties.
Being AGAINST the Client
The third, and perhaps the most complex role, is being “against” the client. This does not mean antagonizing or undermining the client, but rather challenging unhealthy behaviors or thought patterns that may be detrimental to the relationship. A good therapist can be no people-pleaser! Sometimes they have to show tough love! He or she must have the courage to confront clients when they’re sabotaging themselves or destroying their own relationship and hold them accountable. They need to offer honest feedback and help them see things from a fresh perspective.
Why These Roles Matter
These three roles might sound contradictory, but they are essential components in the complex dance of couples therapy. A skilled therapist must balance these roles effectively, navigating the delicate balance between support and challenge. Embodying these roles is crucial in facilitating significant, positive changes within individuals and their relationships.
In a Nutshell
Embarking on the journey of couples therapy or marriage counseling is an act of courage. It requires the willingness to face challenges head-on, while also being open to growth and transformation. At Kairos, we understand the intricacies of these three essential roles. We stand FOR you, advocating for your growth and well-being; we are WITH you, providing a compassionate and understanding environment; and we are AGAINST any detrimental patterns that might be holding you back.
So, are you ready to take the first step towards transforming your relationship? If so, we invite you to schedule a free consultation with us. Remember, the path to a healthier relationship often begins with a single, brave step. Contact us today, and let us walk this journey together.