Counselling: How Talking Can Beat Depression and Anxiety

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How to Make the Most of Marriage Counselling With an Uncommunicative Spouse

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If you are having trouble in your relationship, you may want to consider marriage counselling. However, if your spouse tends to not talk a lot, that could be difficult. Wondering how to get past the challenge of a spouse who won't communicate? There are a variety of methods that can help. Check out these ideas:

1. Look for a Counselor Who You Both Like

The counsellor you choose has a huge impact on how the process goes for both of you. If your spouse is reluctant to go to marriage counselling or if your spouse tends to be shy in general around new people, it can help to choose a counsellor you both like. You may need to have a few introductory sessions before you find someone who works for both of you.

2. Find a Counsellor Who Asks Open-Ended Questions

As you meet with different counsellors, you may want to look at each counsellor's communication style. Ideally, to encourage expression from your partner, you want a counsellor who asks open-ended questions. Those are questions that require detailed answers rather than yes-no questions.

3. Consider Giving Each Partner Equal Time to Respond

In some cases, when you go to marriage counselling, it can be easy to fall into a trap of blaming the other person or over-explaining your side of things. So that you don't accidentally get into that pattern, you may want to work with a counsellor who gives each person an equal amount of time to respond to each question.

You can find out if a particular counsellor does this by asking them directly before your first session, or you can just look for this trait as you have initial sessions with some counsellors.

4. Practise Your Listening Skills

Some partners really are quiet, and others refuse to communicate for a variety of reasons. However, in some cases, your spouse may talk more if you listen better. Both during marriage counselling and at home, try being a better listener.

When your spouse speaks, don't spend the time preparing your response or taking exception to the points that hurt your feels. Instead, let them finish, and try to really understand what they need based on what they are saying.

5. Consider Solo Therapy

In addition to going to marriage counselling, you may want to go to individual therapy sessions. If your spouse is alone, he or she may express more and may find new ways toward growth. Additionally, you can talk with a counsellor without worrying about whether or not your spouse is communicating.