Last month my boyfriend and I went to our first couples counseling session. I’m no stranger to counseling as I’ve been seeing one since 2005. I’m also in school to become a licensed therapist, so this couples counseling thing should be familiar right?
Oh gawd no.
“What did I get ourselves into?”, “What if my boyfriend doesn’t show up?”, “What if he gets angry at me?”, “What if we say something really hurtful in session?” all these concerns and more ran through my head. Plus, the thought of each of us talking about our relationship with someone neither of us knows seemed weird. It really makes manifest the fact that we are having a hard time talking with each other.
The night of our first session I was a nervous wreck and I wanted to back out. I met with my ACA partner just before the session and she could tell how nervous I was. I felt dizzy, out of my body, and my heart was racing. This feeling is very familiar. I recognized it as that feeling I have in my counseling sessions when I reach my “growing edge”. My ACA partner made an observation that I was so thankful for. “Congratulations,” she said, “You’re really acting on behalf of your little girl, and changing what you know as the dynamics between male and female relationships.”
I was still nervous going into session, and somehow very comforted in knowing that my little girl felt some relief in my adult action for her. It’s what ACA calls Re-Parenting. Both she and I know that I can’ take care of this on my own. Both she and I know that asking for help is sometimes scary. However, I’m tired of re-wounding her everytime I feel like I can’t speak up in my relationship. My hope is that in couples counseling we can gain some communication skills and a better understanding of what we need for ourselves and from each other. Time will tell.