Love isn't complicated. People in romantic relationships can be.
Our combined 50 years of healthcare experiences in family and marriage at the Centre for Stress Management has allowed us over the years to review, research, apply, evaluate and then develop an evidence-based approach to relationship counselling in four areas: relationship with the self, with acquaintances, with friends and with intimates (partner, siblings, parents, spouse). We understand that the most common denominator or factor in relationship counselling is the relationship with the self, or the "I," which often times is minimized or overlooked in relationship counselling. Hence, a common element or topic in all our relationship counselling services affords each person to become more insightful of their character (what are my values and goals), personality (what are the things I like and prefer) and habits (the healthy and unhealthy ones). In short, before we can improve our communication and conflict resolution skills in counselling and life, we must first be mindful of who we are as a person, how we interact with others, and the ways we influence others and others influence us.
The biggest communication problem is we do NOT listen to understand. We listen to reply.
A primary motivation for relationship counselling is almost always to "save the relationship," but we also believe that relationship counselling should not only focus on resolving long-standing conflicts to save their marriage, couples counselling should also be about educating couples on the key elements that sustain a happy and healthy relationship. In other words, the conflict may be resolved and couples now have learned "how to argue better," but often times couples realize they still have relationship issues that impact their well-being and happiness. Relationship counselling at the Centre for Stress Management removes the blame game and avoids the right versus wrong themes many couples experiencing in counselling. Instead, we collaborate with and educate our clients on not only what makes a relationship lasting and happy, we also provide interesting and insightful activities so each person in that relationship has a better understand of who they are and the person they sahe a life with.
Our core well-being topics couples explore in relationship counselling besides resolving the conflict are:
INTIMACY: becoming insightful at the five intimacies of a relationship and how to be mindful of meeting those intimacy needs
COMMUNICATION: relationship communication skills is much more than announcing "I think we need to talk," couples learn on how to utilize many skills to reduce conflict and enhance understanding and happiness
WORK - LIFE INTEGRATION: the work - life demands in Hong Kong prevent most couples from "leave your work at the office when you go home," our program helps couples understand how to manage the intrusion of work at home and how to connect with home when at work
THINK THEN FEEL: neuroscience has shown we cannot have a thought without a feeling, yet many couples believe that relationship counselling is about coming in and "talking about how they feel." Our 50 years of combined healthcare experience and evidence-based research shows our ways of thinking have a far greater impact on our emotions and behaviors than we realize. Couples learn quickly various positive, powerful and sustaining thinking skills to remain happy and healthy
ROLES: the ageing process does have an impact on how relationships grown and change over time, there are male and female individual health issues couples need to be aware of to ensure stress and stress-related issues do not impact the happiness and well-being of relationship
WELLNESS: the ageing process does have an impact on how relationships grown and change over time, there are male and female individual health issues couples need to be aware of to ensure stress and stress-related issues do not impact the happiness and well-being of relationship
CONFLICT: to unfortunate myth about relationship counselling is that "good, we will never argue again after counselling." Conflict is a natural component in all relationships (work and personal), and our relationship counselling educates couples on how to resolve disagreements and/or misunderstandings without any harm to the relationship
Our focus is two-fold in pre-marital counselling: preventative by way of learning how to reduce work-life stress and better manage conflicts that impacts marriages, and resilience with the mindset of better understanding the five intimacies and five love languages that allows couples to keep falling in love. Our pre-marital program is highly recognized, has 8 key topics to explore and is tailor made for each couple. We recommend at least 5 counselling sessions for our couples. All participants receive a Certificate of Completion.
Relationship counselling or what we call re-connecting counselling is for couples who are having conflict and unresolved issues in their personal, work and relationship life. Couples who are in a non-conflict state and come in for counselling receive our tune-up counselling program that strengthens their values and vows. Our relationship counselling is educational and not only focuses on resolving conflict, but our sessions are also focused on teaching communication, intimacy, stress management, parenting and work-life balance themes among others.
Our co-parenting program works with parents who are separating and/or divorced to better understand how to collaborate with nurturing and guidance parenting strategies with children. The program counsellor is highly recognized by Hong Kong's family law community with 8 main topics to explore and each participant is issued a Certificate of Completion. Counselling sessions are conducted either individually and if possible, with both parents at the same counselling session. Our ultimate goal is to ensure each child continues to flourish as their family life changes.