When I do couples counseling, one of the essential activities I do with all of my couples is I have them create something called a “relationship vision”. It’s not complicated, and in fact, it’s really fun! It’s sort of like when you were a kid and you would create your Christmas list for Santa. The difference is that here you are creating a sort of “wish list” for your relationship. The couples I work with always enjoy this activity. But it doesn’t end there. Afterward we go through your list and I give suggestions on how you could make your relationship vision a reality.
What I like about this activity is that couples are always skeptical at first. They think to themselves “But this is just fantasy. There’s no way we could accomplish this in real life. We’ve been miserable for years!” I can understand why they’re so skeptical, I really can. Before seeing me, they had tried everything they could to improve the relationship and it just didn’t work. Now I have the nerve to say that actually it can work and in fact, we can even make it better than it’s ever been! I know that sounds crazy, naive, pollyannish, etc, but I believe in my couples. I don’t work with anyone that’s “too far gone”, although I don’t give up easily either. I’ve definitely worked with a lot of couples that were in crisis or on “the brink” when they first met me. But, the difference is that I know something that they don’t yet.
One of my special talents is that I can see potential. I can look at a couple and see what they could become. Through the course of counseling it is revealed to me what changes the couple desires and then I show them how to achieve that change. Creating a relationship vision is an important part of that process. At the end of counseling, I remind the couple of the relationship vision they had created during the beginning of counseling. I then ask them how close they feel they are to having achieved their ideal relationship. The couples I work with always tell me that they’ve either achieved it or have gotten very close to having achieved it. And this is what I know that couples first coming in to couples counseling don’t know yet: That the “impossible” is achievable! If you’re willing to come in for 10-12 sessions and follow the program, you will leave counseling with your ideal relationship. It’s that simple.