My client has been seeking counselling for marital issues. However, these issues have escalated during the lockdown as both husband and wife are together 24*7, with no respite or personal space. What more can I do to help her?
Couples with interpersonal problems can have more conflicts during the lock down. During lock down, it may be difficult to address the couple’s long standing issues through tele-services due to several challenges. Hence, the mutually agreed goal of therapy could be to help the couple learn to make adjustments with each other in these difficult circumstances. It would be important to explore the impact of lock down on the couple, their relationship, and how each one is coping with it. Is the emotional distress associated with lock down affecting their interaction? This should also be explored and addressed. It would be useful to identify and address the source of conflict. Sometimes small issues can turn into major altercations and fights. There could be problems with mutual understanding, communication, problem solving, emotion regulation, sharing of responsibilities, or resolving differences. Understanding what is causing conflicts and accordingly addressing the issues using appropriate strategies and agreements can be useful. Also, decreasing the interactions with each other, spending more time doing personal activities (house hold, connecting with others, reading, T.V, Internet etc.) may automatically reduce the chances of conflict. However, during interactions showing mutual understanding and respect for each other by maintaining the right attitude, avoiding being rude and critical, appropriately expressing one’s thoughts and emotions, understanding and responding appropriately to the partner’s emotions and thoughts, can be some of the ways to avoid the escalation of issues. In a nutshell, detailed assessment of their lock down circumstances, and what is causing & maintaining their problems may help in addressing their issues more effectively.
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