Crisis Counseling

Helping you do your best when faced with the worst

When you are in the midst of a crisis, you need immediate help. Things are becoming overwhelming and unbearable, so you need the resources to just get stable again. Crisis counseling is significantly different than other counseling because of the recognized need to deal with the immediate problem first. You’ll find this to hold true whether you’re seeking individual or couples counseling.

What is Crisis Counseling for Couples?

When something traumatic happens, it can put people into crisis. In this state, your regular level of functioning goes out the window. Your ability to cope with the situation, to solve problems reasonably, or even to handle the everyday tasks of life may become significantly diminished. We are all familiar with how this happens to individuals, but many people don’t realize that couples can land in crisis as well.

Why Couples Seek Crisis Counseling

Couples can find themselves in crisis during or after any traumatic event that affects either partner or the whole family. Examples include:

  • A child’s addiction or other serious health issue
  • Death or another major loss in the family
  • Discovering infidelity in the relationship
  • Job loss or sudden change in finances
  • Natural disaster or tragedy that may include loss of home
  • One partner going through a serious mental or physical health issue
  • Substance abuse by one or both partners

These stressors can cause couples to enter a state of crisis. This can look different for each couple. In some relationships, it means there is a lot of arguing, yelling, and hostility. Other couples shutdown and turn away from each other.

Do We Need Crisis Counseling?

If you have experienced something traumatic or stressful in your life, and it’s affecting your relationship, then you might want crisis counseling.

In fact, couples are most likely to come to counseling when things are in a state of crisis. Here are some signs that you might need crisis counseling for your relationship:

  • You can’t have a conversation without arguing.
  • One or both of you have feelings of hopelessness about the relationship.
  • Mental health issues, such as depression or anxiety, affect one or both of you.
  • There is no sense of connection with your partner. It feels like you’re in this alone.
  • You don’t feel much of anything anymore. You’re overwhelmed and numb.

“If you made a list of reasons why any couple got married, and another list of the reasons for their divorce, you’d have a hell of a lot of overlapping.”
– Mignon McLaughlin

What to Expect in Crisis Counseling for Couples

Naturally couples turn to therapy in a crisis. You need that support. However, attempting to resolve a crisis with traditional marriage counseling approaches can often be a recipe for disaster. Those techniques are great during a time when your marriage is relatively stable. You need a different approach when you are in crisis.

We want to begin helping you through a process called “restoring pre-crisis levels of functioning”. In other words, we want to help things get as stable as they were in the relationship before the crisis. That’s how you will be strong enough to problem solve and move forward.

If your relationship had a really strong foundation before the crisis, you may not need additional counseling after that point.

You may just need to get through the crisis together and come through to the other side. At that point, you can identify a path forward together.

If, however, your relationship was a bit rocky even before the crisis, then you’ll do more therapy. You still need to get back to that former stability, or whatever semblance of it you had, where you were functioning okay together before the crisis. Crisis counseling will get you through this period without making things worse.

Then, once the immediate stressors and high emotions of the crisis have been resolved, the path forward might then evolve into discernment counseling (to decide whether to continue the relationship) or couples’ therapy (to repair and strengthen the relationship). That’s a decision that you don’t need to make right now. Getting through the crisis is the first step.

Therapy can help provide you with a safe space to rest and get your strength back, individually and as a couple. You can get through the crisis and back to a more stable experience of life. You can only take the next step when you’re already standing on solid ground. Let us provide you with the support to create that solid place for yourselves. Reach out today for more information about couples crisis counseling.