What does a game of footy have to do with Couples Counselling
So hurray the footy season is over. That probably comes as a relief to many of you reading this. Not much of a fan myself but I do understand and appreciate the attraction to sports. The AFL played their final on Saturday followed by the NFL in Sydney on Sunday. Whatever your code I am sure you enjoyed the spectacle. Now you can get on with engaging your partner in meaningful conversation and perhaps even finally persuade him to come to couples counselling with you.
Getting your other half to counselling or therapy or coaching, whatever the case may be, is easier said than done. This brings me to a question.While thinking of him, answer this: “What is the difference between counselling and a game of footy”? Whatever code you, or he follows.It’s really quite simple actually, games have rules, logical rules, clear concise rules. Men are more comfortable and more willing to engage when they know the rules. And more importantly they know there is an end. Open ended discussions represent a mine field for a lot of men.
In footy you have a start and a finish. Whether its 80 minutes, 90 minutes or 2 hours, there is an end. There is an outcome. In most cases there is a winner. There are rules, regulations, penalties and tries and behinds depending on your code.All the team members, and the spectators, know the players part and position and how to play. There is really only one unanswered question in this space. Who will be the victor?
Granted there are uncertainties and ambiguous calls, golden points and replays, punch ups and sin-bins but by and large they fall within the rules and more importantly the expectations of each player on the field.However, the one glaringly obvious difference between the analogy of a game and the counselling room is that in the relationship counselling space the aim is that each partner, and the relationship to be the winners.
As a rule, we men love sports and particularly team sports. We are comfortable here because we know the rules and more importantly we know the expectations. Counselling on the other hand looks far more scarier and way, way, way unpredictable.In this series, we are going to look at why he is reluctant to talk about his relationship, what are some of the traps and misconceptions he might have and how to show him that, like a game of footy, there are rules and ways to play a better game.
But playing a better game means understanding ourselves better. Until next time…