It’s been said that one of the keys to a healthy relationship is communication. However, many couples struggle with basic conversational skills, conflict resolution, effective forms of expression, and the list goes on. Instead of seeking help, the popular choice is to sweep these issues under the rug or slip into fight or flight mode. Just because this appears to be the norm doesn’t mean it has to be the reality you experience.
Working with a trained professional can help to improve the dynamic in your relationship. Unfortunately, there are still negative stigmas surrounding couples therapy. If you or someone you know is struggling within a romantic relationship or you’d simply like the tools to maintain your already healthy relationship, then couples therapy may be the right option for you.
What is couples therapy and how does it work?
Couples therapy,( also known as couples counseling), helps couples work through issues in their relationships—whether they are married or not. If the couple is married, it is then referred to as marriage counseling.
Couples therapy sessions are led by a licensed couples therapist. The approaches used to help each couple will vary but the ultimate goal of therapy is to improve the communication and problem-solving skills between the participants.
Generally, couples will attend sessions together and the therapist will guide them through the process of effective communication and introduce concepts that the individuals may have never considered before.
It is also worth noting that you can still attend couples therapy even if your partner refuses to attend. Your therapist will arm you with useful tools and techniques that you can use to effectively improve matters in your relationship.
Though your partner doesn’t have to attend therapy for you to experience the benefits of couples therapy, it is even more beneficial if all parties are open to attending. Continous sessions can greatly improve communication, conflict resolution, emotional intimacy, and general satisfaction between couples.
How can couples therapy help us?
If you’re dealing with misunderstandings or friction in your relationship, all hope is not lost. A licensed professional can help couples achieve various outcomes including but not limited to:
- Effective communication
- Overcoming opposing values
- Understanding the different types of Consent: It’s not only in the bedroom.
- Resolving financial issues
- Understanding each partner’s sexual desires and triggers
Couples who fight frequently will usually become completely drained and resentful or they will stop wanting to share their space with one another entirely. This could later lead down the path to separation or divorce. Agreeing to meet with a couples therapist can help you both see each other’s perspective and come to a decision on how to resolve your troubles.
What are the myths about couples therapy?
There are a plethora of misconceptions about couples therapy that can cause people to shy away from or delay receiving the help they need.
These are just a few of the popular but wrong thoughts that exist around couples therapy:
- If we can’t help ourselves, surely a stranger can’t – While it can be hard to believe, a stranger may be exactly who you need to help with your situation because they can serve as a neutral party.
An experienced therapist can assess your situation through the lens of logic and experience and not with the personal bias that could come from a friend or family member.
- They’ll take my partner’s side, and my feelings won’t be validated – The role of your therapist is to serve as a neutral third party. They are trained to listen to both sides and help you relate better to one another.
As trained and skilled professionals, they will not take one side over another. Their goal is to help you both feel satisfied with the outcome and reach a reasonable resolution if necessary.
- Couples therapy is too expensive – There are a variety of affordable couples therapy options available to those who are interested. For instance, some insurance companies will provide coverage and some therapists may offer sliding scale payments.
It is worth it to do some research to find a therapist that works best for your budget. Other options to consider might be to cut back on things that don’t add value to your life such as ordering out to eat or the amount of online shopping you do monthly.
Who should seek out couples therapy?
Couples therapy does not discriminate. The fact is if you’re even considering couples therapy then you are likely a great candidate. Anyone who feels like they could use additional support and guidance within their relationship would make an ideal candidate for counseling. Potential clients could fall into any of these categories:
- LGBTQIA+ couples
- Straight couples
- Interracial couples
- Couples with an age gap
- Dating couples
- Engaged couples
- Married couples
- Couples in the honeymoon phase of the relationship
No matter what category you fall into, you are not exempt from experiencing occasional hiccups or slippery slopes within your relationship. You may have even decided that you’d like to seek counseling as a preventative measure, whatever the case, couples therapy is a smart choice for anyone who feels drawn to it.
If you’ve asked yourself if couples therapy is right for your relationship, the answer is a resounding yes. Whether you’re facing cataclysmic issues or just looking to nip any potential issues in the bud, there is much to be gained from sessions with a licensed couples therapist. Your relationship doesn’t need to be in distress to reap the benefits of couples therapy. Why not give it a try and see if you get the results you’re looking for?
Though couples therapy is not guaranteed to “fix” any issues you may be having in your relationship, it can certainly provide some insight and clarity if all parties involved are willing to participate and be open to the possibilities.
Have you visited a couples therapist? We’d like to hear about your experiences. Leave us comments on our Instagram page or email us today at email@example.com.