Couples Therapy: Considerations and Benefits
Every relationship will have its ups and downs. Most couples will run into a few bumps in the road at some point in their relationships. Couples argue, fight, and reconcile afterward – it’s perfectly normal. However, problems can arise when every conversation turns into a fight with no resolution in sight.
If you and your partner are able to settle arguments and disagreements in a healthy way and timely manner, you have nothing to worry about. However, if you two constantly nag each other, the fights are turning ugly and last for days, your relationship might have hit a rough patch.
Regular, ugly fights can lead to increased stress among couples. It’s a well-known fact that stress is a silent killer. In addition to taking a toll on one’s mental well-being, stress can cause several health problems such as diabetes, autoimmune syndromes, and cardiovascular dysfunctions. Stress affects work performance and unchecked stress has the potential to derail one’s career and also affect a person’s relationships.
Many couples facing relationship problems seek couples therapy where a counselor can help you work through relationship challenges. The professional will help you identify and avoid triggers and get your relationship back on track.
What is Couples Therapy?
Couples therapy is a type of psychotherapy that helps couples recognize and resolve relationship conflicts to improve their relationship. It can also help couples determine if their relationships have hit rock bottom and they should go their separate ways.
In couples therapy, you and your therapist work together to get to the root causes of conflicts. The professional will help you improve your conflict resolution techniques. Though usually, a therapist would want both partners to attend couples therapy, they may occasionally request to see them separately.
The aim of couples therapy is to equip couples with the tools they need to strengthen their relationships. Some of the issues that can be addressed during sessions are financial problems, sexual differences and dysfunctions, substance abuse, parenting challenges, and poor communication.
A couple may benefit from couples therapy if:
➢ They want to increase intimacy in their relationship, improve their sexual life, or create more romance in their relationship
➢ They want to learn ways to resolve conflicts amicably
➢ They wish to address any underlying issues in their relationship
➢ They need help navigating a major transition in their relationship. Some events that can lead to relationship transitions are marriage, birth of a child, and retirement of a spouse
➢ They need help resolving differences over major life decisions such as whether to get married or have a child
➢ They want to learn ways to support each other during stressful times
Can Couples Therapy Fix a Broken Relationship?
A couples counselor can help you identify relationship issues and work through them. If, however, your relationship is beyond saving, they will suggest ways to separate amicably.
How is Couples Therapy Beneficial?
Couples therapy equips couples with the skills they need to communicate with each other. In addition, it helps couples identify the root cause of the relationship problems they are experiencing and devise a plan to address it.
What Are the Goals of Couples Counseling?
Some common goals of couples counseling include:
- Improving understanding
- Increasing affection and intimacy
- Improving communication
Uncovering hidden relationship problems
Signs You Should Go to Couples Therapy
Here are some signs you should start seeing a counselor near you:
➢ You feel there is no passion or excitement in your relationship
➢ You feel your relationship is haunted by the ghosts of your past
➢ You feel you are stuck in a dead relationship and are considering a divorce
➢ You are facing intimacy problems
What Happens in Couples Therapy
In the initial meeting, your therapist will ask you several questions regarding the history of your relationship. The professional will also try to develop a better understanding of your family and cultural backgrounds, feelings, and beliefs.
The information that you share with your therapist in the initial session may seem insignificant to you. However, your therapist will use it to understand your whole story.
Next, your therapist will assist you in identifying the issues that will be the focus of treatment. They will work with you to set treatment goals and set a treatment schedule. Typical examples of treatment goals include falling in love with each other all over again, improving communication, or deciding whether you should end your relationship on a positive note.
Your goals can change over time and your initial goals may not necessarily be your end goals. Once your therapist has a better understanding of your relationship dynamics, they will develop a timeline.
During treatment, your therapist will help you learn new skills to avoid conflicts and diffuse arguments in a timely manner. They will help you identify ways to have more patience in your relationship, rebuild trust and honesty, and learn effective techniques to manage stress.
Learning does not stop after a session ends. Your therapist will give you homework that you will have to complete between sessions. These tasks are used to help couples apply the skills they learn in therapy to their day-to-day interactions. Some tasks that your counselor can give you are:
➢ Going on a romantic date
➢ Getting intimate
➢ Reading a self-help book together and discussing key learnings
Be sure to take these tasks seriously and complete them in a timely manner.
Aside from helping restore, repair, or rejuvenate your relationship, there are a wide array of other benefits from couple’s therapy.
➢ You will gain in-depth insights into your relational patterns
➢ Improved communication and problem-solving skills
➢ Your therapist will help you get to the root cause of your relationship problem and treat it
➢ Couples therapy restores emotional and physical intimacy
➢ Your counselor will help you rediscover fun and joy in your relationship
Do you need help navigating relationship challenges? Look no further than Cooper Mental Health Counseling. We use tried-and-tested techniques designed to help couples rediscover physical and emotional intimacy in their relationships. To make an appointment, call (347) 244-7873.