Everything You Need to Know About Couples Therapy
All relationships go through their ups and downs. Having a strong relationship takes a lot of hard work. Like cars, they need frequent maintenance. If there is a problem, it is best to address it as soon as possible to avoid troubles down the road.
Sometimes you two may be able to work through your differences. Other times, despite your best efforts, you may need professional help. If you are struggling to get through a rough patch, consider taking couples therapy in Queens.
Couples Therapy: An Introduction
Marriage counseling (or couples therapy) is a type of psychotherapy. In couples therapy, a therapist works with the couple to help them gain insights into their relationship that they may not have seen previously. The professional help them understand common causes of conflicts and resolve them in a healthy manner, leading to a stronger relationship.
Many marriage therapists have graduate or postgraduate degrees in their fields, while others choose to become credentialed by the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.
An experienced counselor uses multiple therapeutic interventions to reduce relationship stress. They help couples make thoughtful decisions focused on rebuilding and strengthening their relationship.
Though different therapists use different methods, there are some similarities between different approaches. Most therapists try to focus on a specific problem until they are able to help the couple resolve the issue. These problems can come in a wide variety of issues, including jealousy, addiction, and communication to name a few.
Therapists focus on addressing relationship problems rather than treating each individual separately. Once a therapist establishes treatment objectives, they are able to come up with an action plan designed for the couple. Every therapist uses solution-focused, change-oriented interventions to help couples resolve their differences.
In a study conducted by the American Association of Marriage and Family, around 93 percent of surveyed couples said couples therapy gave them effective tools for resolving conflicts. Additionally, more than 97 percent of couples said they experienced benefits from couples therapy.
What to Expect in Therapy
In the first counseling session, your therapist will ask you questions about your relationship, cultural backgrounds, family-of-origin, and values to help them develop and understanding of each person’s background.
Once your therapist gets to know you two on a personal level, they will assist you in identifying the underlying issues that will be the focus of the treatment. The professional will establish treatment goals and design a treatment structure.
Goals can vary significantly between couples. Some couples may want to fall in love all over again, while others may want to end their relationship on a positive note. Goals can evolve over the course of therapy. Your initial goals may not necessarily be your end goals.
During the treatment phase, your therapist will use different techniques to gain insight into the dynamics of your relationship. Your therapist may conduct various exercises designed to help couples learn new communication skills and reinforce the importance of trust and honesty, forgiveness, and having patience in a relationship.
Your therapist may assign homework such as going out on a date without your phones, keeping a log of emotions and any arguments that arise, and reading relationship books together. Your therapist will also assign you activities to apply the skills you learn in therapy sessions.
Things to Keep in Mind While Considering Counseling
➢ You can go alone: If your partner refuses to attend couples counseling, you can go by yourself. However, remember it takes two to tango. Therapy will be successful only if both partners are willing and committed to the process.
➢ Therapy can be short-term or long-term: Many couples need a few sessions, whereas some couples may need therapy for several months. The specific treatment plan will depend on your situation and will be recommended by your therapist.
➢ You or your partner might need additional work: If one of you has a drug addiction or is coping with a mental illness or substance abuse issue, your therapist will work with a health care provider to provide complete treatment.
Who Should Consider Couples Therapy?
Couples therapy is beneficial for all types of relationships. Couples therapy can help couples resolve a current issue, prevent a problem from snowballing into a major issue, and provide a check-up for happy couples whose relationship may have hit a rough patch.
Factors to Consider When Choosing a Therapist
There are several ways to find a reputable therapist. You can ask your primary care doctor for a referral to a therapist, ask your friends and family members, or your insurer may offer recommendations.
Once you have narrowed down your list of preferred therapists, consider these factors to choose the right therapist for you.
➢ Location: Look for a therapist close to where you work or live. Ask them if they are available in case of an emergency.
➢ Fees and insurance: Understand your therapist’s fee structure. Make sure they accept your insurance.
➢ Education and experience: Make sure your therapist holds a valid license and is credentialed by the AMFT. Ask them if they have experience of treating couples with relationship problems similar to yours.
➢ Reputation: Read online reviews and testimonials about your perspective therapist. This can provide you with an insight into how they conduct their treatment and hearing the success stories of other couples may reinforce your decision to attend therapy.
Is your relationship experiencing a stressful period? Cooper Mental Health Counseling offers couples therapy in Queens and the nearby areas. We can help repair burned bridges. Once we determine the friction points, we will develop a plan to help you and your partner work through the differences in your relationship. To book an appointment, call (347) 244-7873.