What Is Couples Therapy Like?
If you and your significant other are experiencing ongoing conflict, and it is undermining the health of your relationship, it may be time to consider couples therapy. Couples therapy may seem like a dramatic solution to resolving conflict in a relationship, but in fact it is a common and effective one. When you decide to go to couples therapy, you are making a positive statement about your relationship: that it is an vital part of your life, and one worth optimizing. In short, signing up for couples therapy is proof of commitment. As one who has never experienced this type of therapy before, however, you may have questions as to what it is really like. Let’s explore what couples therapy is, and how it can help you.
What Is Couples Therapy?
Couples therapy is a form of psychotherapy concerned with helping couples navigate challenges in their relationship by allowing them to better understand the nature of their relationship, and how they can find healthier ways of relating to one another.
Typical challenges faced include communication problems, sexual issues, or a seemingly imminent breakup. By using particular therapeutic techniques and interventions related to the couple’s goals, challenging aspects of the relationships can be addressed and improved. As human beings, we are prone to becoming stuck in unhealthy patterns that we blindly adhere to. With the help of couples therapy, a couple can identify these damaging patterns and work towards breaking them.
What Happens at Couples Therapy?
During couples therapy, couples will discuss perceived challenges in their relationship. Because a couples therapist acts as a neutral party, he or she is able to offer an objective opinion, and one backed by extensive psychological training and experience. When couples discuss these very same issues privately, it is all but impossible to manage an objective and reasonable stance since the conversation is saturated with, and influenced by, emotion. A therapist will ask pertinent questions to help partners communicate in a healthier and more level-headed manner. In this way, couples can better understand each other’s perspectives and approach an issue from a new angle.
Oftentimes, desires are expressed in a critical way that leaves a partner hurt, angry, and defensive. In couples therapy, partners are encouraged to frame desires in a constructive way. Additionally, a couples therapist will teach partners to communicate in a way that prevents the other from shutting down emotionally.
Finally, if psychological factors such as depression are present in one or both partners, and this is creating conflict in the relationship, a couples therapist is qualified to identify and help remedy such issues.
In life, the connections we make with others is of paramount importance. The relationship we share with our partners is precious and worth preserving, and optimizing, at all costs. If you are experiencing conflict in your relationship, why wait until matters are beyond repair? Do yourself a favor and consider couples therapy.