Couples therapy, is designed to help couples work through their problems and improve their relationship. By meeting with a trained therapist it can help you and your partner to discussing issues in your relationship related to a variety of areas such as communication, trust, intimacy, and conflict resolution. While you may be hesitant to seek out couples therapy, there are several reasons why it can be incredibly helpful for your relationship.
One of the main benefits of couples therapy is that it provides a safe and neutral space for couples to communicate and work through their issues. When couples try to address their problems on their own, it can be easy to get stuck in unproductive patterns of communication and behavior. We all have our own unique blind spots when it comes to our stuff and it’s easy to get focused on our partners stuff and lose perspective on ourselves. Couples therapy allows a trained therapist to act as a mediator, facilitating productive conversations and helping both partners feel heard and understood. In the relationship it can be easy to focus more on being right than on growing closer, and in couples counseling the relationship really is the focus of the professional. A good couples counselor isn’t on either individual’s side, they are working to help the couple be at their most healthy.
Another benefit of couples therapy is that it can help couples develop new skills and strategies for dealing with conflict. Sometimes we lack skills because of a lack of learning from our families or origin, or maybe you’ve picked up some bad habits in other relationships that you didn’t realize were bad habits. Whether it’s learning how to communicate more effectively, practicing active listening, or finding ways to compromise, couples therapy can provide couples with the tools they need to navigate challenging situations in a more productive and positive way. These skills can not only improve the couple’s current relationship, but also carry over into other areas of their lives, such as work and friendships. Having encouraging neutral person to point out what tools are needed and when they aren’t being used properly can be very helpful.
Couples therapy can also help couples work through specific issues that may be causing problems in their relationship. Each relationship is different and no cookie cutter self-help book will be right to help all situations. Your own family of origin experiences, relationship history, trauma history, values, and situations as a couple will impact the specific focus of counseling. For example, if one partner is struggling with addiction or mental health issues, couples therapy can provide a safe space for both partners to discuss the impact of these issues on their relationship and work together to find a solution. Similarly, if one partner has been unfaithful, couples therapy can provide a way for the couple to address the infidelity and work on rebuilding trust and repairing their relationship. A good couples counselor can help you to focus on the issues that really impact your relationship and to see the big picture and problematic patterns instead of getting bogged down in the details.
Finally, couples therapy can be a powerful way for couples to strengthen their bond and deepen their intimacy. It is normal for relationships to change over time and warm feelings can ebb and fizzle for seasons. The world suggests that this is the time to quit and move on to something new, but love is a choice and feelings can be restored with work. It’s unrealistic to expect that relationships will always feel the same and maintain the same levels of passion, connectedness, and joy, but it is realistic to rekindle these things with work. Couples who claim that they have never disagreed and have appreciated every new thing they have learned about each other are either lying to themselves or haven’t been together for very long.
Statistics show that between 70% and 97% of couples have benefited from couples therapy, and a big part of that is the willingness to do the hard work on the relationship. By working through your problems together, you can build a deeper understanding and appreciation of each other. You can also learn new ways to connect emotionally and physically, which can help to rekindle feelings of love and passion that may have been lost over time. If you and your partner are experiencing problems in your relationship, consider reaching out to a qualified couples therapist and find new skills, new perspective, and new hope today.
April 2023, Jenny Beall, Counselor, Threads of Hope Counseling