It is often scary to admit that things are not perfect in your relationship. If anything feels off in your relationship, you should consider couples therapy before any potential problems snowball into larger issues.
When It is Time to Try Couples Therapy
It can be hard to admit when things are not going smoothly in your relationship. When things do not feel right, you should consider trying couples therapy to address any problems before they create tension and cause more problems.
What is Couples Therapy?
Couples therapy is a form of psychotherapy that allows couples to take a step back from their problems and get insight from an unbiased party. Therapists are always neutral, so they are able to look at each issue from a clear perspective. Every therapist uses different tactics depending on their own training and experiences, but the goal is never to declare a winner between clients. Couples therapy is meant to create a controlled, safe environment for two people to talk through their differences. For some examples of how therapy sessions are conducted, a site backed by Mental Health America provides some specifics.
It is pretty common for one of the people in the relationship to oppose trying therapy, but the best outcomes occur when both people are open to it. There are some accommodations that can be made for individuals in a relationship with someone against couples therapy. Both people can meet with a therapist separately at first, so they can feel more comfortable and possibly open up more. More people are opening up to the mental health community in general recently, and companies are creating new ways to promote and provide therapy services. There are also times when individual counseling is necessary in addition to couples counseling, as some problems may be caused by mismanaged stress or a lacking ability to communicate feelings. No matter what preferences a couple has, there is a couples therapist that can make both of them comfortable enough to start diffusing the situation.
Goals of Couples Therapy
Couples therapy is an intervention to solve relationship issues, but the overall goal of a therapist is to equip both of them with healthy problem-solving skills and to teach them how to communicate with each other better. Couples will learn to be conscious of each other’s needs and learn to support them. The best results come when each partner is properly motivated to try to find strategies that can help their relationship. Then, it takes dedication to keep working through these difficult issues, but when couples achieve their therapy goals, the stress and tension from those issues is finally relieved.
Common Reasons to Try Couples Therapy
Each individual relationship is unique and complex, but there are some common circumstances that continue to be a factor for couples dealing with issues. Here are some of the things a couples therapist will have experience working with:
- Trust has been broken: Couples therapy can be a tool to rebuild the trust in a relationship that has been damaged by dishonesty. If someone in the relationship has been cheating, lying about money or deceiving their partner in any other way, a couples therapist can help initiate the changes needed so both people in the relationship can feel safe and have trust in their partner.
- Frequent arguments: When conflicts start occurring frequently each day, it could be a sign that a couple needs help resolving issues together. The arguments can be about small and large issues, but if they keep happening consistently without being resolved, both partners are irritated and can be more likely to keep snapping and starting arguments. A couples therapist can help break the cycle and teach their clients healthy strategies for diffusing conflicts.
- Poor communication: If anyone in the relationship feels like they aren’t being heard or like they’re being ignored, couples therapy offers a stable platform to voice these concerns. Maybe you feel misunderstood by your partner and a fresh perspective might be able to convey your point so they understand you better. Communication problems can stem from a lack of communication too. Couples therapy can help you recreate open lines of communication, so you and your partner can be connected with each other’s lives again.
- Something just feels off: Not every problem is clear or specific. Sometimes you might feel annoyed or resentful without knowing why exactly. Other times, people’s feelings for each other change. A couples therapist has the experience needed to navigate these vague problems.
- You need to tell your significant other something that is hard to share on your own: Confrontation, especially with someone you care for, is a hard fact of life. Sometimes it can be difficult to bring up an issue because of a fear of hurting your partner or of their reaction. A therapist’s office is a neutral environment that comes with a sense of security. That, along with peer mediation from an unbiased therapist, makes couples therapy an ideal setting for discussing tough subjects.
- Your relationship has changed after a traumatic experience: Many couples separate after a single traumatic event because there is too much to unpack at once. Whether it be financial issues, family disagreements or dealing with a health crisis in the family, there are a lot of scenarios that plunge couples into stressful situations. A couples therapist can help people make steps towards recovery by taking on one problem at a time.
- The spark is gone: If it feels like you and your partner are more like roommates and emotional intimacy has seemingly ceased, see a couples therapist about how to add time for romance in each daily routine. It is best to act quickly if this feeling has you thinking you are drifting apart from your partner.
- Problems with physical intimacy: Having physical intimacy problems can be a cause or a symptom of a relationship problem. Sex should not be an obligation or a bargaining chip for either partner, and a couples therapist is an excellent, confidential source of advice and knowledge of healthy sexual relationships.
- Helping to improve already healthy relationships: Even if your relationship feels good at the moment, it never hurts to learn problem-solving skills for down the road. This can really be beneficial for new couples still learning the best ways to coexist too.
Making the Right Decision for Your Relationship
There are a lot of advantages to using couples therapy without a lot of risks. Therapy provides a secure, neutral environment, and therapists are trained to stay unbiased and address both partners’ needs. While looking for the couple therapist that best fits your relationship needs, be sure to check for the therapist’s approach, background and other important factors.
Aspire Child & Family Services offers couples therapy services and has a staff with diverse experiences to look back on while dealing with the issue in your relationship. We believe that couples that seek therapy can be very successful solving their current and future problems, especially if each partner is dedicated to finding the best strategies for their relationship. For insight on problems you are having with your significant other, call Aspire at (267) 388-0670 and see when one of our clinicians can see you.