Couples Therapy Basics
By: Couples Counseling Staff
When relationship trouble strikes, many people turn to couples therapy as a way of working through the problems. This is particularly true for folks who are married and hoping to tackle major issues before they lead to divorce. Others look to the help of a therapist for guidance with enhancing intimacy; something that if left unchecked can cause many couples to split.
You may be reading this post because you are considering getting help from a couples therapist. If so, you have come to the right place. At the Couples Counseling Center, we work with many couples and individuals who have found their relationship to be in troubled waters. We provide guidance to new couples who are just at the start of their relationship and to long-term couples who have been with one another for many years.
What follows are three things you should know about couples therapy that we would like to share as you give thought to working with a relationship counseling specialist. Our hope is to help provide realistic insight that you can use so that when the time comes, you know what to expect. Are you ready?
Let’s jump right in!
1. Couples counseling can help
One of the best things about couples counseling is its ability to restore and transform a broken relationship. For this to happen however, both parties in the relationship must be fully invested in the counseling process.
This means that you and your significant other want to engage one another through productive dialogue, guided by a skilled therapist who is there to help the both of you create change. Many people ask, does couples counseling really work? The answer is a resounding (but qualified) yes. Be sure to read the article hyper-texted to learn more.
2. Don’t expect instant results
People who contact a couples therapist often do so because their relationship is in crisis. Understandably, they want to work with someone who has the ability to quickly heal the hurts and help both people move past the pain. What is important that you know is this – couples therapy takes time. Results do not happen overnight.
While therapy can be brief in nature, it generally takes a minimum of 6-10 sessions for meaningful results to be realized. The more complicated your relationship issues, the longer therapy tends to be. The main point here is to recognize that couples therapy is an investment in your relationship and that it should not be rushed. Any therapist that tells you they can “fix” your issues in just 1 or 2 sessions isn’t being straight forward with you. There’s no such thing as a magic wand. Really.
3. Be open to feedback
Healing in couples therapy can only take place when both parties in the relationship are open to feedback from the counselor. This means being able to accept an objective, third party point of view that is non-judgmental but none the less, direct.
Being open to feedback also means taking the observations from the therapist and integrating that knowledge into areas of change. This however is easier said than done – particularly if one or both of you are set in your ways! Some people find they need to attend individual counseling in to better understand how past experiences are negatively impacting their current relationships in the here and now.
It’s no secret … many people drag toxic baggage from the past into their love life. Very often, that baggage can cause serious problems, such as communication breakdowns and intimacy issues. In these kinds of situations, folks who attend individual therapy usually find that when they “unpack” that baggage with a therapist, they can process unresolved feelings and ultimately “let go” of the pain.
Couples therapy can be one of the most positive things that can ever happen to your relationship. It requires time, energy and commitment from both parties, however, for the true benefits of the therapeutic process to become realized.
If you believe that you are ready for couples work but are unsure about how to approach your significant other, consider reading the following tips on how to talk about couples counseling with your mate.
Once you and the person you love feel it is time to work with a specialist, we encourage you to review the following webpage and check out our short video offering practical advice before booking that all important first appointment!