Couples therapy offers a broad range of tools to help the big or small problems that couples face. While it may seem daunting to approach your partner about couples therapy due to the potential for hurt feelings, couples therapy is simply there to guide and assist couples through issues, as well as provide tools that can be used together by the couple to solve future problems. Since all couples have disagreements and face problems within their relationships, having a trained professional take an outside look into such issues can be highly beneficial.
Even in the most loving relationships, there may be times when we contest with not feeling fully understood and appreciated. At some point in any given relationship, we may be struggling to find the nurturing safety and joy that is usually there between us and our partner. Couples Therapy (CT) provides practical solutions that can be used in everyday life, and in real situations. It offers efficient techniques aimed at resolving issues and can significantly improve the quality of life for the couple. The third-party insights provided by a couples therapist suggests novel ways of looking at old problems, facilitating the process of “healing”, and re-directing the couple towards a healthier and more respectful way of being in a relationship.
How does CT work?
Starting couples therapy may appear to be a big decision, since partners are required to admit that there is a problem in their relationship that needs solving. But this very first step, however scary or uncomfortable it may be, can mark a new beginning and a rekindling of the spark between spouses. An experienced couples counsellor is able to create a safe environment in which issues can be addressed in a neutral and constructive manner. Open and clear communication is encouraged. As both partners become more comfortable with expressing their feelings and concerns (including long buried resentments that are negatively influencing the dynamic between the two partners), the practitioner facilitates the healing process by offering practical insights and suggesting suitable strategies relevant to a specific problem. One important factor during this process is respect for the uniqueness of each couple’s situation and the identification of the subtle differences in their communication style. An efficient practitioner can recognize what approach may be most beneficial for the couple he or she is working with and is able to implement appropriate steps guiding the clients to their desired goals.
What can you expect from CT?
A broad spectrum of relationship issues can be efficiently addressed with the help of a couples therapist, ranging from broken trust, communication issues (e.g., difficulties expressing oneself openly), inability to handle conflicts in healthy and constructive ways, loss or diminishing physical and/or emotional connection, overcoming traumatic events (e.g., loss of a child or a miscarriage), or the feeling that something is off or odd in the relationship without exactly knowing what it might be. The issues are addressed in a neutral and supportive way by the therapist, who encourages the couple to discover and understand the root cause of the problems they are experiencing. New patterns of relating are established during sessions, as the “three C’s” of healthy relationships are encouraged and practiced, namely the ability to communicate, the readiness to commit, and the willingness to compromise. Whether clients are seeking solutions to a serious problem that is threatening the integrity of the relationship itself, or are feeling the need for a safe and supportive space to address difficult issues, couples therapy may be worth the try. In couples therapy, a therapist offers new perspectives regarding old problems, helps spouses, partners, or lovers find a common language, and re-discover joy and intimacy in their relationship.