What is couples counseling?
There’s a common misconception that couples only need couples counseling when their relationship is in crisis. However, couple therapy is a specific type of psychotherapy that helps couples improve their communication skills, learn to recognize and resolve conflicts, and build healthy, loving relationships.
Couples counseling is usually short-term, following a specific treatment plan to address your relationships needs and weaknesses.
Couples counseling is therapy to help partners improve their relationship. Successful couples counseling depends on the participation of both partners. However, during some sessions, your therapist may talk with one person to explore their personal concerns and gain a better understanding of how to guide both partners together.
What are the benefits of couple counseling?
Couples counseling can strengthen your relationship and improve the way you and your partner communicate. You learn to be more objective in your relationship and aware of how you and your partner can be more supportive and kinder to each other.
You learn to modify dysfunctional behavior and decrease emotional avoidance. Often learned behaviors or fears prevent you from being your best self in a relationship, and couples counseling can help you and your partner feel confident and committed to your future together.
What should I expect during couple counseling?
Both you and your partner attend couples counseling sessions together. Your counselor guides conversation around what’s brought you to counseling and what you hope to get out of your sessions. Then, you work together to agree on a treatment plan to resolve issues and strengthen your relationship.
Your counselor may ask questions to help you identify underlying issues that could be feeding into your emotions and responses to your partner, blurring communication, and contributing to your relationship problems.
Your counselor also moderates your conversation, allowing you both to explore and express your feelings, but keeping the discussion focused on the task at hand. You and your partner may also be given “homework” to practice communication techniques between your sessions.
If your relationship is filled with stress, anger, other problems, or if you’re interested in strengthening your relationship or resolving a specific conflict in your relationship call Therapy Studio at 815-515-0010 or book an appointment online today.
Who should have couples counseling?
Couples therapy is suitable for all types of intimate relationships, regardless of marital status or sexual orientation. You may have couples counseling to strengthen your relationship and communication skills, or you may have a specific problem or issue that you need help to resolve such as:
- Sexual difficulties
- Conflicts about child-rearing or blended families
- Substance abuse
- Anger management
Couples counseling can help deepen your understanding of each other and learn to identify and respect each other’s history and boundaries.
When do couples consider counseling?
Some couples don’t seek therapy until their issues have already caused considerable problems in their relationship, and they’re on the verge of separation. Others schedule therapy to tackle their concerns and restore positive communication before their problems escalate and cause significant daily stress.
No matter when they seek counseling, most couples need help resolving problems such as:
- Difficulty communicating
- Negative, disrespectful communication
- Disagreements over money
- Conflicting parenting styles
- Sexual dissatisfaction or dysfunction
- Discovering their partner had an affair
- Alcohol or drug addiction
- Problems with anger management
- Mental or emotional abuse
Some couples, however, don’t need help with one of these common problems. Instead, they seek couples counseling to help them navigate life challenges such as one partner’s sickness or losing a job.