What is Couples Counseling and What to Expect from Couples Therapy
Romantic relationships aren’t exactly easy, are they? And I think in a way we all can agree that romantic relationships are a lot like cars. They require a lot of hard work, effort, and time to keep it running smoothly. And the truth is no matter how small the problem might seem, initially getting it repaired as soon as possible should be a priority. This will make sure your road together further is an easy one.
Now, not all of the problems can be solved in a jiffy and without any help from outside. At times like this, it is best for both individuals to seek help from a licensed professional to ensure a long-lasting, healthy relationship.
Understanding Couples Counseling
Couples counseling or couples therapy is when both partners go to the same therapist or counselor with clinical experience together and at the same time. The licensed family or marriage therapist helps the two people involved romantically gain insight and knowledge about their relationship. And that’s not all. The counselor or therapist also helps resolve any kind of conflict as well as improve the relationship.
The process of couples counseling can vary from one therapist to another, but these are some elements that are common in all couples counseling.
- Focusing on the specific problem like addiction, jealousy, or sexual intimacy
- The therapist focuses on healing the relationship as a whole instead of focusing on each partner separately.
- Focusing on change-oriented interventions and solutions right from the beginning of the treatment
- Establishing clear treatment objectives
Should You Consider Couples Counseling?
Couples counseling can help resolve any current problems in the relationship and help prevent any further complications down the road. If you feel happy and everything goes smoothly in your relationship, you could still go for couples counseling just for a “check-up.” Many issues can be addressed in couples counseling, including infidelity, money, sex, parenting, gambling, infertility, substance abuse, etc. That being said, couples therapy is helpful for all relationships like:
- Gay, interracial, or straight relationship
- College or teen relationships
- Whether you are married, engaged to someone, or just dating.
- Relationships where the age gap is quite large
What Can You Expect When Going for Couples Counseling?
Couples counseling generally begin with some interview questions. These standard questions are asked to have a better understanding of the history you both share. Also, questions regarding your family dynamics, cultural background, and values are commonly asked in these interviews.
As a next step, the counselor or therapist will help gain insight into the relationship and guide the partners to understand the dysfunctional aspects of the relationship. This insight will ultimately help both perceive each other and the relationship from a whole new perspective.
Other than gaining insight, another important aspect couples need to change during counseling is both of their behavior. Therapists also tend to give homework to couples in the form of applying the newly learned skills in their everyday lives.
Couples come out of counseling with greater knowledge about their relationship patterns. Also, they have the right skills to not only communicate effectively but also solve problems much more smoothly. If you or your partner travel a lot and find it difficult to make it together to the therapist, you could also go for online couples counseling.