A Beginners Guide To Couples’ Therapy

3 handy hints to understanding couples’ therapy.

Therapy 13th Jun, 2021

You should look for a therapist while you aren’t in a severe crisis. In principle, that sounds great, but we’re all busy, and good therapists are hard to come by and much harder to schedule. If there’s nothing urgently wrong, most of us won’t bother looking for therapy. Couples counseling, however, can be a valuable resource when you’re going through a difficult time in your life. It could just be about bolstering a particular aspect of your relationship or providing continuing support as you navigate life together.

Couples counseling can be preventative in this way. If you and your spouse aren’t at odds, you’ll be in a lot better position to nip significant problems in the bud. You won’t be under any additional pressure to find a therapist quickly, which is vital because it will most likely take some time to find someone who connects with you both.

How To Find A Good Therapist:

This could be the most challenging aspect. Prepare to set aside time – a few weeks, if not months – and meet with at least a few different people. Before you begin, chat to your spouse about the type of vibe they’re looking for. Check with your friends to see if they know anyone. You could also seek advice from a reputable medical practitioner, such as your OB/GYN or primary care physician.

You may lookout for local therapist associations in some cities. Don’t be surprised if a therapist doesn’t have a significant online presence. Many good therapists get enough referrals and are busy enough without needing to market or even develop a personal website.

Finally, remember to have an open mind. Allow yourself to be surprised if you have a mental checklist of what you think a good therapist looks like. You don’t truly understand what it’s like to be in a room with someone unless you’re there, speaking with them. You must both feel at ease and respected.

Most Common Types Of Couples’ Therapy:

Many counsellors have received training in many types of therapy and will personalise your treatment to your specific needs. The Gottman Method and Emotionally Focused Therapy (or EFT) are the most common and well-established techniques of couple’s psychotherapy. The Gottman Method is based on Dr. John Gottman’s famous book, The 7 Principles of Making Marriage Work. The basic idea is that unresolved conflicts are inevitable, and couples must try to handle them through positive communication. Couples should never try the “four horsemen”: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling.

Dr. Sue Johnson, the author of Hold Me Tight, popularised EFT, which focuses on the premise that couples must build an “attachment bond” – a sense of emotional safety with each other. An EFT therapist will work with you to identify your individual dynamic requirements and how your partner may help you meet them. As you might expect, this sort of therapy is more open-ended and less organised, which may be beneficial for people who find other formulas too strict.

How To Prepare For Therapy:

Before you meet a therapist, call and inquire about their cost, background, and whether they accept insurance (most don’t, but specific insurance plans can pay you for therapy charges, or at the very least count it toward your deductible). While you’re at it, double-check that they’re licensed! Don’t expect a free “trial”; most therapists will want you to come in and complete a formal first session, for which you will be charged. Couples therapy is typically more expensive than individual therapy, with prices ranging from $300 and above, depending on where you reside and the therapist’s experience.

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