Understanding Couples’ Therapy

A beginner’s guide and handy hints.

Therapy 16th Jul, 2021

We all know that a relationship is hard work. Relationships require regular maintenance to function correctly. If there is a problem, it is best to repair it immediately to avoid further complications in the future. In many cases, we can implement essential maintenance and repairs ourselves. Other times, couples counseling and the help of a licensed professional may be the best approach for this relationship. 

What Is Couples’ Therapy? 

Couples’ therapy is a type of psychotherapy in which a therapist has clinical experience working with couples. His mission is to help two people in a romantic relationship understand their relationship, resolve conflict and improve satisfaction by using various therapeutic tools. Although the practice of couples’ therapy may vary depending on the theoretical orientation of the therapist, all couples’ therapy tends to include the following general elements: 

  1. It focuses on specific problems.
  2. There is the active participation of the therapist and the couple. 
  3. It is solution-focused. 
  4. It sets treatment goals early on. 

Expectations For Couples’ Therapy:

Couples’ therapy usually starts with a few standard interview questions about the relationship’s history and an in-depth analysis of each partner’s native family, values, and cultural background. If necessary, the therapist can also use the initial session for crisis intervention. The couple therapist will help couples identify the issues that will focus on treatment, treatment goals, and the treatment framework. 

During treatment, the therapist will help the couple better understand the relationship dynamics that cause the problem and guide both parties to understand their role in dysfunctional interactions. This deeper understanding will help them change their perceptions of relationships and each other. Although gaining knowledge is important, another critical aspect of couples’ therapy involves changing behaviours. Couples therapists often assign partners to apply the skills they have learned in therapy to their daily interactions. Most couples have a deeper understanding of their relationship patterns when they leave treatment. Plus, they have the skills needed to communicate effectively with their partners and solve problems. 

Who Should Consider Couples’ Therapy? 

 Couple therapy is beneficial for any type of relationship, including: 

  • Heterosexual or homosexual relationships 
  • Interracial relationships 
  • Teenage relationships 
  • Relationships at any stage, including dating, engaged or married 

Couples’ therapy can solve current problems, prevent them from getting worse, or just reaffirm the factors that make them happy about each other. Typical areas of concern in couples therapy include money, parenting, sex, infidelity, chronic health problems, gambling, drug abuse, and frequent conflicts. 

Why Do Couples Delay Receiving Treatment? 

Unfortunately, many couples try treatment when a lot of harm has already been caused. If you take too long, you won’t prevent a weakening in the bond with your partner. Plus, there always is a high degree of resentment due to unresolved conflicts in the past. Research shows that the average couple is unhappy for six years before seeking couples counseling. This is not to say that couples’ therapy cannot effectively solve long-standing problems. This will be a more challenging and time-consuming task that requires a lot of commitment and effort from both parties. 

Misunderstandings about what couples’ therapy is and its purpose can also prevent couples from seeking help early on. Some people may think that couples’ therapy is only suitable for severe problems that affect the relationship. Others may see it as a last resort before deciding to end the relationship. 

Some people think that this is a way of forcing their partner to change because they are the cause of the problem. Many people do not know the benefits of couples’ therapy for treating various relationship problems. They don’t see how helpful it is in improving overall relationship satisfaction that affects an individual’s mental health.

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