Whether you call it therapy, marriage counseling or couples counseling, what you’re signing up for is inviting a collaborator- a therapist- into your relationship to help you and your partner grow together and nurture a warm and fulfilling relationship.
Couples suffer a great deal before deciding to seek help
In fact, according to research by Gottman, couples wait an average of 6 years of being unhappy with their relationship before getting help. That's a long time to be unhappy! Too often conflicting viewpoints, past experiences, and/or stresses of everyday life get in the way of fully connecting with your partner
Couples counseling can help to develop or restore communication, trust, and intimacy. When both partners willingly come together to be a part of the solution together, they take the first step in creating an environment for their relationship to heal and grow. And for you, your partner, and/or your kids - that might make all the difference in the world - right now.
Couples therapy offers a tremendous opportunity for partners to work towards creating better, more fulfilling, deeper, richer connections with each other.
No one is born with excellent relationship skills
If you're fortunate to have grown up in a family highly skilled in communication, conflict resolution, and trust building, you had great role models. For most of us, relationship skills need to be learned through a lot of trial and error or outside help. Couples counseling offers the opportunity to set special time aside to work on these skills in a safe and nurturing environment. You may not have been born with excellent relationship skills, but you can develop them with the proper support and commitment to change.
Becoming less reactive and more responsive
Couples will often complain how each partner knows exactly how to “push their buttons”. Once we get our buttons pushed things tend to heat up, or cool down at warp speed. A key goal in the therapeutic process becomes about how to become less reactive and more responsive. This is a highly complex process that takes time because these “buttons” usually represent places in us that are loaded with psychic energy. That is, there are places in all of us that feel unresolved, or left behind, or in some way wounded from a myriad of events and experiences long ago.
Common Issues Addressed in Couples or Marriage Counseling
Problems happen and that's okay. There may be hundreds of reasons that bring couples to the place of even considering the need for counseling. Some of the reasons that bring couples to counseling include:
- A slow & unintentional neglect due to work, life, or kids..
- The routine becomes so usual that the comfort of the predictable wears on a relationship over time without either partner knowing it.
- Communication and Problem Resolution difficulties contribute to yelling, hurtful statements and couples feeling unheard, invalidated, disrespected, scared or unappreciated.
- Trust issues, Infidelity or something acutely damaging and hurtful.
- Crisis, such as a death in the family
- Changes in sex and intimacy
- Considering divorce and need help to decide whether to restore your marriage, move toward divorce, or take a time out and decide later.