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Everything You Need to Know About Couples Therapy

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Some people think that going to couples therapy means you have a problem. Instead, this form of therapy can make your relationship stronger than ever and give you better communication tools. Whether you’re arguing over the same issues over and over, struggling with silence, or kicking your partner out of the house, there are plenty of reasons to seek help.

Even if you and your partner get along well and rarely fight, relationship counseling can help people from different backgrounds overcome the conflicts that everyday life and stress can create. Here’s everything you need to know to keep things running smoothly.

What is couples therapy?

This is a form of psychotherapy that can help people solve problems in a relationship. The therapist acts as a third party to improve conflict, communication, and general interactions. It can be used at any stage of the relationship to improve the bond, although there is often one problem that is the catalyst for couples to receive therapy. There is also prenuptial counseling, which is often used to prepare couples into long-term commitments. Topics such as parenting decisions, finances, and values ​​are often discussed.

When to seek couples therapy

Do not use this service when you are about to break up or divorce, but try to seek treatment when problems start to interfere with your daily life. The key is to watch before you get into a real crisis, but we all have busy lives, so in the meantime, there are some signs to keep an eye out for. Similar problems manifest as:

  • More than just unresolvable differences
  • You find it difficult to express your feelings
  • You have experienced infidelity/abuse/addiction
  • The desire to make your relationship stronger than it is now is

How to find a relationship therapist

There are many professionals in this field. So instead of diving deep into the Google black hole, consider asking someone you know or a trusted medical professional for reference. If you are afraid to see a personal therapist or you live in a rural area, you may want to consider online relationship counseling. This is a great, easy-to-use option for people who find in-person therapy challenging for a variety of reasons.

Also, you may not meet your favorite therapist for the first time. It’s a bit like dating – you can spend weeks or even months hanging out before you find the right chemistry and vibe.

What your first session might be like

When meeting a couples therapist for the first time, you may want to discuss your history and problems between you and your partner. Enter with an open mind, as your counselor may ask you questions about your parents, childhood, and past relationships. Although different therapists use different styles, the most common is emotion-focused therapy based on attachment theory.

How to make your therapy sessions more effective

  1. Be as honest as possible, lies are just a waste of money. Remember, the therapist’s office is not a place to judge, it’s a place to heal, but you do it at your own risk.
  2. Prepare to feel uncomfortable. No one is going to go into therapy super-safely. There is unease in discovering the truth about yourself and your partner. Growth is never in our comfort zone, but it is necessary.
  3. Listen. It can be tempting to be as defensive as possible, and there are plenty of reasons why your partner is wrong and you are right, but listening to what your partner has to say is an important part of the process.
  4. Put in the work. In addition to your in-person meetings, your therapist may ask you to do your homework, try new communication methods, and do other activities between appointments. Your problem won’t magically go away – you have to get the job done first.

What if my partner won’t go to therapy?

For many people who are averse to therapy, this is a real scenario. You can’t force your partner into therapy, but you can go to a regular therapist to address the issues you’re facing as a person. This, in turn, can provide better tools for your relationship.

At the end of the day, it’s not as dramatic as it sounds and is a great way to start over, especially if you want to stay with your partner instead of breaking up. While there’s no guarantee it’ll bring you together, couples therapy can begin the process of healing and reconnecting meaningful connections.

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