Couples therapy is a type of therapy that involves people within a relationship meeting together with a counselor.
Together, they work through experiences or communication issues in which they feel stuck. For some, couples therapy can be a way for them to talk about painful experiences. But, with an objective third-party. For others, it’s a chance to improve understanding and reduce arguments. For others yet, it’s a safe space to talk about ending the relationship. And, the steps would have to happen for that to occur.
There are no guarantees about the outcome of couples therapy. This is because its effectiveness is often tied to the motivation level of the partners. Plus, their ability to change their situation. It provides a space for those in the relationship to be honest with themselves and their partners. By providing this space, they can gain a full understanding of their commitment level, and explore values and goals. Within that space of honesty, understanding, and openness, relationship concerns can be explored. Thus, identifying disconnection and regaining connection that has been lost.
Starting Couples Therapy in Kent County, MI
According to The Gottman Institute, most couples will wait an average of six years after knowing there is an issue before seeking couples therapy. During that time, anxiety around negative emotions and patterns of communication can become very established. Arguments and frustration are normal in any relationship. But, talking to a couples therapist early on can help. By reducing negative interactions and increasing positive feelings. Making minor changes to how partners communicate with each other can help avoid:
- Repetitive arguments
- Feelings of resentment and disconnection
- Long-term issues
- And other issues that can build up to the level of a crisis.
In other words, it’s helpful to think of couples therapy as a chance to do preventative care with a Primary Care Physician. Instead of rather than seeking emergency treatment at an ER.
Couples therapy can be helpful in situations often thought of as “couples issues.”
Some of these issues may include:
- Premarital counseling
- Marriage counseling
- Therapy after infidelity
- Affair recovery
- Same-sex couples counseling/LGBTQ couples counseling
- And polyamory relationship counseling
Disconnection in Relationships
In exploring the need for couples therapy, trust issues are a common concern. Some questions can uncover the feelings of mistrust.
- Do I trust that this person actually has my best intentions in mind?
- Do my actions reflect that I trust them?
- What are areas in that I feel a lack of security in the relationship?
- Why do I feel that the issue we argue about most often is worth talking about?
- Do I question the motives of my partner when we are discussing relational issues?
Reconnection Within the Relationship
The goals of couples therapy are to create a safe space for reconnection and to improve the quality of the relationship. The couple’s therapist will ask questions about the history of the relationship. In doing so, they can find the everyday symptoms that are the source of tension. Core issues are identified such as:
- Identifying expectations for the relationship
- Determining where those expectations came from
- And then determining whether each of those expectations should be kept
Understanding expectations within the relationship allows partners to understand each other better. By doing so, partners can better identify contrasting expectations within individuals. As well as, build joint expectations within the relationship. This gives the relationship the language it needs to communicate in an effective way and succeed.
Begin Couples Therapy in Kent County, MI
- Meet with a caring therapist
- Start improving the health of your relationship!