Couple’s therapy, or marital therapy, is a great resource for couples who find themselves stuck in a negative cycle or undesired patterns of interacting. This type of therapy isn’t only meant for those couples who are married. It is meant just as much for anyone who is in a relationship and wanting to improve, including those couples getting married and wanting premarital therapy.
The framework for couples therapy is typically short-term, with most couples reaching their goals between 6-12 sessions. If sessions are held on a weekly basis (recommended), that’s about 1.5 to 3 months of therapy. In the grand scheme of things, that really isn’t that much time to invest for the sake of improving the quality and satisfaction of your relationship, is it? Keep in mind, the earlier you seek the help of a trained professional, the fewer sessions you will require to achieve satisfaction in your relationship. The longer you wait, the more damage is done to your relationship, requiring more sessions, more time, and more work.
There are many different reasons couples seek the help of a therapist. Some of the common issues are: communication, connection, sex & intimacy, parenting styles, adjustment to life changes (i.e., moving, new roles, new job, addition of a child, loss, etc), differences in managing conflict, addictions, and affairs. It’s common for married partners, or those partners who have been in a committed relationship for several years, to start feeling distant, lonely, and disconnected from each other. The difference between relationships that fall apart and the ones that make it through is two partners recognizing something doesn’t feel right and making a conscious decision to bring about change, with or without the help of a trained professional.
If working through issues on your own seems difficult, or you’re not finding success in creating long-lasting change, then it is a good idea to seek a couple’s therapist to help facilitate the process of healing, growth, and improvement. Of the couples who see a therapist, 97% report receiving adequate help and 93% report learning effective tools to manage conflict better in their relationship (American Association of Marriage and Family).
If you’re contemplating couple’s therapy and need a push in making the decision, here is five ways it will help you and your relationship:
- Creates a safe environment for vulnerability around difficult topics.
- Teaches you how to communicate about issues in a manner that brings about resolution.
- Increases awareness and understanding of yours and your partner’s emotional needs.
- Helps you both create change that is desired, meaningful, and long-lasting.
- Empowers you by teaching you how to influence each other positively without controlling or demanding.
If you are convinced and ready to seek help from a trained professional, read my article on Five Things to Consider When Choosing Your Therapist to help you get started with the process.