Whether you’re in your first relationship or your fifteenth, being in a relationship is like learning to speak a new language. With every partner, you learn a lot about your partner, yourself, and what it means to share a connection with someone. How you and your partner express yourselves, the patterns you fall into, and the ways you speak to one another are all unique to the two of you.
Speaking this “language” is a skill and just like any skill, it needs to be reinforced. Some days, it’s easier to practice than others. During the times when life isn’t too stressful or you’re sharing a special moment, speaking your language might feel easy, like it’s second nature.
But when life gets difficult, it can be harder to know the right things to say, how to express yourself effectively, or even what the other person is saying. There may be times when things feel so tense that you feel like strangers living under the same roof.
If you feel at a loss for words or aren’t sure how to resolve your conflict, you don’t have to figure out a path forward on your own. Our licensed relationship counselors and therapists at Thriveworks in Bellingham, WA are here to help.
Who Is Couples Therapy For?
The short answer is that couples therapy is for anyone who wants to try it. That includes older couples, younger couples, married couples, unmarried couples, straight couples, gay couples — anyone. Couples therapy is a short-term form of treatment for any couple that wants to address specific problems, gain insight into their relationship, or mend old wounds.
While the specific issues may vary, some of the most common reasons people seek out relationship counseling include:
- A loss of closeness or intimacy
- Premarital counseling
- Inability to resolve conflict
- Financial stressors or disagreements
- Trust issues
- Stilted or lacking communication
- A relationship check-up
- Substance abuse
No matter the couple or the challenge, we make sure to provide exceptional care and support to help you achieve your goals. Our couples therapists at Thriveworks in Bellingham, WA are standing by to help when you’re ready to get started.
Types of Therapy Used in Couples Counseling
Just as a doctor uses different forms of treatment depending on the ailment, a couples therapist will use different types of therapy depending on your reasons for attending counseling. Some of the methods used include:
- The Gottman Method: This approach focuses on improving intimacy through practices such as positive communication, exploring areas of disagreement, discovering shared values, and developing tools to manage conflict. Clients learn how to avoid the “four horsemen” of relationship apocalypse: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling.
- Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT): This type of therapy emphasizes the importance of sharing emotional security with a partner. Clients are encouraged to explore how their problems relate back to emotional needs that aren’t being met.
- Narrative therapy: The idea behind this approach is that the stories we tell ourselves about our relationships shape how we feel and behave in them. In sessions, you’ll work on discovering your existing narrative and identifying any negative stories that might be causing resentment or otherwise hurting your relationship. In its place, you and your partner will work to develop healthier narratives to foster understanding and connection.
- Imago Relationship Therapy: According to this form of therapy, the relationship problems we face as adults are often the result of unaddressed needs or wounds from early life. You’ll discuss these experiences and practice the three-step process of mirroring, validating concerns, and expressing empathy with your partner.
Your couples therapist may choose to use one or more of these approaches throughout your therapy sessions. The specifics of your sessions will depend on your needs, your provider’s specialty, and how you and your partner respond to treatment.
When you’re ready to give your relationship some extra care and attention, we’re here to help you build a brighter future together. Our couples counselors at Thriveworks in Bellingham, WA are standing by to offer support and compassion each step of the way.
Start Marriage Counseling or Couples Therapy at Thriveworks in Bellingham, WA Today
Admitting that you want help with your relationship can feel incredibly vulnerable. But reaching out for help shows that you and your partner care about each other and your relationship. At Thriveworks, our licensed therapists and counselors have helped countless couples and are excited to do the same for you.
With just a few clicks or a quick call, you’ll gain access to our affordable rates, flexible availability, and counselors that care. When you enroll, you’ll also get access to a number of exclusive perks including our proprietary Therapy Buddy app, the Thriveworks community discussion board, and text support for billing and scheduling matters.
Reach out to our scheduling specialists to book an appointment with Thriveworks in Bellingham, WA today. You can thrive — we can help.