Couples therapy works by helping couples identify and better navigate their unique challenges. Following an initial assessment of the couple in terms of strengths and needs, the therapist would then discuss their therapeutic goals and any possible approaches or ways of working together as therapist and couple.
Couples attend sessions together, whether they meet in person or by video. In addition to regular couples therapy sessions, each partner may also be asked to attend a few individual sessions to supplement their progress. This will allow their counselor to get to know each individual better, assess each of their personal needs, and develop the very best treatment plan moving forward.
On average, couples attend couples therapy for 12 weeks. However, couples therapy may last longer or shorter, dependent on the couples' needs, the challenges they'd like to work through, and the pace of their progress.
VH1 has turned relationship counseling into a reality TV show in its hit, Couples Therapy. The show chronicles six couples each season. Dr. Jenn Mann and her team of therapists work through different exercises as each celebrity couple attempts to save their relationship. Some make it. Some do not. Although the drama of a reality TV show is not exactly what it is like to go through couples therapy, there are some similarities. All couples struggle. It’s a hard but true fact. Whether they have been together six months, six years, or six decades, it is normal and even healthy at times to have conflict with your partner. Another similarity: all couples need help. If it is ok to struggle, it is also ok to ask for help within a relationship.
“Nobody can predict the future. You just have to give your all to the relationship you’re in and do your best to take care of your partner, communicate and give them every last drop of love you have. I think one of the most important things in a relationship is caring for your significant other through good times and bad.”
Sometimes, giving your all to a relationship means looking outside the relationship to a professional therapist. Couples counseling has been a place where many partners grow personally and their relationship grows as well. Other times, it becomes a place where partners can peaceably and amicably transition their relationship to a friendship.
The couples therapists and counselors at Thriveworks Counseling in Cary have provided a safe place for many couples to explore their relationship. Whatever the end result may be, each partner is usually strengthened and encouraged by their time in couples therapy.
Couples Therapy and Common Relationship Problems
All too often, when partners are struggling, they can feel isolated in their relationship and think, other couples do not struggle with this. The reality is that most couples face common issues. This means that there are also effective strategies for overcoming these issues. When both partners are committed to being healthy in themselves and when they are committed to the health of the relationship, couples can often weather these storms and even grow stronger in the process. A few examples of common relationship problems include…
- Differing Goals – Partner are not always united on what the relationship should look like and where it should go. They may have differing ideas about where to live, how to interact with extended family, what to prioritize, and more. When partners pull toward opposite or even different targets, conflict can result.
- Difficulty with Intimacy – Most people think of their sexual relationship when they think of intimacy, and for many couples, that is an important aspect to their relationship. However, intimacy can include so much more. Couples may have trouble connecting emotionally or socially or spiritually. Intimacy is about connection in all aspects of life.
- Distrust – Trust between partners can easily be broken. Sometimes, the breach is big, like cheating. Sometimes, little things wear partners’ ability to rely upon one another. Trust can be restored with consistent behavior over time.
- Communication Difficulties – Empathy, sharing, and vulnerability are all elements of good communication, but these can be challenging relational skills. Like many other skills, they can be learned. Couples can grow in their communication.
- Disagreements about Family – It sounds cliché, but even stereotypes have an element of truth to them. Many couples have trouble interacting with each partner’s extended family, deciding about whether to marry or not, if and when to have children, and more.
Do you recognize anything on this list? If you and your partner are struggling, know that help is available. Couples counseling, or couples therapy, has helped many partners get back on a right track in their own lives and in their relationship.
Why Come to Couples Therapy?
Challenges are often opportunities for couples to grow and improve their relationship. These common difficulties also have common solutions. The process of growth and change is never easy, but it is almost always worth it. There is nothing wrong with asking for help and guidance during that process. A few things couples counseling can offer partners is…
- Setting a reasonable timeline for change. Certain relational issues need urgent action. Any safety concerns need to be addressed immediately, but change can also take time. Skilled couples therapists can help partners know when to be patient and when to make an immediate change.
- Providing neutral space for dialogue. In any conflict, the natural tendency is to escalate the problem. A simple disagreement can quickly become a personal attack, but skilled couples counselors can keep the tone neutral and the focus upon the problem itself.
- Teaching skills for conflict resolution. A disagreement does not have to be a conflict. Partners can listen without judgment, respond with empathy, and advocate for their own needs in a healthy way. Couples counselors can often show them how.
Setting Up an Appointment at Thriveworks Counseling in Cary for Couples Therapy
Are you and your partner having a difficult time? It is understandable if you are. Think about setting up an appointment for couples counseling. The couples therapists at Thriveworks Cary are ready to help. When you contact our office, you and your partner may be meeting with one of our staff the following day. We accept many forms of insurance, and we offer evening and weekend appointments.
Let’s work together for a better relationship. Call us today.