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.
Your relationships define who you are in many ways. Whether or not you have been married for 50 years, you are going through your 6th divorce, or you’ve been on/off single for years, a lot of who you identify as is wrapped up in the people you are closest to. Research has shown this to be true with friends, with colleagues, and most potently with your significant others. When our connections to our love ones suffer, we are more likely to become anxious, depressed, struggle at work, suffer from more addictions, increased physical health problems, and can even have a crisis of identity. Therapy can help with all of this by assisting you in understanding who you are as a relational person and walking you along the path you and your partner want to go on.
What Is Couples Counseling?
The most common type of relational therapy is couples counseling. Just like individuals, couples need therapeutic help when times are hard or in times of transition. But unlike individual therapy, couples therapy focuses on how all those specific issues show up and are often kept alive by the patterns people develop. So maybe you struggle with enabling your partner who drinks too much. Maybe you start fights and you’re not even sure why. Maybe your way of parenting doesn’t match up with the way your partner wants to do things. Maybe every time you try to communicate something vulnerable, you get shut down. Whatever the dynamic is for you, this is the specialty of a relational therapist, and we can help.
Do We Need Counseling?
Couples seem to benefit from counseling at certain stages of their lives. The first one is often called “pre-marital” because it is prior to the wedding. I know many of you out there aren’t getting married and maybe don’t want to ever get married, but this style of therapy is often more structured and “big picture” perspective on the relationship and can still help you as well. Consider it a snapshot check-in to find out about compatibility issues that can either bolster strengths or support areas of growth. The next phase that is pretty common is the first or second major transition. This is often 3-7 years into the relationship and is when a move or a child is brought into the family. Again, you don’t have to be married to benefit from therapy at this stage. There may be other transition points along the way you will want to come see a counselor to make sure you two are on the right path, but the last common stage is empty nesting. If you are one of the fortunate ones to be committed to each other this long, BRAVO! But it comes with its own challenges, and relational therapy can be really helpful here as well.
Schedule an Appointment at Thriveworks Charlotte
Regardless of when or why you need to come see a therapist about your relationship, we will support you needs. We will be culturally sensitive to the fact that not all couples and relationships need to look the same. We will support the healing and growth of your relationship. Call Thriveworks Charlotte to schedule an appointment today.