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.
Couples Therapy is a hit TV show on VH1 that follows six celebrity partners as they work on their relationships. A team of psychologists and marriage therapists lead each couple through relational exercises designed to strengthen their connection. The shows keeps audiences tuning in every week as they wonder which couples will make it and which couples will split. For many people, however, the drama is in their real life—not just on reality TV. The show follows celebrity couples, but it highlights something that every couple experiences: struggle and hardship. Whether partners have been together for half a year or half a decade or half a century, times of conflict are normal for couples to experience. These conflicts can be healthy and times of growth, but they can also cause significant strain. More and more, partners are reaching out for help when their relationship feels strained—they are going to couples counseling.
“Every couple has ups and downs, every couple argues, and that’s the thing—you’re a couple, and couples can’t function without trust.”
—Nicholas Sparks, At First Sight
Trust can all too easily break down, but the thing about trust is that it can be repaired. It takes time. It takes consistent effort. It may also take the guidance of a professional therapist. Couples counseling can be a place where each partner grows individually and where the couple grows as well.
That is why Thriveworks Chattanooga offers couples therapy: Couples have ups and downs. Couples fights. Couples need help and guidance. Couples counseling has been just what many couples need for their strained relationship.
Couples Counseling and Strained Relationships
When couples struggle, they can feel as if no one else understands. In this isolation, they may think, We are the only couple who cannot make it work. This is certainly an understandable response, but the reality is that many of the issues that strain partners are common problems couples have. This means that couples are rarely alone in their struggle. This also means that there are often solutions to these common issues. Hitting a roadblock does not necessarily mean the relationship has to end. There are many ways to overcome roadblocks. Some of those common roadblocks include…
- Differing Goals – Partners can value different priorities for their lives and for their relationship. When each person is pulling toward a different goal, the relationship can suffer. That conflict can be worked through, and partners can learn how to support one another in their differences while also coming to an agreement on what matters most.
- Communication Difficulties – Sharing, openness, vulnerability, empathy, and listening—these are all skills that contribute to good communication. While not everyone knows how to do these well, anyone can learn. When each partner works on their own communication skills, often communication as a couple improves.
- Difficulty with Intimacy – Intimacy is far more than a couple’s physical relationship, although that is an important part of their relationship’s health. When couples experience difficulty with their emotional, social, spiritual, or physical connection, they may be having difficulty with intimacy.
- Disagreements about Family – This may be the stereotype of relational challenges, but even clichés have at least a little truth to them. How to interact with each other’s extended family can drive a wedge between partners. The disagreement could also extend to issues of marriage and children as well.
- Distrust – Little things like missing an appointment or forgetting an important date can add up to big breaches in trust. Big breaches can also cause rifts in relationships—lying and cheating in particular. When trust has been eroded, partners cannot lean upon one another. Over time and with consistent behavior, trust can be restored when both partners are ready.
If you and your partner are struggling with anything on this list, you are not alone. Many other couples are struggling too, and many are finding help and guidance in therapy. Skilled therapists can often help couples overcome these obstacles.
What Might Couples Therapy Offer?
Roadblocks, obstacles, setbacks, and challenges are just different words for opportunity. Skilled therapists can often help couples turn difficulties into growth. When couples make needed changes, they are almost always glad they did so. Couples counseling may guide the process by…
- Setting a reasonable expectation for change. Some roadblocks are more urgent than others. Some issues need action right away. Others can wait. Knowing the difference is important, and couples therapy may allow partners to prioritize the adjustments they need to make.
- De-escalating the conflict. It is understandable and natural for conflict to escalate. One moment, a couple is disagreeing about a particular issue. The next moment, they may be yelling personal attacks at each other. When conflict escalates, the actual problem often becomes lost in the shuffle. Couples counseling may allow partners to keep the atmosphere neutral so that they can proactively solve problems.
Appointments for Couples Therapy at Thriveworks Chattanooga
If your relationship is strained with your partner, it may be time to seek out help. Consider scheduling an appointment for couples therapy at Thriveworks Chattanooga. When you contact our office, know that your first appointment may be within 24 hours. We offer evening and weekend sessions. We also work with many insurance companies and accept many forms of insurance.
Together, we can fight for a better relationship. Call Thriveworks Chattanooga today to schedule an appointment for couples counseling.