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.
Very few couples will go through life without experiencing conflicts within their marriage or relationship. Arguments are a normal aspect of interaction between partners and don’t always have to be regarded as something negative. Many couples will, however, encounter serious challenges and will find it impossible to manage them alone – these may include infidelity, differing sexual expectations or permanently and severely handicapped communication.
Research suggests that people in troubled relationships often delay seeking professional support – on average, they will wait 6 years before finally choosing to get help in the form of marriage or couples therapy. During such a long period of time partners may develop a mutual resentment serious enough to prevent conflict resolution and eventual reconciliation. The sooner partners decide to attend marriage or couples counseling, the higher their chances of finding a lasting solution to their problems.
The Benefits Of Couples And Marriage Therapy
Divorce is a serious matter, often having consequences not just for the spouses, but also for their children, their financial circumstances and social life. It continues to surprise that almost half of all marriages in America end in divorce. Although for some couples parting ways will be truly the better option, in many cases conflict resolution is possible – through improved dialogue and through effort to understand each other’s emotions and opinions, both of which can often be achieved with the help of a professional relationship counselor.
Couples and marriage therapy is a method proven to be successful at helping partners restore a healthy relationship and avoid splitting up. It is true, however, that not all relationships can be salvaged and therapy can be in fact a great way to facilitate an amicable separation and reduce the damage to a family during the divorce process.
How Can A Therapist Help?
A marriage or couples therapist will strive to teach his or her clients how to control their emotions and avoid unnecessary arguments, how to listen and try to understand one another and communicate their thoughts in a constructive and composed manner. Broadly speaking, professional therapy for couples provides the participants with tools that are to help them resolve old and future conflicts and prevent emergence of a lasting resentment that could permanently ruin their relationship. It is, however, important to acknowledge that this type of counseling does not provide a simple fix solution – a good therapist won’t tell one what to do, but will guide the partners to working out the solutions themselves.
At Thriveworks Columbia, we have worked with various couples – young couples, as well as couples that have been together for 30 years; people facing very difficult conflicts, as well as individuals who simply want to work through some minor issues within their relationships. Thanks to this extensive experience we understand how to best help our clients – no matter who they are or what problems they approach us with. We believe that change is possible – so please, reach out to us today to arrange your first couples or marriage counseling session.
Gottman Method: A Research-Backed Couples Therapy Technique
As we have already mentioned, there are many different techniques and approaches used in couples therapy. However, there is a widely-used method that proves to help many couples work through their differences and strengthen the entirety of their relationship: the Gottman Method. If you and your therapist choose to take this route, your therapist will first evaluate you and your partner. In other words, they’ll get to know the ins and outs of your relationship. Next, you will work with your counselor to decide how much time you should spend in therapy. Then, the Gottman Method will help your therapist improve three main areas in your relationship:
- Conflict management
- Shared meaning
You can also look forward to building love maps, which will help you and your partner better understand each other’s needs, as well as improving problem-solving skills and growing your affection. Several counselors at Thriveworks Columbia have completed Level 1 Training of the Gottman Method. So, if you are interested in how this technique might help your relationship, give us a call today.