Counselors in Erie, PA—Couples Therapy
As audiences tune into VH1’s Couples Therapy, they are getting a peek into six celebrity couples. These life partners are working through their relational problems and difficulties with the help of a team of couples counselors. The tension of whether each couple will stick together or split up drives much of the show, but working through hardship as a couple is not a unique experience for celebrities. Every couple experiences hard times. No couple is perfect, and it is normal for partners to disagree and even have times of tension in their relationship. When couples are willing to grow and change, these times can often be opportunities for the relationship to grow stronger. In order to work through their differences, more and more couples are doing what the celebrities on VH1’s show are doing: they are going to couples therapy.
“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
Couples who disagree can come to a place of agreement and/or respect. Partners who have been pulled apart can be reunited. Couples who have grown cold can rekindle their flame. Of course, doing these things is easier said than done. Partners who have done the hard work know that it takes time and consistent effort. They know that repairing a strained relationship may also take the guidance of a couples counselors.
The staff at Thriveworks Erie has worked with many couples who are struggling. Our therapists and counselors offer couples therapy because it is normal to feel strain in a relationship, but oftentimes, the tension can be addressed and relieved.
Common Strains upon Relationships
Within the safety of a counselor’s office, many partners express a sense of isolation. Couples often think that the strain upon their relationship is unique and unmanageable. In some ways, the details of that strain are unique. In other ways, the underlying issue is rarely unique. Many couples run into the same or similar roadblocks. This means that couples may feel alone in their struggle, but they are not. Many other couples are struggling too. This also means that most issues that a couple presents to their couples therapist will likely have tangible solutions. Skilled and experienced couples counselors have likely helped other couples work through a similar problem. Some of the common issues that put strain upon couples include…
- Distrust – Forgetting an important appointment or date, not following through on a promise, making irresponsible choices are just a few examples of the little things that chip away at a relationship’s trust. Then, there are the big things…cheating, lying, addiction, and more. These can decimate trust. When both partners want to re-establish trust, couples counselors can often guide that process.
- Difficulty with Intimacy – Intimacy is essential connection within a relationship. It can come in a variety of forms—physical touch, social interaction, emotional bonding, and more. Intimacy requires care and intentionality, and when life gets busy, it can be the first thing that couples drop. When intimacy suffers, the relationship inevitably suffers.
- Communication Difficulties – Empathy, vulnerability, and openness are bedrocks of good communication. Another way to say it is that communication takes intentionality and time. Healthy relationships have plenty of drive-thru conversations, but partners also take time to listen and understand each other. When these deeper talks are pushed aside, it means each partner’s needs and feelings may be pushed aside as well.
- Disagreements about Family – This issue may be a cliché, but clichés are often grounded in reality. There is a reason that stress with extended family serves at the plotline for so many movies and TV shows—just think of Meet The Parents. Couples often conflict over what role each other’s family will play within their lives.
Couples Counseling: How Might Therapy Help?
If you and your partner are disagreeing… if your extended families are driving a wedge between you… if your communication or intimacy is suffering, you are not alone. Many other couples are struggling as well, and many are finding the help they need through couples counseling. How might a therapist help? There are many ways, but two important ones are that couples therapist can often…
Decrease the tension within a conflict. All too often, when tension is high, partners attack each other during a conflict instead of solving the problem. This sets partners against each other instead of setting them up to be on the same side, solving the problem together. Skilled couples counselors can help couples keep the tone neutral and attack the problem, not each other.
Establish a timeline for enacting change. Certain adjustments in the relationship need to be made immediately, particularly if there is a safety issue involved. Other changes take time. It can be difficult for partners to know what a reasonable timeline for growth and change is, but skilled couples therapists can guide the process of change.
Sessions at Thriveworks Erie for Couples Therapy
If working with a couples therapist may be the next step for you, know that Thriveworks Erie is ready to help. When you contact our office, you and your partner may be meeting with your therapist the following day. We accept a variety of insurance plans, and we offer weekend and evening sessions. Our therapists and counselors offer couples therapy, and we have appointments available. Call today to schedule an appointment.