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—Counseling for Relationships in Fayetteville, NC
Sometimes, giving our best to our partner means finding professional help for the relationship. Thriveworks Counseling in Fayetteville, NC provides couples therapy. We understand that being together takes work. No relationship is perfect, but working through those challenges is often worth the effort, whether the couple decides to continue their relationship or not.
Common Relationship Problems
Psychologist Dr. John Gottman famously studied couples, how they interact, and which relational patterns set them up to split up. He identified four toxic relationship patterns that he labeled “The Four Horsemen” because when one or more are present, the couple’s relationship is often in serious trouble. These toxic behaviors can be recognized and changed. What are these toxic behaviors? Stonewalling, defensiveness, criticism, and contempt. Here is what they look like in real life.
- Stonewalling — Instead of moving toward each other, partners can ice each other out at the slightest sign of tension. This can look like ignoring a problem, denying it, or minimizing it. Issues get swept under the rug, so to speak. When problems are ignored, they grow. What starts out as something small can escalate when stonewalling is involved.
- Defensiveness — When individuals within a couple shift responsibility for their own thoughts, feelings, choices, and actions upon others, they are often defensive. Blame is a red flag for defensiveness. Instead of accepting the consequences of one’s own actions, defensiveness blames other people or circumstances. When confronted with a short-falling, defensiveness may respond by saying, “You are being unreasonable. My day has been crazy. How could you even bring that up right now?”
- Criticism — No one is perfect. It is normal for partners to be frustrated with each other, and it is healthy to voice those critiques and complaints. However, critique and criticism are two distinctly different ways of communicating about a shortcoming. Critique brings up an issue and focuses on the problem. Criticism attacks the person. Criticism sounds like, “You are careless and inconsiderate. I had no idea you withdrew that money from the account.” Critique sounds like, “When I saw money missing from our account, I did not know why it had been withdrawn. I felt scared. I would like to talk about the money.” The difference is dramatic. Issues can be addressed without couples attacking each other.
- Contempt — Healthy partners treat each other as equals. Contempt, in contrast, is demeaning behavior toward another. Contempt demeans and disrespects and makes someone feel less than. Contempt looks like mocking, eye-rolls, and sarcasm. Contempt uses shame, and it may be the most toxic of the four horsemen.
If you’re ready to see the difference that a mental health professional can make in your relationship, call our office in Fayetteville, NC to get started. When you do, our support team will help you with the process: everything from setting up your insurance to booking your first session is made easy with their help.
Scheduling an Appointment at Thriveworks Fayetteville for Couples Counseling
And with support available seven days a week, we’ve taken the hassle out of everything. Thriveworks opens the door to exclusive benefits, including:
- A fast response time from your provider’s office. Most of our clients have their first session within a week of calling in for the first time.
- Flexible appointment options, including those in the evenings and on the weekends.
- Being able to schedule your session online, or in person.
- A wide range of accepted insurance options
Call Thriveworks Counseling & Psychiatry Fayetteville—because there’s no reason to delay getting a professional’s help. With a provider’s support, you can reclaim your life from the mental health challenges standing in your way.