Couples and Marriage Therapy in Harrisburg, PA
In the movie, Couples Retreat, a husband and wife on the brink of divorce convince their friends to go on a couples retreat with them in paradise. With full intentions of skipping out on the therapeutic activities, the couples agree to go. When they arrive at the resort, they are ready for massages and yoga classes and beach time, but they quickly learn that the marriage therapy is not optional. “I think there is a misunderstanding here. We signed up for the fun stuff,” Vince Vaughn’s character says. “So we have to give a little bit of our day up to talk about feelings. How bad couple it be?” The couples spend the next week trying to avoid the obvious cracks in their relationships. It turns out, working on a marriage is a lot harder work, but it is worth the effort.
People hear the daunting statistics of divorce (40 percent of first marriage end in divorce), and they may think that if their marriage is in trouble, that separation is the only option. However, there are many options available to couples who want to work on their relationship. For most, it does not look like a marriage retreat, but they are working with a couples counselor for help.
“Couples counseling gets many couples back together. But not all, and not always. For your own sake and that of your children, however, I recommend it – I almost insist on it – as the first step for anyone unhappy in a relationship.”
—Laura Wasser, divorce attorney
Many couples want a better relationship, but they do not know what better looks like or how to get there. If you are one of those many couples, consider reaching out for help from a marriage or couples counselor. Through marriage therapy, many couple healthier ways of relating and experience improvement in their relationship.
Thriveworks Harrisburg offers couples and marriage therapy because we know how easily relationships can go off-track. We also understand how they can often be put back on track with a little help. Our therapists and counselors have worked with many couples who are married or in a long-term relationship and who are wondering, what is next?
Common Marriage Issues
Every couple has challenges. Regardless of how wonderfully the relationship began…regardless of how perfectly the couple seems, no relationship is perfect. When these issues go unaddressed, they can start small but grow. Acknowledging the issue and seeking help are often common steps that keep relationships healthy. Think about your own marriage or relationship. Are you experiencing any of these?
- Differing Goals – When partners are pulling toward different targets, tension and stress can occur in the relationship. Couples often have a hard time agreeing upon their priorities.
- Problems with Intimacy – Physical and emotional intimacy are key indicators of a relationship’s health. When these suffer, often other aspects of the relationship may be suffering as well.
- Distrust – When one or both partners break trust within the relationship, that breach can be repaired, but it takes intentional effort and consistent trustworthy behavior. The rupture will not repair itself.
- Communication Difficulties – The partners in healthy relationships relate to each other through empathy, sharing, listening, and vulnerability. These are the bedrocks of good communication, but many couples struggle to implement them consistently in their interactions.
- Disagreements about Family – Landmines like in-laws, housing options, and parenting styles can trip couples up.
Do you recognize anything on this list? If so, you are in good company. These issues are common, and there are solutions to them. When partners are willing to grow, learn, and change, their relationship often flourishes. These issues are not enjoyable to experience, but they are opportunities for improvement.
Why Marriage Therapy?
Marriage therapy often gives couples the opportunity to work on challenges they have experienced, resolve them, and move forward. Here are a few ways that skilled therapists may be able to help…
- A neutral space for discussion. Discussions of hot topics in a relationship can quickly escalate. The opposite is actually needed—to deescalate the tension so that each partner can stay focused on the topic at hand. Therapists can often keep the tone neutral.
- Setting expectations and timelines for change. Certain issues are more harmful than others. Some change should be implemented immediately; others take time. Counselors may help couples know the difference.
- Identification of toxic patterns. Speaking of harmful actions, John Gottman identifies four toxic behaviors that are key indicators of divorce: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling. When these are identified and changed, couples have hope for a healthier relationship.
- Developing conflict resolution skills. People can learn how to relate to each other in healthier ways. A skilled therapist can often teach willing clients how.
Scheduling an Appointment at Thriveworks Harrisburg, PA for Marriage and Couples Counseling
If you and your partner are experiencing a challenging season in your relationship, you are not alone. Even more, you have many options. Have you considered couples counseling? If so, consider working with Thriveworks Harrisburg. Our staff is experienced and caring. When you contact our office, you will not reach a voicemail, but a real person will answer and help schedule your appointment. Weekend and evening appointments are offered, and new clients often meet with their therapist within 24 hours of their first call to our office. We also accept many different insurance plans.
Call Thriveworks Harrisburg today!