The philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once wrote, “It is not a lack of love, but a lack of friendship that makes unhappy marriages.” Love can sometimes be a one-trick pony, but genuine friendship demands mutual respect and understanding. Maybe the greatest marriages and intimate relationships have both friendship and passionate love in equal measure. But both friends and lovers have falling outs from time to time. Fortunately, there’s a way to talk through differences in a safe, nonjudgmental environment.
Licensed relationship counseling at Thriveworks in Hoffman Estates, IL can facilitate deep, honest, and sincere conversation about the things that matter most to an intimate couple. Thriveworks marriage and family therapists use compassion, expertise, and gentle guidance to explore difficulties and strengthen existing bonds. All kinds of diverse couples seek marriage counseling to work through issues both minor and major. Marriage and family therapy can tackle acute problems, but it can also be a way of maintaining what’s already working well. Every couple is unique, and treated as such at Thriveworks.
Does Couples Counseling Really Work?
If both partners are ready and willing to put the effort in, they will most likely be satisfied with the results of couples counseling. First of all, it’s usually brief, accomplishing the couples’ goals in 12 sessions or fewer. Second, it’s focused on solutions. The therapists at Thriveworks in Hoffman Estates, IL start by finding out what each partner wants from therapy. Goals can run the gamut, but here are some common examples:
- To resolve conflict
- To reduce household tension
- To stop repeating the same argument
- To establish healthy boundaries
- To manage anger
- To improve rapport
- To express sexuality
- To confront alcohol abuse or addiction
- To heal after infidelity
- To identify individual mental health conditions that are affecting the relationship
- To process trauma together
- To grieve and cope with loss together
- To manage life transitions
- To cope with empty nest syndrome
- To support each other through infertility
Partners don’t always have the same goals, but a skilled therapist can help find overlap and make sure everyone’s needs are heard and met.
What Are Standard Couples Therapy Exercises?
There are a lot of inventive ways to conduct sessions in marital therapy, including games and exercises. For examples, therapists at Thriveworks in Hoffman Estates, IL can assign “homework” like the following:
- State of the union meetings, where couples meet routinely to talk about their relationship
- Wishlists, where couples write down their individual needs
- Regular gratitude, where couples are told to express appreciation for each other
- Love letters, where couples write letters to each other to remember why they connected
What Is the Process of Couples Counseling?
Couples counseling can utilize different approaches based on the clients’ unique goals and the therapist’s best clinical judgment. The mental health providers at Thriveworks in Hoffman Estates, IL who specialize in helping couples might use any of the following methods:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
- Narrative therapy
- Motivational interviewing
- Collaborative couples therapies
- Emotionally focused therapy (EFT)
- Person-centered therapy
- Strength-based therapy
- Solution-focused therapy
- Gottman method (pioneered by John Gottman)
- Substance abuse or addiction counseling
- Structural family therapy
- Depression counseling
- Anxiety therapy
These therapies often have similar aims, to uncover deeper truths about what partners are feeling and to find areas of compatibility, not conflict.
What Should I Look for in a Couples Therapist or Marriage Counselor?
The great benefits of couples therapy can only be accrued with a qualified counselor. You need to check a few basic boxes before you select the person you and your partner want to work with. For example:
- The therapist should offer affordable rates. (At Thriveworks in Hoffman Estates, IL, providers accept most health insurance plans and offer competitive self-pay rates.)
- The therapist should have experience treating couples similar to you. (Thriveworks therapists treat a broad range of couples from diverse ethnic, gender, cultural, and socioeconomic backgrounds.)
- The therapist should facilitate sessions that are comfortable and convenient. (Thriveworks relationship counselors can hold sessions in-person at the modern office in Hoffman Estates, or meet with clients virtually, through secure online counseling sessions.)
Strengthen Intimate Bonds with Marriage Counseling at Thriveworks in Hoffman Estates, IL
Marriage counseling is a way for couples to learn how to see issues from each others’ perspectives. The lessons learned in therapy with a skilled therapist can endure for a lifetime. They can even be passed down to children through the modeling of healthy communication skills, effective boundaries, and more.
All the couples therapists at Thriveworks in Hoffman Estates, IL are recruited from the top 4% of providers in the Chicago area, making them the best at what they do. Thriveworks clients can access their therapist by phone or email between sessions, so they can be easily reached when they’re needed.
Call the Thriveworks office today to get started with exceptional marriage counseling. We look forward to helping you and your loved one!