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.
Kristen Bell and Dax Shepherd have been a celebrity power couple for over a decade. Their love has been displayed on countless red carpets and premiers. Millions of their fan watched and shared a video that they made of their safari vacation, set to Toto’s Africa. Their genuine love for each other shines through, but both Dax and Kristen have been clear that their relationship is not perfect. What has helped them have such a great relationship then? They give a lot of credit to couples therapy. “In my previous relationship, we went to couples’ therapy at the end, and that’s often too late,” Kristen said. In contrast, Dax and Kristen have opened up about being proactive about addressing issues in their relationship and asking for help along the way. Like many others, Kristen and Dax are living with the benefits of couples counseling.
“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
It is true: every couple faces difficulty. For many couples, those ups and downs are opportunities to grow both individually and as partners. Those ups and downs also test how much a couple trusts each other. When that trust needs to be reinforced, couples therapists can often help. That is why Thriveworks Newark Counseling offers couples therapy. Every couple will face hard times, and during those hard times, many couples are reaching out for help, just like Dax and Kristen.
Different Strains within a Relationship
When couples experience tension in their relationship, they often feel alone in the struggle. They may think, other couples do not struggle with this issue. What is wrong with us? The truth is that many couples are experiencing similar issues. Certain issues tend to put strain upon a relationship, and most couples will feel those strains at some point. The particular details may be unique and different from couple to couple, but the overarching issue it not. What are some common issues that drive a wedge between partners?
- Differing Expectations – If partners are pulling the relationship toward different targets, then tension is bound to follow. Of course, it is normal for partners to differ on their values and their expectations. When these differences are identified and received with respect, then these differences are healthy. When these expectations are not communicated explicitly or when they are not received respectfully, then tension is often the result.
- Communication Difficulties – Communication takes a lot of time and work. It takes empathy and vulnerability, and it is easy for couples to struggle as they communicate. Some couples need to learn healthy communication skills—they may have never learned. Other couples may have enjoyed healthy communication at one point in their relationship, but it slowly became less and less of a priority. These partners need to put communication back at the top of their priorities.
- Disagreements about Family – Conflict with extended family has been fodder for much comedic material, but it is not always funny when couples are disagreeing about what role the in-laws will play in their relationship. One or both partners’ parents, siblings, and more is a common source of tension in a relationship.
- Difficulty with Intimacy – Intimacy is an indicator of how well a couple is connecting, and it definitely includes their sexual relationship but that is just the start. Intimacy can be physical, emotional, spiritual, social, and more. Intimacy takes intentionality, and it is all too easily sacrificed in busy schedules.
- Distrust – Forgetting an important date… missing an appointment… making a unilateral decision…these are the little things that chip away at trust between partners. Lying… cheating… addiction… these are the big things that can destroy trust in an instant.
Why Start Couples Therapy?
Did you recognize any issue on this list? You issue may be disagreements about the in-laws, differing expectations, or distrust, or something completely different. Whatever you and your partner may be facing, a couples therapist may be able to help. How?
- By bringing down the conflict’s intensity. Conflicts naturally escalate. When partners are in the heat of an argument, it is easy to allow this escalation to continue unchecked, but when this happens, partners can harm each other severely. Couples counselors can keep the tone neutral and keep partners focused upon the problem—not on attacking each other.
- By setting a timeline for making adjustments. Some couples need to make certain changes sooner rather than later. Other adjustments can be worked toward, over time. Couples therapists can often help partners know which changes to make that will have the biggest impact for the good of their relationship and help them prioritize those changes.
Setting Up an Appointment at Thriveworks Newark for Couples Therapy
Are you and your partner ready to reach out for help? If so, you are not alone. If you are experiencing tension or disagreement or distrust, know that these are common issues that many couples face. Couples counseling is not a magic formula, but many partners have overcome these issues and now enjoy a stronger relationship. If you are ready to get started, Thriveworks Newark offers couples therapy, and we have appointments available. When you contact our office, you may be meeting with your therapist the following day. We offer weekend and evening sessions. We also accept many forms of insurance. We know that being a couple is hard. Scheduling couples counseling should not be. Call today.