What is Couples Counselling?
Couples therapy is a type of psychotherapy that focuses on relationships and/or the people in them, whether they are dating or married. Couples counselling can assist couples in identifying and expressing their emotions, as well as dealing with problems they confront. It can be incredibly helpful to individuals, depending on their needs. A healthy relationship comprises two people who are committed to working together to make their relationship the best it can be.
Couples counselling is based on the assumption that relationships are cooperative ventures between two people who have separate wants and needs. Healthy relationships are based on compromise, understanding and respect for one another.
As time goes by, problems will inevitably arise in a relationship, and couples therapy can resolve these problems. Couples counselling can be a very healthy step for a relationship. It's typically a sign that a couple is serious about working on their relationship in a dedicated and intentional manner.
What happens in couples therapy?
Although every couple therapist may have a different approach, typically couples therapy entails discussing issues in the context of your relationship with a neutral third party (your therapist) who is skilled at assisting you in determining the best solution to the issues you are facing.
During the first session, the therapist will meet with each person individually to assess the relationship and determine how they can best help you and your partner. During this session, the therapist will also be watching the interaction between you and your partner. This can give you insight into your behaviour and encourage understanding of one another's perspectives.
Next, the therapist may ask to meet you and your partner, separately, for an individual session. This is often the case in some types of therapy approaches (e.g. Gottman Method). In this session, your therapist will also gather a history from both partners and attempt to understand the situation from their perspective.
In the third session, the therapist will meet again with the couple and help clarify what is bothering them about the relationship. They will ask certain questions to help couples communicate more healthily, honestly, and productively by understanding each other's viewpoints and feelings. In addition, they may provide guided couples activities.
Couples therapy is not just about solving problems but rather about fostering a deeper level of intimacy and improving communication skills. In addition, a therapist can show couples the importance of mutual support and affection in their relationship.
Techniques Used in Couples Counselling
In order to help couples resolve their problems, therapists use a variety of techniques that will help them. Some of the common techniques therapists use are described below.
1) Gottman Method
The goals of the Gottman Method Couple Therapy are to eliminate straining verbal communication, boost intimacy, respect, and affection, remove barriers that block emotional connection in the relationship, increase positive interactions, decrease negative ones, and build a "culture of appreciation."
2) Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
This will help the couple to change their behaviours. It helps them focus on how they behave and think about each other. This will enable them to change their behaviour and increase satisfaction in their relationship.
3) Interpersonal Psychotherapy
It deals with the way people relate. This method of therapy aims at helping each partner express their feelings more directly. The therapist may help each person express themselves more fully and listen more closely without immediately defending themselves or focusing on the problem.
4) Emotion-Focused Therapy
This can help couples reduce their anger and resentment while focusing on their mutual needs and interests. It can help them improve their emotional connection and show couples how to connect from a place of emotional strength that comes from within.
5) Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
This is used as a trauma treatment as it encourages the brain to let go of negative emotional responses to past events. This technique helps the individual move forward and develop a different perspective of experience. Usage of this therapy may help the individuals to develop healthier relationships.
6) Reality Therapy
This can assist couples in identifying how they are hurting each other and stopping their negative behaviour. Couples therapy will help individuals take responsibility for their actions and encourage them to engage in positive behaviours to improve the relationship.
What can I gain from couple's counselling?
Couples therapy is a great way for couples to grow closer by working with a therapist who will help them healthily communicate with each other. You may struggle to communicate effectively by yourself, or you may be unaware of certain behaviours that are destructive to your relationship.
As you work with your therapist, they will help you discover ways to improve communication in your relationship. Couples counselling can assist you on the road to a better, more open relationship that is built on trust and respect. It can help you build a healthy foundation for your future together.
During therapy, couples can often find certain roots of their problems. They may discover that they care so much about things because they lack some areas of their lives.
It may be that one or both partners in a couple do not have a properly developed sense of self. Through counselling, they can learn to get in touch with themselves by learning how to soothe themselves, relax, and take time for themselves. They may also discover how to meet their own needs more fully, instead of always expecting their partner to do so.
Success Rates of Couples Counselling
Many marital issues can be addressed successfully through couples counselling. A study completed by the Gottman Institute set out to determine the success rates of counselling. The study found that 75% of couples showed significant improvement within three years after completing therapy.
Most people might define success as either staying together or separating peacefully. Some couples may decide to split because they realize that they are not meant to be together. Other couples may find that they can work through their problems together to stay in the relationship.
In general, couples counselling is a very successful form of treatment because it helps you find a path to a more fulfilling relationship.
When should you go to couples therapy?
You should consider couples counselling when you are constantly arguing, feel disconnected from your partner or have lost the spark in your relationship. These feelings can be caused by stress, lack of communication, or simply not understanding how to deal with issues in your relationship.
There are some signs that you should go to couples therapy:
● Having the same fight over and over again without resolution
● Feeling distant from your partner
● A desire to improve your relationship
● Poor communication with your partner
● Feeling too attached to one another
● Tackling a big life event like a new job, moving or a challenging decision
● One or both partners are not satisfied with the relationship
● Suddenly having a lot of tension and disagreements
● The intensity between you and your partner has increased
● You can't stop fighting about the same things
● You feel like giving up and don't know how to make things better
● Feeling sick of trying or like something is missing in your relationship
● You want to work through your problems and have a better connection
● Considering divorce or deciding whether or when to break up
If you're facing any of these problems, couples therapy could be a good idea for you and your partner.
How long should couples therapy last?
The amount of time you should be in therapy will depend on the issues you and your partner face. You may need a few sessions, or you may need to complete several months of treatment. Some couples can overcome their issues together without any formal counselling. However, it is always best to seek professional advice and guidance to ensure that you are on the right track and not doing more harm than good.
The best results happen when both partners are committed to the process of working through your problems. Before signing on for couples therapy, make sure that both of you are willing to make an effort to work on your problems. Otherwise, you could end up feeling frustrated with the counselling experience and not getting much benefit out of it.
How to Get Started
If you believe your relationship may benefit from couples counselling, talk about it with your partner and see if they're interested. If they're resistant to it, talk about the benefits of couples counselling and why you believe it can help your relationship. Once your partner agrees to couples counselling, the next step is to find a therapist. Ask your friends and family for recommendations or contact mental health service agencies in your area to get started.
Our team of experienced and professional therapists have the right qualifications to help you resolve your relationship issues.