Updated: 7 days ago
What issues does couples therapy actually help solve and when is it time to seek it out?
Having basic knowledge about couples therapy, how it can help, and what its limitations are is empowering.
Understanding what issues couples therapy can actually solve helps you to be an active participant in collaborating with the therapist on goals.
During couples therapy, you are not the client. The relationship is.
Even happy couples can attend couples therapy – it’s for anyone who wants a stronger, healthier relationship with better communication.
It’s better to seek out therapy before the relationship is in a crisis rather than wait until it’s at risk.
You’ve likely heard of “couples therapy.” Maybe you even know a couple that has attended it. But, do you know what issues couples therapy can actually help address? Or, what it can do for your relationship?
Taking the step to seek counseling can be intimidating at first, but having basic knowledge about what to expect from couples therapy will empower you during the process. Having the right expectations for therapy can help you and your therapist collaborate better together. It can also help you, your partner, and your therapist set appropriate goals for treatment.
Things to keep in mind when attending couples therapy
Sometimes people come to couples therapy without a clear idea of what it is or what it can actually help with. T Attending this type of therapy is very different from attending individual therapy. During individual therapy, you are the client. This isn’t so during couples therapy – instead, the relationship is the client. Here are some other things that you and your partner should keep in mind about couples therapy.
It requires work and commitment from both partners. Both parties need to be willing to participate fully to reap the full benefits.
Again, you are not the client – the relationship is. So, there won’t necessarily be a strong focus on you and your partner as individuals, but rather on how you interact with each other.
Seeing progress will take time. Couples therapy requires a lot of emotional labor for both you and your partner. Do the work and give each other grace.
The therapist isn’t going to make decisions for you or tell you what to do. Rather, they’ll help you and your partner learn how to make healthy decisions together.
Even couples who are happy together can benefit from therapy.
Now that we’ve cleared up some of the misconceptions about couples therapy, let’s talk about what it can help you with.
What issues can couples therapy help us with?
Couples therapy can help your relationship in so many ways. Let’s take a look at some of the issues it can help you and your partner remedy.
Identify the patterns in your relationship, and change them for the better.
Define roles and responsibilities more clearly.
Parenting challenges, such as whether or not to have children, consistent parenting, and parenting styles.
Understanding each other’s love languages and how each of you gives and receives love.
Challenges with intimacy or in the bedroom
Helps you and your partner get on the same page financially
Improves communication in the relationship
How to have a healthy relationship, and what that looks like behaviorally
Recovering intimacy after infidelity
If you have a question about how couples therapy can help your specific situation, don’t hesitate to reach out to a reputable therapist and ask if they can help.
When should we go?
It may seem like the obvious move to head to couples counseling once the relationship is at risk or in crisis. However, this is a misconception. You don’t have to wait until your relationship is in crisis to seek couples therapy. In fact, the sooner you head to therapy, the better. Waiting it out can allow time for unhealthy relationship habits to form.