The need for couples therapy may be indicated by frequent arguments, emotional disconnection, decreased intimacy, or negative patterns. A trained therapist can guide couples to conflict resolution, and deeper connection, leading to a healthier and happier relationship.
What Is Couples Therapy?
But what exactly is couples therapy? In short, it’s a form of counselling where both people in a relationship sit down together with a specially trained counsellor. This way, the therapist can see how the couple interacts with each other. It gives the couple time and space to reflect on the conflicts and problems in their relationship. It can also help couples learn new ways of communicating with each other and dealing with problems. If you’re having trouble finding a provider for couples therapy, Zoom and other video chat services can even facilitate it these days.
Whether or not couples find themselves in an emergency, couples’ counselling is becoming more and more popular. The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy estimates that around 1.8 million people are undergoing couples counselling at any time. Couples therapy tends to be slightly more expensive than individual therapy. Usually, clients can expect to pay between $90 and $250 per session. However, affordable relationship counselling can sometimes be available from therapists who offer a sliding scale.
With around 98% of couples reporting an improvement in their relationship after therapy, the benefits of couples’ counselling are enormous. Here are just some of the ways it can help you.
1) Identify each other’s values and ideals
One great way couples counselling helps couples is to explore what’s important to both of them. Lifestyle choices, religion or the lack of it, whether each person wants children and many more issues can arise in a relationship and cause couples to butt heads. In couples’ counselling, the couple has a safe space in which to iron out how they agree and disagree with each other. In therapy, couples can identify their needs and wants, values and beliefs as well as non-negotiables for a successful relationship.
2) It can help partners know each other better
Openness between the members of a couple is one of the great benefits of relationship therapy. However, when there are problems in a relationship, many couples can end up closed off from each other. They can turn away from each other, which ultimately leads to a worsening of problems due to a lack of communication. But a therapist can interrupt that pattern. In couples therapy, couples can get to know each other and start growing back together.
3) Couples therapy can help prevent many conflicts from happening
Emergency couples counselling isn’t the only kind of counselling out there. Many people only start looking for couples therapy when things have already gone wrong. But couples therapy can be as much a preventative measure as a way to fix things. The process of couples therapy, as previously mentioned, helps couples to clear out skeletons from their closets and get to know each other better. It can also nip problems in the bud before they get insurmountable. With a calm, open space, it’s much easier to stop a single conflict from having a ‘domino effect’ in a relationship.
4) Couples therapy is beneficial for both mental and physical health
Since relationships are such a huge part of life, when they go bad, they can badly impact the individuals in it. Once a relationship causes chronic stress, both members of a couple are in danger of physical and mental issues. Headaches, heart problems, problems with the digestive system, appetite issues, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, mood swings, social withdrawal and other issues are all linked to chronic stress. If couples attend couples’ counselling sessions and work together to overcome their problems, they can prevent these issues.
5) Couples therapy is beneficial for the children
If you have children together, relationship counselling can hugely improve their lives and well-being. Issues between two parents can grow and grow until they start to emotionally weigh on children, impacting their development and even mental well-being. If couples deal with their issues together with the help of a professional, they can make sure this doesn’t happen. Disagreements and problems won’t impact your children if you make a genuine effort to solve them together.
Of course, when it comes to important relationship decisions, mental health and financial decisions, it’s always best to do your own research. Take your time, shop around and look into the educational backgrounds of any therapists you’re considering. But effective, affordable therapy is out there. You can find the help you need to lessen your relationship anxiety and permanently make your relationship better.
- ‘A Beginner’s Guide to Couples Therapy’, The Cut, accessed 19th August 2021, https://www.thecut.com/article/couples-therapist.html/.
- ‘About Marriage and Family Therapists’, AAMFT, accessed 19th August 2021, https://www.aamft.org/About_AAMFT/About_Marriage_and_Family_Therapists.aspx.
- ‘Even a Healthy Relationship Can benefit from Couple’s Therapy’, Capital Choice Counselling, accessed 19th August 2021, https://capitalchoicecounselling.com/2019/04/even-healthy-relationship-can-benefit-couples-therapy/.
- ‘What is relationship counselling?’, Counselling Directory, accessed 19th August 2021, https://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/memberarticles/what-is-relationship-counselling.