What Is Couples Counseling?
Couples therapy is a type of counseling in which a therapist helps two people involved in a romantic relationship gain insight into their relationship, resolve conflict, and improve relationship satisfaction utilizing a variety of therapeutic interventions. The counseling process would involve the below-mentioned parameters.
- A focus on a specific problem (i.e. sexual difficulties, emotional unavailability Internet addiction, jealousy)
- Solution-focused, change-oriented interventions early on in treatment.
- A clear establishment of treatment goals.
Couples therapy will usually begin with some standard interview questions regarding the history of the relationship as well as some exploration into each partner’s family-of-origin, values, and cultural background. The therapist might use the initial sessions for crisis intervention if necessary.
The couple’s therapist will then assist the couple in identifying the issue that will be the focus of treatment, establishing treatment goals, and planning a structure for treatment.
During the treatment phase, the therapist will help the couple gain insight into the relational dynamics maintaining the problem, while helping both partners understand each of their roles in the dysfunctional interactions. This will help them change the way they perceive the relationship and each other.
Who is it for?
Couples therapy is beneficial for any kind of relationship, whether partners are straight, gay, mixed-race, young, old, dating, engaged, married, or in extramarital relationships. For example, a recently engaged couple might find premarital counseling an invaluable opportunity to address relationship expectations prior to getting married. Another couple, together 25 years, might discover couples therapy as an effective way for them to regain a sense of excitement and romance in their relationship.
Couples therapy can resolve a current problem, prevent an increase of problems, or simply provide a “check-up” for a happy couple that is experiencing a period of transition or increased stress. Common areas of concern addressed in couples therapy include issues with money, parenting, sex, infidelity, in-laws, chronic health issues, infertility, gambling, substance use, emotional distance, and frequent conflict.
Benefits Of couples Counseling
Although gaining insight is important, another crucial aspect of the couple’s therapy involves changing behaviors and ways of interacting with each other. Couples therapists will often assign partners homework to apply the skills they have learned in therapy to their day-to-day interactions.
Most couples can come away from couple’s therapy having gained insight into relational patterns, increased emotional expression, and developed the skills necessary to communicate and problem-solve with their partners more effectively.
Duration Of Couples Counseling
The duration of the couple’s therapy would depend on the nature of the presenting issues, the stage of the conflicts, and the degree of receptivity to suggestions. A competent therapist possesses the ability to gently draw out stagnancy and create open-mindedness in the couple.
Therapy could take anywhere between a few sessions to a few months or a year.