What is couple counseling?
Marital therapy, couple therapy, and couple counseling are all used to describe therapy that involves two partners. The therapy focuses on the relationship.
How does it work?
Couple counseling looks at the problems in the relationship that keep each partner from feeling fully happy. Often, these problems are the result of individual problems, as well as conflicts between them.
Each relationship has its own culture that comes together from the uniqueness of each person. Therefore, our goal is to understand and respect each couple’s unique culture. Working with that information, we provide couples with tools that will help them strengthen their relationship, and make their life together as secure and happy as possible.
Furthermore, each partner plays a part in the success and difficulties of their relationship. It is totally normal for relationships to experience periods of strain. However, it can be really problematic when couples face long periods of tension and conflict without ways to deal with the problems. Consequently, more difficulties can arise such as competitiveness or defensiveness, which makes it harder to work through problems together. Oftentimes, this results in serious dissatisfaction in the relationship. Common things that can lead to distress in relationships include money, sexual difficulties, poor communication, feeling misunderstood and/or unappreciated, infidelity (emotional or physical), changes in health of partner or family member, having a child with special needs, and/or different views on raising children.
What if I am not sure I want to be in the relationship?
Many times, one or both partners are unsure if they want to remain in the relationship. That is okay. Couple counseling is a great space for partners to identify and express their needs and desires to help them get clarity on the path they feel is best for their relationship (i.e. stay together, separate).
For couples that want to stay together, we give tools to help strengthen essential aspects of any relationship (e.g. trust, honesty, listening, accountability). Additionally, we work with the couple to identify growth areas in their relationship, pinpoint common relationship goals, communicate effectively, deal with conflict in a healthy way, and relearn how to work together (as opposed to competing or being defensive). With our approach, not only do we work on decreasing negative interactions, we also help couples increase their positive interactions.
At times, couples may choose to separate as the best course for them. For these couples, we help them with the emotional preparation and processing of the separation. When children are involved, we also work on parenting plans for the couples with children.
What if I may want to see a therapist on my own too?
For couples needing or wanting to have individual appointments instead of, or in addition to a couple appointment, we have multiple clinicians that can be used to coordinate appointments at the same or different times for each partner, based on your family’s needs.
Call us if you have questions about your unique situation or to schedule an appointment. To visit our blog, which also provide tips and tools for couples, click here.