Couples therapy can be considered a type of counseling, a form of psychotherapy, or the process of resolving problems in a committed relationship. People will go to couples therapy for various reasons, including jealousy, addiction, infidelity, money, and value differences. The number of sessions a couple may attend will also vary and depends on the personal situation. However, what needs to happen to ensure that the couple’s therapy session goes successfully. This guide takes a look.
A Professional Who Understands the Goal
All good therapists focus on achieving a goal. This common goal of couples therapy is to help individuals understand their partner’s point of view as well as their own. In order to do this, therapists may also use techniques such as conjoint analysis and behavioral marital therapy to increase communication between partners and resolve conflicts.
It is, therefore, typically conducted by an individual who has undergone training and/or certification to provide counseling to married couples or those in long-term intimate relationships. A professional marriage therapist will usually have a Marriage and Family Therapist (MFT) degree or similar.
The Therapeutic Environment and its Effect on the Couple
Every therapy session is a unique experience. If the therapist is attuned to the moment and how it can help the couple, the pair can benefit from the specific time and place of their session. Therapists must be aware that couples sessions have different rules from individual therapy since partners are communicating with one another and cannot do so if they are not present.
The therapist knows that, in order for the counseling to be most effective, they must create an environment where each partner feels comfortable being honest about their feelings with one another.
Uncover the Issues that Surface during Therapy Sessions
Couples therapy sessions can make it easier to see what is different between two people in a relationship. For example, how does each person feel about the other?
When couples take an active role in understanding their own feelings, these feelings become more obvious, and this helps them to communicate better with one another. Stressful situations may also become more apparent, which can help couples identify the situation and create better ways to deal with it.
One example of a stress-filled situation that couples may discuss is when a partner feels neglected by the other, which could be happening in several areas.
The Importance Of Opening Up
Personal issues that may be causing problems in the relationship may not be directly resulting from the present problem occurring. They may actually be holding a separate issue from their partner, which can give an opportunity to address those conflicting feelings and issues.
Couples therapy is also a very powerful way for partners to take responsibility for their own feelings and issues that are making the relationship more difficult.
The Therapeutic Process of Couples Counseling
Couples counseling can help some couples develop a deeper understanding of the differences between themselves and their partners, which leads to better communication so they can resolve those differences while still being close with each other.
In many cases, a situation at hand may be fueling a negative feeling in one partner that may cause the other to feel numb or distant.
By taking an active role in identifying and understanding one’s own feelings, it is possible for partners to learn how to process their thoughts and feelings for themselves so that they do not need the other person to make the difference.