How Can Couples Therapy Help our Relationship?
Couples Therapy is a bit different from individual therapy. Individual Therapy focuses solely on you. In Couples Therapy, the focus is on you and your partner. This form of therapy helps you learn about each other, your strengths, weaknesses and differences as individuals and in your relationship. Even the healthiest relationships can benefit from couples therapy.
Just selecting a counselor together requires a bit of teamwork. This process is best done together, so that each partner is invested in the process and also feels like they have a voice in selecting the coup!es therapist whom they are comfortable with. However, if this is not possible, it makes sense for one partner to reach out to a therapist to start with; waiting too long can just makes things worse as the problems in the relationship continue to spin out of control.
It’s not up to your therapist to save your relationship!
You don’t go to a couple’s therapist to fix your relationship. That’s not their job. This is a common misconception. The therapist’s job is to guide you in this process, and to help you develop insight regarding each other as individuals and also to develop insight regarding your relationship. It’s up to you as a couple to save your relationship. Of course, you might ask, “Shouldn’t my partner be making as much effort as I am?” Of course, they should! But you don’t have control over your partner’s thoughts, feelings or behavior. You only have control over YOU. But your therapist will help you to better communicate your needs to your partner.
You and your partner also need to be receptive to feedback and suggestions from your therapist for the couples counseling to make a positive impact on your relationship.
Most of the Work is Done Outside of the Therapy Office
Don’t expect to leave your therapy sessions feeling like your relationship has suddenly improved. Couples counseling is hand work, both in the therapy office, and at home. You have to be wiling to put the guidance, feedback and suggestions into action in your daily lives. This is what will make the biggest difference for you and your partner. This is often easier said than done, especially when one of you had a bad day, or is in a bad mood, or when your children are acting up. However, this is when the work is the most important Remember that you and your partner are responsible for repairing your relationship, not your therapist. Push through now, and you will see the benefits.
Another important aspect of couples therapy is that you both need to be fully committed to this therapeutic process. If one partner is only partially committed, or puts in less effort, than there is a good chance that you won’t succeed as a couple in therapy. If you are both equally motivated, then there is a greater chance that your conflicts will be resolved at some point in the near future.