How and when to use couples therapy
All couples go through difficult periods. A friend of mine (who shall remain nameless) has been going through a rough patch with her partner lately, and was looking into couples therapy. I think when you’ve been with someone for a long while and you know you love them you don’t want to just give up when things get a bit difficult. Tension in a relationship can be a killer though, so it’s often better to get help with resolving your issues than to just leave things unresolved.
When should you use couples therapy?
There are several situations where couples therapy can be useful:
- If trust has been broken within a relationship couples therapy can help. This could be because there has been infidelity but some couples also access therapy when there has been a breakdown in trust because of secrecy over money issues or addiction.
- If you struggle to communicate with each other, couples therapy can help both of you to develop better communication skills. This can help to ensure you are both able to feel heard and understood in future, and hopefully reduce arguments.
- Where arguments are becoming more frequent and intense, couples therapy can help you to discuss the situation and what could be underlying causes for this increase in conflict within the relationship.
Of course there are many other reasons couples end up in therapy, but these seem to be the most common reasons. Many people find once they get to therapy that it helps them to work through a lot of issues they would not previously have considered as needing therapy.
How to access couples therapy
It can be hard to know where to start with something like this; many people would not feel comfortable asking friends for recommendations for a therapist so it’s something we usually end up Googling!
There are actually many national organisations and local practitioners who will be able to help with this; a simple Google search should bring up therapists in your area. Of course, if you’re not comfortable asking friends for recommendations for a therapist you are also probably not too comfortable with asking your boss for time off work for therapy either so there is also the option of online counselling.
Couples therapy works differently for different people. If one of you is resistant or unwilling to talk things through, it may be tough going. If you are both committed to working through your issues and resolving conflict it can work wonders for a relationship and for each of you individually too.