If you are one of the many couples who are currently troubled and broken, then undoubtedly you feel that there is no solution out of this distressed relationship. Misconceptions about the negative effects of couples therapy will only make you feel worse and helpless. But a seasoned New York Times publicist wrote that despite the most effective strategies, couples therapy still fail, mostly because couples seek therapy only when one or both partners have decided to give up. It is also a fact that the skills of a couple’s therapist are detrimental to its effectiveness.
Therapy approaches that have been proven and tested are crucial for effective therapy be it for couples or individuals. This only implies that counseling techniques that are implemented on your treatment have been tried through studies and trials. Psychologists similarly use different approaches and don’t use just one approach. They adapt to the changing times and follow the best evidence of both research and clinical. “Couples therapy is designed to bring out the best in you and your partner, strengthening the quality of your relationship, as a point of balance, allowing you to deal with issues in ways that support you to grow as individuals and a couple,” says Athena Staik, Ph.D.
Below are some of the primary benefits of couples counseling and why it is encouraged for those who feel that they want to give up, those who fear that they might lose the relationship but are not willing to lose it, or those who are happy and want to improve on their relationship.
- Counseling Changes Couples’ Outlooks Of Themselves. Throughout the counseling process, the counselor tries to mediate between the couples and help them see their relationship in a more neutral angle. They learn to stop blaming each other and instead determine where the relationship went wrong or where it had gone astray. They are also taught how to deal with different situations, like money problems, for instance. The counselor observes how the couple interacts and gives them feedback, provides them with solutions as to how they can better deal with their problems together instead of against each other.
- Couples Counseling Encourages Emotional Expression. Most often, couples are used to keeping their feelings private when they are going through a difficulty. This further keeps the distance bigger, and they become emotionally and eventually physically more apart. Effective couples counseling brings out thoughts and feelings that partners are afraid of showing each other. This is particularly seen in attachment-based couples therapy, where partners are encouraged to express how they feel and communicate their needs to each other.
- Couples Counseling Transforms Dysfunctional Behavioral Patterns. You’ll know when your couples therapist is efficient when he successfully teaches couples to change how they treat each other and guides them into appropriately interacting with each other in specific situations. These interactions are healthy and not harmful in any way.
- Couples Counseling Helps Improve How Couples Communicate. Intimate partners have one of three things in common, and that is the ability to communicate with each other effectively. Counselors teach couples to talk to each other without any sign of abuse, judgment, or condemnation. They are taught how to show support and love. Most of all, they are encouraged to listen and be more compassionate with each other.
- Couples Counseling Brings Out The Best In Couples. Counselors give partners more reason to be each other’s strengths by teaching them to be more appreciative of the things that they have and not focus on the things that they don’t have. They are taught to see their strengths so that they can better enjoy each other’s company while pleasing each other to build more love and intimacy.
“If you have had little success working through relationship issues, find yourselves avoiding each other, or using hostile words or actions that cause emotional or physical hurt, professional counseling may help,” says Jane Framingham, Ph.D.
According to marriage counselor Gary Chapman, “Each of us speaks a different “love language,” of which there are five: words of affirmation; acts of service; receiving gifts; quality time; and physical touch.” Couples counseling can help with that.
Indeed, couples who feel broken now don’t have to feel hopeless forever, and those who are scared of getting into a relationship can be assured that even the most troubled relationships can be mended if the couples are willing to give it another try. By understanding these benefits and trying to follow some techniques mentioned above, you will be giving yourself and your partner a greater chance of achieving happiness in your relationship.