Do We Need Marriage/Couples Counseling?
Are you having trouble communicating? Do you disagree/fight frequently? Have you lost your connection? Has your sex life gone downhill? Do things from your past or previous relationships cause conflict for you or your partner? Are you wanting to build a strong foundation for a new relationship? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you could benefit from couples counseling.
Couples counseling is often viewed as a last resort when a couple has tried everything else to make it work. Although it can be effective in those situations, it is more effective when you are proactive. Addressing problems as they are identified is part of what keeps relationships on track. Seeking help before things escalate or resentment builds is wise. No matter what stage of your partnership/marriage you are in, it takes a great deal of courage to invite someone into your relationship and let them help you navigate what isn’t working. You should take a moment to acknowledge that strength and recognize that this is an important decision. Identifying that your relationship, your partner, and your happiness are priorities in your life is a big step in itself.
What Will We Do in Couples Counseling?
The simple answer is we work through the issues that are keeping you from having the relationship you want and deserve. Maybe that will entail some education on effective communication skills, learning to fight fair, and identifying what you want from the relationship. We may talk about effective ways of problem solving. Your sessions may also include working through past experiences that are causing conflicts between you and your partner. If you have been having problems for a long time, there may need to be some time spent unpacking past hurts and resentments to identify the root cause. Some of the most common topics covered in couples counseling include:
- Effective Communication
- Learning to Fight fair and resolve problems
- Reestablishing the foundation of friendship
- Eliminating disagreements about money
- Establishing/restoring intimacy and a satisfying sex life
- Getting on the same page with parenting
- Self-care within the relationship
- Setting healthy boundaries
- Balancing separateness and togetherness
- Maintaining a healthy level of independence within the relationship
- Setting and achieving relationship goals
This list is by no means all encompassing. If you have questions or are unsure of what you are looking for from counseling, feel free to discuss it with me.
What is the Goal?
Each couples' goal will be different. Many people come in without knowing what their goal is; they just know that something isn’t working. That’s okay.
Perhaps there is one particular problem you want to address. Many times the goal is to rebuild your foundation and connection. Perhaps you or your partner would like to learn more effective communication skills. Whatever the concern, we will discuss what is and is not working and come up with goals that will help you have your best possible relationship.
What to Expect From Your Couples Counseling or Marital Therapy
Couples counseling, just like your relationship, is a commitment. There is no quick fix but many people do see positive results right away. The majority of work is done between the counseling sessions. I will teach you new skills, help you develop healthy patterns, and rebuild your connection, in addition to working through presenting problems. However, to see consistent progress, you need to re-commit to each other and to work on the areas you identify for improvement.