Many of our clients are currently struggling in a relationship. While those clients have chosen to come to counseling individually to discuss these relationship issues, we often strongly encourage them to consider couples therapy.
Going to individual therapy about relationship issues still has its benefits such as self-reflection, communication and skill building, and stronger insight into one’s own responses to conflict. But to achieve results or resolutions and instill harmony, such issues can be addressed by opening dialogue among both members of the couple with a board-certified professional.
What is Couples Therapy?
Simply put, couples therapy is provided by licensed professional counselors to couples struggling with relationship issues. The relationship status of clients varies widely—those who are dating, considering marriage, couples who have been together for many years, and everyone else in between.
Likewise, couples therapy can occur at one of many different stages. The following are a few possible scenarios of when clients schedule couple’s counseling:
1. Some couples seek counseling prior to marriage to work through goals, values, blending families, or even learn healthy communication skills.
2. Some couples who attend are doing well for the most part but are experiencing internal or external stressors and want to address it early before it becomes a big issue.
3. Others attend after being together for many years and finding themselves “in a rut” or feeling each other becoming more distant.
4. Some couples require crisis management often due to having experienced major issues such as addictions and infidelity.
What to Expect in Session
While each individual therapist will have their own specific questions or plan in session, couples therapy will typically start with a complete history from the couple. The therapist will ask each to provide some background information including family of origin, belief system, values, and other relevant personal history.
The couple may also be asked to share why they are seeking counseling at this particular time as well as when the relationship began to change or the onset of changes.
The therapist may ask about goals of counseling and what they are hoping to achieve by attending therapy. By asking questions such as these, the therapist will gain an accurate perspective of the couple as a unit as well as each person as an individual member of the couple in addition to the couples’ issues.
When Should We Try It?
When a couple decides to attend therapy plays a big role in what can realistically be achieved. Some couples come into our offices and one or both is “done” yet have agreed to go through the motions while others still genuinely love each other and want the relationship to continue.
The length of time trouble was experienced before attending therapy also plays a role. We find that couples wait on average 6 years to attend therapy. After 6 years of issues and/or unhappiness, it is often tough to undo some of the damage that has occurred.
I would strongly suggest to friends and loved ones as well as clients, to seek help for your relationship as soon as you consider the idea. Even happy couples who aren’t experiencing major problems can benefit from a session to strengthen communication, resolve differences, or to check in with one another while a trained professional assists in guiding the dialogue.
Naya Clinics aims to provide therapy to couples in a direct, yet gentle way while focusing on interventions that can assist the couple in working on the relationship outside of therapy sessions. Contact Naya Clinics to schedule your session with any of our trained, licensed therapists and give your relationship the attention it needs to thrive.
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