Counseling is a great way to strengthen and improve the quality of your relationship. Whether you are in a serious relationship, engaged, married, or you are a couple who has simply been together for years; all relationships need attention and growth. Counseling is effective and can help build, maintain, or repair your partnership.
Should you go to couples counseling?
If you are reading this, it’s probably a good idea to consider couples therapy. Couples come in for support for various reasons:
- Building a new relationship – sometimes called premarital counseling, couples therapy is indicated in order to build a strong foundation right from the start. Concepts are explored such as family of origin modeling/influences, communication styles, personality, differences in handling conflict – these are just some.
- Maintaining a healthy relationship: thrive…not just survive. All relationships go through seasons and change. It is important to maintain the commitment, cooperation, communication and build community together. Consider couples counseling as a class, learning new concepts to support you during tough seasons or change. These sessions can give you the opportunity to devote time to each other and continue to grow closer.
- Repairing relationships and then working together towards restoring to a new-and-improved partnership.
- Family and parenting – being a couple is hard, but when you bring the kids, your parents, and other family members into the equation, sustaining healthy relationships can be even more difficult. Couples counseling is effective in exploring the structures and creating healthier structures to improve all relationship functioning.
What’s it really like in couples counseling?
Couples come to session with a variety of goals, depending on their situation. Typically most are looking for more effective communication as well as deepening the relationship. The Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is used to help couples understand their preferred “type” as well as understand and appreciate their beloved’s “type”. This assessment tool typically clears up many pitfalls in the relationship as it is a deep-dive into understanding personality differences and how we perceive things, relate to our world, make decisions, and organize our daily lives. Along with using concepts from the MBTI, therapy will allow each individual to express their needs, fears, resentments, disappointments and whatever is needed to bring renewal to the partnership. Typically we explore how to work through conflict and create strategies to prevent future conflict. There are several models and techniques used in couples counseling depending on the needs/goals of the couple. It has been my experience that couples are a bit hesitant, or sheepish to come to session but they quickly learn how easy and supportive it is.
Couples counseling is helpful in that there is a 3rd person – in a neutral position to help facilitate difficult discussions and work towards healing, and restoration.