People say that to love is to believe the uncertainties, hope for the unknown, and bear all things, but what if it seems like there’s no reason to hold on anymore? What if your relationship always seems to be on the rocks? Will you finally let go? Or are you going to look for means to hold your relationship together, perhaps a couples therapy?
Relationships aren’t always rainbows and roses. It has its own share of violent storms and rocky roads which every couple may encounter in the duration of the relationship. While letting go might be the easiest alternative in some circumstances, there are still other effective ways to save your relationship.
Particularly, you can seek professional help from registered counselors like hcbh.org or any other similar organization that offer various counseling programs to build healthy relationships, improve marriages, and strengthen bonds with your special someone. Seeking professional assistance can also help you learn a thing or two about establishing and nurturing relationships, as well as proper stress management to achieve happiness and nurture well-being.
For better understanding, you should know first what couples therapy is all about and how it can improve one’s relationship.
Couples Therapy Is For Everyone
Couples counseling, also known as couples therapy or relationship therapy, is a kind of psychotherapy that aims to help couples recognize and resolve conflicts before things get out of hand. Couples therapy also refers to marriage counseling in some instances, with minor distinctions, however.
In particular, most people, especially young couples who have trouble resolving heated arguments seek couples counseling to save what’s left of the relationship and build a healthier bond for the both of them.
Besides, couples counseling aims to make couples assess and re-evaluate the choices they have, whether to save and strengthen the relationship or finally separate ways. This way, they are given the chance to make thoughtful and sound decisions.
Also, this kind of counseling is usually short-term and is often provided by licensed therapists and counselors with graduate and postgraduate degrees. Troubled couples should learn the importance and benefits of couples counseling in improving their relationship and well-being.
Couples Seek Counseling for Varying Reasons
Couples therapy is beneficial not just to the married couples, but also to homosexual couples, engaged couples, and young couples. While this has been significantly associated with addressing relationship conflicts and marital disputes, relationship counseling also deals with parental frustrations, financial disagreements, emotional issues, infidelity, lack of compassion or affection, and domestic violence.
Talking with a counselor may help troubled and struggling couples to effectively improve their relationship and make it stronger. It’s also good to speak with a fair and impartial counselor who’s also committed to helping this client by being an active listener.
Relationship Counseling Offers Various Approaches
One of the most common approaches used in relationship counseling is Emotion-Focused Therapy, which is said to be substantially effective for most couples. Aside from this, the Imago Therapy approach formulated by Harville Hendrix and his wife which focuses on building and creating stronger communication skills has also been a useful tool.
This approach helps couples learn how to effectively overcome severe conflicts, such as neglect and abandonment, which may be a product of bad parenting or a traumatic childhood experience. Also, the fundamental vision of the Imago therapy approach is to make sound and meaningful conversations between couples with active listening, which is why an Imago therapist must use mirroring, empathy, and validation in sessions.
Furthermore, the Gottman Method, developed by Drs. John and Julie Gottman is the third approach used in couples’ therapy. This approach focuses on establishing intimacy and sincere appreciation between couples. It also makes couples productively resolve conflicts and built a meaningful life together while making each other feel every ounce of admiration and fondness they have for each other.
Counseling Saves Relationships
Aside from helping couples to establish a healthy relationship and teaching them some helpful strategies to effectively handle stress, couples counseling is also ideal for both young and mature people. This is beneficial for people whose relationship is currently on the rocks, as they’ll be given enough time to reevaluate their decisions and look at them from a new perspective.
For example, this kind of counseling allows people to consider whether they should stay in an already toxic relationship or get out of it. It will also make couples ponder upon possible alternatives of reconciliation and consider starting over again. Besides, your relationship should be self-fulfilling and worth living for, not a cage that will impede you from becoming the person that you ought to be.
Apart from this, relationship counseling is a useful tool to address relationship anxiety, marital disputes, domestic violence, depression, individual psychological issues, parent-children conflict, and toxic relationships. Other benefits of couples therapy include:
- Emphasizes Individual Identity
Being in a relationship doesn’t mean you’ll lose who you are before you decide to commit to another person. You are your person, and being in a relationship with someone shouldn’t result in losing yourself just to make them feel like you belong with them. In this aspect, relationship therapy makes couples recognize and understand individual identity while in a relationship. It aims to help develop a nurturing relationship for each couple, which can also serve as a motivational factor to improve themselves and preserve individuality.
Moreover, couples therapy helps couples identify and accept differences brought about by various external factors which are potential reasons behind conflicts and disputes. This makes couples welcome conflicting values and distinctions for a more meaningful relationship. Besides, relationships aren’t built just by a couple’s similarities but also through identifying individual identities and learning to live with them.
Hence, the acceptance of one’s differences despite conflicting values is crucial in establishing a healthy and self-fulfilling relationship. Also, couples counseling identifies factors, such as physical and emotional needs, values, ideals, and beliefs which are primarily essential in determining individual identity.
- Improves Openness And Honesty
Even the best and seemingly strongest relationships fail with the lack of proper communication and emotional openness. Particularly, expressing emotions to your partner should come naturally in a relationship, be it negative or positive. Opening yourself up to your loved ones and allowing them to see your strengths and vulnerabilities helps develop trust and honesty between the two.
In couples counseling, couples who are still reluctant and reserved are advised to gradually open up to their partners and understand the person they’re committed to. Honesty and fidelity are just some of the few things that build trust in a relationship, and this kind of therapy assists couples in learning some strategies on openly and sincerely communicating with their partners.
Consequently, engaging in relationship counseling helps couples to properly express their emotions and thoughts and become receptive to their partner’s emotions. Complete emotional openness helps couples address each other’s emotional needs and cater to them better.
- Helps With Familiarity And Intimacy
Couples counseling serves as a medium for building familiarity between couples and improving intimacy in a relationship. In particular, this therapy makes people become each other’s motivator to be better, establish companionship, and support one another in achieving goals and aspirations.
Familiarity is crucial in strengthening relationships and bridging gaps between couples. For example, a little or lack of it might make couples feel like strangers to each other. Also, too much familiarity in a relationship results in complacency between partners. Hence, there should be a balance in building familiarity between couples and making them feel like they’re still the same persons that they fell in love with.
Aside from helping couples obtain the right balance for familiarity, couples therapy makes them find comfort in each other’s presence. Most relationships fail because the person doesn’t feel comfortable with their partner. In this aspect, relationship therapy makes couples initiate open communication to talk about issues and lose some reservation, thus, improve the relationship in the long run.
- Stimulates Gratitude And Appreciation
One of the benefits of participating in relationship therapy is that it helps people make thoughtful decisions about handling the relationship better and appreciating their partners more. Most relationships, even the strongest ones fail because the other person felt like they’re being taken for granted and their efforts are turning futile. To help reduce the possibility of future conflicts because of this reason, most couples seek relationship counseling to recognize their partner’s worth better.
Also, couples therapy is beneficial for couples who are having a hard time showing their gratitude. A little or lack of appreciation and neglect can cause severe conflicts between partners and are one of the main reasons behind misunderstandings which sometimes lead to a breakup.
The saying that making relationships work isn’t easy is indeed true, which is why relationship counseling has been a helpful tool in making couples know how to become more appreciative of their partner’s efforts in the relationship.
- Resolves Conflicts And Misunderstandings
The saying that it’s always better to prevent something from worsening than making amends to it is still applicable in relationships. Little misunderstandings and disagreements can accumulate and turn into a major problem. Hence, engaging in couples therapy is essential in resolving potential conflicts even before everything gets out of hand.
Thus, this kind of therapy helps in addressing problems even before they substantially affect the relationship. For instance, being able to predict your partner’s mood and reactions significantly helps in stopping yourself from unintentionally hurting them. Moreover, relationship therapy lets couples know more about each other better to prevent conflicts from occurring.
Similarly, this action requires openness, acceptance, honesty, and proper communication between couples to effectively establish a healthy relationship that’s both fulfilling and nurturing.
- Helps Achieve A Healthy Well-Being
There’s no high mountain or vast ocean that can impede a relationship from blossoming, especially with a couples’ collective effort and hard work to make everything happen. In connection to this, seeking professional help and engaging in relationship counseling helps in establishing healthier relationships and managing stress which is essential for achieving improved well-being.
Also, couples therapy is essential in building stronger bonds with your loved ones and making them feel your devotion and commitment. Being in an unhealthy relationship can be mentally and emotionally straining, which might also lead to serious physical and mental issues. Hence, it’s better to always keep stress levels low as much as possible.
In this aspect, couples therapy is crucial in achieving healthy well-being and good mental health condition as this also teaches couples some strategies to properly handle and deal with stressors. This is likewise essential for self-fulfillment.
- Restores The Spark
The adage that claims love is more fulfilling and sweeter the second time around has always been applicable in most relationships. As long as you feel a deep emotional connection towards a person and you want to cultivate that connection with them, any idea of parting ways should be out of the question. Similarly, most relationships have been improved after engaging in relationship therapy and consulting professional help.
This alternative has always been a helpful tool to improve the quality of relationships and make them healthier and stronger. Also, couples who undergo couples counseling proved to be more mature in holding relationships and are effective partners to their loved ones.
Counseling and therapy aren’t just for problematic relationships. This is also for troubled individuals who are having a hard time dealing with their problems properly. While couples therapy has long been associated with addressing relationship conflicts, this is also used to resolve various issues, such as parenting frustrations, domestic violence, financial discord, lack of affection, infidelity, and emotional issue.
This is also essential in resolving relationship conflicts and preventing them from occurring. it’s advisable for couples to learn the benefits of couples counseling on their relationship, as well as in achieving individual development.
Regardless of the type of therapy you choose to participate in, it’s best to determine if you’re in a relationship that’s worth saving. After all, the type of relationships worth keeping and fighting for are those that will motivate you to live meaningfully.