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What is Couples Therapy?

Couples therapy is often considered to be the most important component of therapy. Many couples do not even realize that they are in therapy. Unfortunately, many couples do not find the help that they need to save their marriage. Couples are often seeking information and help that will help them strengthen their relationship. Sometimes this advice comes from a professional couples therapist or counselor. Other times couples are doing the therapy themselves online. Before couples begin attending couples counseling sessions they should be aware of what couples therapy really is and what they can expect from it.

Couples Therapy

Couples therapy is a specialized form of psychotherapy where a licensed Therapist with clinical expertise working with couples, usually a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist ( LMFT), assists people involved in a relationship gain insight into their relationship and resolve conflict, helping them to improve relationship satisfaction by using a variety of interpersonal skills, tools, and interpersonal skills. As a result, couples experiencing conflict are able to address the underlying causes of the conflict and work on how to identify negative behaviors and develop new ways of relating. A key element of this process is the use of the Relationship Therapy Skills Model (RTMS), which has been developed by the Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AMFT). This model is designed to help clients understand and utilize relationship-based communication skills in order to build and strengthen their relationships.

How does couples therapy work?

Couples often come to couples therapy for many reasons: they feel stuck together, unhappy in their relationship, and need assistance building a stronger relationship. The couples therapist uses their professional skill set and personal resources to assist the couple to build a stronger relationship, address challenges, support their individual goals as a couple, and minimize emotional distress for all involved. Here is an overview of how couples therapy works.

One way how does couples therapy work is by asking questions to both partners. The couples therapist is looking to gain an understanding of the feelings and frustrations of both partners. Often times just talking about these feelings can provide insights into why they’re being said, how they are said, and how they impact you and your partner. This information can be used to create healing strategies that will enhance your relationship.

Another way couples therapy works is by providing a safe environment for the couples. A safe environment is one in which both partners are comfortable enough to share their thoughts, fears, and worries without feeling criticized or judged. A safe environment is necessary to allow for growth and improvement in the relationship. The safe environment is often provided during individual sessions with the couples therapist where the safe environment is combined with group discussions focusing on the common issues and concerns which are the focus of the couples therapy.

In many cases, the only reason that both people feel as though they are fighting is because one person is dominating the other. When one person is dominating the other, it can lead to:

  • resentment;
  • anger;
  • depression;
  • anxiety;
  • attacks.

However, couples therapy allows for both people to voice their opinions, to see what their roles are, and to come up with productive solutions for resolving the problem. When one partner is dominant, the other partner is able to make suggestions, listen to the other person’s suggestions, and work together to create a positive outcome.

Couples therapy can also be very helpful when one partner wants out of the relationship. If the relationship has become unhealthy and is no longer making the couple happy, it may be time to end the relationship and move on. With couples therapy, the relationship can be restored and a new beginning made. Couples can work together to find ways to keep the relationship alive and healthy, and to create a positive communication skills for creating a healthy relationship.

What is couples therapy if it does not work?

Unfortunately, there are some couples who continue to go back to couples therapy even though they have found some progress in their relationship. It is possible that the progress is nothing more than a phase or a lapse, and that the relationship will once again need to be worked on. For this reason, it is imperative that each couple work toward achieving progress throughout their relationship.

Final thoughts

Couples therapy can be a combination of both counseling and therapy. Counseling can take the form of individual counseling or group counseling. The counselor in private sessions works with the couple to identify issues that they are struggling with on a personal level, while the therapist in group therapy works with the couple as a group to identify the underlying cause of the conflict. Both types of therapy can lead to finding solutions to the issues that are causing friction within the relationship.

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