Conflicts are a natural part of any relationship, but it's essential to learn how to resolve them amicably to maintain a healthy and fulfilling partnership. Couples therapy can be a helpful tool for navigating conflicts and improving communication in a relationship.
Separation is a huge decision that affects many lives, most especially children. In the United States, there were about 2.9 divorces per 1,000 of the population in 2019. You wouldn't want your union to be a part of that statistic.
Below is a guide to conflict resolution through therapy, so read on.
What Is Couples therapy?
Couples therapy, also known as relationship counseling or marriage therapy, focuses on improving communication and resolving conflicts in romantic relationships. It can be used by dating, engaged, or married couples. It can help address many issues, including communication problems, infidelity, and differences in values or goals.
Couples therapy is typically conducted by a trained therapist who uses Emotionally focused therapy (EFT) or the Gottman Method. It can be done in individual sessions with the therapist or joint sessions with both partners. It's often most effective when a couple commits to attending regular sessions and actively working on the issues they’re facing.
When Is The Right Time To Undergo Couple's Therapy?
The right time for couples therapy depends on a couple's specific needs and circumstances. That being said, it can be helpful at any stage of a relationship and especially beneficial when the couple is experiencing problems or conflicts that they’ve been unable to resolve on their own.
Some common reasons couples may choose to undergo therapy include the following:
Ultimately, the right time for couples therapy is when you and your partner feel like you need extra support to resolve conflicts and improve your relationship.
Seek A Qualified Therapist
Think about what you and your partner hope to achieve through therapy and what specific issues you'd like to address. This can help you find a therapist who's well-suited to your needs. You can ask for referrals from your primary care doctor or reach professional organizations for recommendations. There are also extra resources online to help you find the best therapist.
Search for a therapist who has appropriate credentials, such as a license in your state, and has undergone specialized training in couple counseling. It's also important to consider whether the therapist's approach and philosophy align with your needs and goals. Meeting them is also essential to see whether they're a good fit for you and your partner. During this initial consultation, you can ask about their experience, approach, and availability.
Finding the right therapist may take some time, but it's worth the effort to find someone who can support you and your partner in your journey toward a stronger and more fulfilling relationship.
What To Expect Before, During, And After Therapy?
Consider scheduling consultations with a few therapists to find one you feel most comfortable with and trust. Couples therapy is most effective when both partners are committed to attending regular sessions and actively working on the issues they're facing.
Before starting therapy, discussing your goals for therapy with your partner and your therapist can be helpful. This can help you focus on specific areas you'd like to work on and track your progress over time.
During therapy, it's essential to be open and honest. It may involve discussing complex or sensitive topics. Couples therapy is most effective when you practice what you’ve learned in your everyday life, such as trying new communication skills or being more understanding and compassionate towards your partner.
After completing therapy, take some time to reflect on your progress and the changes you've made in your relationship. Even after you have finished your therapy sessions, it's essential to continue to practice the skills you've learned and stay committed to improving your relationship. If you need additional support, consider seeking additional resources or continuing therapy, although less frequently.
What Results To Expect After Undergoing Therapy?
It's important to remember that every couple is unique, and the results of couples therapy will depend on the specific issues being addressed, the level of commitment of each person, and their individual needs and circumstances.
Couples therapy can help improve communication skills and help find healthy ways to express yourselves. It may involve learning new techniques, such as active listening or using ‘I’ statements.
Therapy can provide a safe, neutral space for you and your partner to discuss and work through any conflicts or issues without fear of judgment. It can also help you and your partner learn more about each other and strengthen your emotional connection. As a result, you can deepen your understanding and appreciation of each other, leading to a stronger, more fulfilling relationship.
Couples therapy can be a powerful tool for effectively resolving conflicts and improving communication in a relationship. You can rekindle the love you once had by seeking a qualified therapist and working on fixing your issues together like a team.
Love DiMartino is a marriage coach, author, and consultant helping couples find their footing and establish deep foundations for marriage. Married for 32 years, she is also mentored by enduring, thriving couples. When she's not helping other couples, she spends her free time in the kitchen and working on her cookbook.