Couples are often apprehensive about going for therapy together. This is usually due to fear; for example, the fear that something said during the session can upset their partner. Others are afraid that the counselor may not give their viewpoint as much weight.
Despite these fears, studies show that couple counseling is beneficial and helps 7 out of 10 couples get out of difficult times in their marriage. While one-on-one therapy can be beneficial, this type of therapy is better for couples in the following ways.
Improved Communication The level of conflict in a relationship can reach a level that completely stifles communication. We are often incapable of seeing things objectively. Some may see their partner’s problem and fail to see how they contribute to the situation.
Couple counseling involves developing a therapeutic relationship that facilitates communication and helps couples realize the objectives of seeking therapeutic intervention. Couples are given equal time to talk with the therapist as they try to resolve their problems.
Many couples end up leaving these sessions feeling like something has been lifted off their chest. Additionally, the sessions renew their sense of cooperation as they work with the therapist to overcome their challenges.
Make Renewed Commitment A trained, professional and experienced therapist can have a restorative effect on the couple’s relationship. Therapists engage couples and direct them towards solving issues together. In between sessions, couples are given homework to do which is then evaluated.
After therapy couples will be starting on a new slate. The underlying conflict threatening their union is resolved. Couples will also have learned how to talk and resolve their problems using tools and from assignments they were exposed to during therapy.
There are times when a relationship cannot be resolved through couple counseling. This may be due to the fact that one of the partners is not willing to continue with the relationship, or is not willing to go for counseling. Couple counseling can, however, give them the opportunity to state their reasons for separation as they move forward.
Shawna Crabill LMFT, Charleston, SC