What is Couples Therapy?

Also known as marriage counseling, couples therapy is a form of psychotherapy that aims at helping couples recognize and resolve their conflicts to improve their relationships. However, couples can choose either to rebuild their relationship afterwards or go their separate ways.

When Couples Therapy is Necessary

Couples therapy is used for helping couples in intimate relationships, be they heterosexual, homosexual, married or not. While some use it to strengthen their bonds, others undergo it before getting married, allowing them to deeply understand one another and iron out their differences.

However, the most common cause of seeking this form of therapy is improving a troubled relationship. This can be because of a number of issues, including lack of communication, sexual difficulties, conflicts due to children or blended families, substance abuse, anger, infidelity, and finances.

Marriage counseling can also be required in domestic abuse cases. If the level of violence in a relationship escalates to the point where one person may become afraid, a therapist may help sometimes. However, it is always best to contact the police or a crisis center for support in such cases.

How the Therapy is Carried Out

Couple therapy helps the two parts of the couple improve their attitude towards each other through identifying the problem areas in their relationship. Since the therapist is a third party and a qualified, neutral person, he or she will be able to better identify the relationship issues between the couple and communicate this to them in an effective manner.

As the prime focus of the therapy is to rebuild the relationship between two people, blame will not be in question.  Instead, the therapist will attempt to restore communication between the couple and help them communicate openly and positively with each other.  As a result, they can identify, minimize or eliminate the barriers leading to the breakdown of communication. This also helps them to speak to each other in a positive, understanding and supportive way and do away with ridicule, abuse and hatred. This, in turn, enables them to be better listeners.

Before enrolling in a couple’s therapy, it is important that couples realize that therapy should not be the last resort. Therapists themselves tell their patients not to wait until relations between both individuals have worsened or have reached a point of no return. Therefore, couples having difficulties should consider therapy at an earlier stage to quickly identify their problems and find a solution.