Thanks to pop culture, couples therapy is often misunderstood. We’re led to view it as the last stop before a break-up, and we believe it’s only reserved for couples in crisis. However, this is not even close to the truth. Many couples connect with a therapist as soon as they sense a problem brewing. That’s the power of couples therapy. It’s there for you long before you’ve hit that scary point of no return.
So put aside your preconceptions, take a closer look at this relationship-saving approach.
What is Couples Therapy?
Couples therapy is a form of psychotherapy but it’s not one-on-one. Instead, you and your partner meet with a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist to tackle your relationship issues together. These problems could include something very specific to your connection, or the issue could be more general. Couples therapy is adaptable and evolving, and it serves many purposes and, again, is not something you grasp for when all else has failed.
Regardless of the reason, your therapist will work with you to set treatment goals as a couple. They are not there to give each of you individual therapy at the same time. It’s your relationship that is getting treated— and the odds are very much in your favor.
Recent research found that 97 percent of couples reported getting the help they needed in counseling. Meanwhile, 93 percent felt couples therapy provided them with the kind of tools they need to deal with conflict.
When to Go to Couples Therapy
Before Getting Married, Moving in Together, or “Getting Serious”
This is most commonly called “premarital” counseling but, obviously, it’s not just for those who plan to walk down the aisle. The idea here is to prevent issues before they can simmer and cause trouble. Three common, general areas of discussion during premarital therapy are:
- Setting realistic expectations
- Conflict resolution
- Healthy communication
Just remember, prevention isn’t just for new couples. At any point in your relationship, you may be facing a major change. It helps to prepare in advance.
Before It’s Too Late
Less than one-third of couples try premarital counseling. In fact, less than one-fifth of couples overall try any kind of couples therapy during their relationship. Only 37 percent of divorced couples tried counseling before splitting. On average, a couple will wait six years before reaching out for help.
The takeaway? Since every single relationship will undergo a rough patch or three, look past your fear of couples therapy and ask for help.
If Any of This Sounds Familiar
- Communication has reached the point of texting and passive-aggressive behaviors
- Feeling detached, lonely, and unsupported
- A loss of sexual intimacy
- Strong disagreements in areas like child-rearing, dealing with in-laws, social life, screen time, finances, household chores, etc.
- Addictions to things like porn or alcohol
- Trust and commitment issues
These are just common reasons why couples go to therapy, but to be clear, it can help at any point in your relationship.
Learn More About Couples Therapy
Couples therapy is an open process that’s tailored to each couple. If you want to learn more about the process, we invite you to reach out to us and schedule a free consultation. This will be a great opportunity to ask questions, get to know your therapist, and see what it feels like for you and your partner to talk to a counselor together.
Let’s connect, talk, and explore!