Marriage and Relationship Counseling
No marriage is free of conflict. What enables a couple to endure is how they handle that conflict. If troubles arise in an intimate relationship that cannot be resolved on their own, participating in Marriage and Relationship Therapy allows couples a safe environment in which both parties can feel comfortable to identify any current or potential conflicts and learn techniques to resolve issues in a healthy and respectful manner.
The most common problems that inhibit couples from living happy and healthy lives are centered on their ability to have an open and honest conversation about how they feel. Some couples tend to live separate lives, keep secrets, and withdraw sex as a punishment, while others commit adultery.
Psychologists who are trained in Marriage and Relationship Therapy use a combination of behavioral and emotional strategies to help couples re-build their relationship and eventually resolve any conflicts that strain their connection.
Marriage and Relationship Therapy follows a framework that centers upon improving communication. When conflicts arise, couples tend to talk to each other in a way that leaves their partner feeling judged, shamed, disregarded, or insecure. This is considered emotional abuse and causes people to shut down and hold their feelings inside, rather than communicate their emotions. When a couple stops talking altogether it can be difficult for them to get back on track without a therapist facilitating conversation.
While in therapy, couples learn how important it is to use positive language and be an active listener, and how to create a safe environment in which both feel comfortable to share their emotions. Marriage and Relationship Therapy also centers around how important it is to find ways to grow closer to each other by being more open and honest about their expectations and needs, as well as learning how important it is to focus on the moment — not the future or the past.
Before participating in Marriage and Relationship Therapy, couples must accept that the therapist is not responsible for fixing the relationship and both parties must consider the fact they have played a role in creating the current situation. It is also common for therapists to expect their clients to participate in both individual and group sessions when they can reflect on what the relationship means to them as an individual and determine whether they are willing to do the work to find out.
By making the commitment to therapy, couples can either save a relationship or find the strength to go their separate ways in a manner that doesn’t undermine their experiences with each other.