Whether what is needed is fine-tuning or a major relationship overhaul, couples therapy can help partners work together to improve communication, resolve painful family issues and maintain a well-functioning, satisfying partnership.
Often a crisis or life transition (birth of a child, loss of a loved one, empty nest, career change, retirement) provides momentum for taking a good look at a relationship that has grown ‘tired’ with the passing of time, or may highlight ongoing conflict that suddenly feels unbearable. It is then clear that old solutions are no longer effective in resolving current problems and issues.
Working with your partner in couples therapy can be helpful when the strains of daily living and life transitions cause wear and tear on your relationship. This is especially so when communication problems mount, making it difficult to see one another’s perspective or to find ways of solving problems effectively together. Couples therapy provides a forum for learning new ways of communicating, and for clarifying each partners needs and how they may be more readily met.
Common Questions about Couples Therapy
How do I choose between couples therapy, couples counseling and marriage counseling?
Basically, these terms are used interchangeably. Whether one calls herself a couples therapist, a marital therapist or a couples counselor is less important than getting a therapist that you feel comfortable with and who has solid credentials.
What kind of credentials are relevant?
A license in the therapist’s professional discipline as well as considerable expertise working with couples. This might be reflected by training and supervising others who do couples therapy, as well as by writing and lecturing about couples therapy.
How does couples counseling help with parenting issues?
Couples counseling provides a safe forum where partners can talk openly about their concerns and differences, learn to appreciate the other’s perspective, and present a more united front with the kids.
If my partner and I are getting cold feet as we think about moving in together, does that mean our relationship is in trouble?
Ambivalence is not uncommon as couples face various transitions in their relationship — including moving in together or planning to marry. Couples therapy, at these critical junctures, in the form of prenuptial counseling can make a huge difference in helping you to solidify your relationship and move ahead.