Many falsely believe relationship counseling is for those who are experiencing serious marital difficulties, or who are just a hair away from divorce. But, in reality, even the most solid relationships can benefit from relationship counseling.
No relationship is perfect—and we would argue that ANY couple would appreciate learning these 5 skills as a result of couples counseling:
1. Improved communication. Sometimes a couple can’t understand each other because their communication styles are so different. Counseling will help them use words that bring about empathy and understanding for each other. Through couples counseling, individuals learn the type of communication their partner needs in order to feel heard and understood—sometimes it’s just subtle tweaks in word choice that can make a world of difference! And since no name-calling, mocking, or ridiculing is tolerated in relationship counseling, it’s a safe space for couples to work through their communication struggles.
2. Improved self-awareness and vulnerability. Some individuals have a hard time figuring out the difference between feelings and thoughts, and therapy seeks to help clients find the correct words to express their feelings. Therapy also helps you feel comfortable opening up to your partner in ways you haven’t before. Showing vulnerability can be scary (in fact, it is to most people) and a good therapist will encourage open communication that allows you show your other side to your partner.
3. Seeing each other as teammates rather than adversaries. By the time a couple makes it to therapy, they’ve often come to see each other as opponents, and hope their therapist will validate their feelings and change their partner’s viewpoint. However, therapy aims instead to close this gap and have both parties realize they’re on the same team, working toward the same goal: long-lasting love.
4. Build trust and strength in the relationship. Sometimes, when the going gets tough in a relationship, we choose to see only the negatives—we become hyper-focused on what we need to work on. However, therapy can highlight the strengths in your relationship and point out what you and your partner do well. You can learn to build upon those strengths and move forward knowing you can always enjoy the positive aspects of your relationship, rather than focus on the negatives.
5. Change problematic behaviors. Effective relationship therapists can transform how partners interact with each other. If there’s domestic or drug abuse, or anger management issues, the therapist will take more drastic steps to ensure no one is at risk or being harmed. Otherwise, a good therapist will encourage and help implement positive interactions between each party through various therapeutic techniques and modalities.
More than anything else, what you’ll learn in couples counseling is that, for the relationship to work best, each partner must realize they can only be responsible for themselves, must have the willingness to confront their own challenges, and work on change within themselves. Each must be willing to make the effort to look within, admit faults and show vulnerabilities. If you are willing to love yourself and your partner throughout the process, the end result will be powerful and positive—no matter what happens.
Are you and your partner struggling to hear and understand each other? You’re not alone…and Creative Counseling Center is here for you! Our counselors help people just like you with a variety of mental health struggles. Whether you’re a couple wanting to reclaim the happiness you once experienced together, or you’re an individual struggling to find gratitude, mourning the loss of a loved one, overcoming past abuse or neglect, or simply managing stress, anxiety or depression, request a free phone consultation today. We’ll listen and learn what’s going on in your life and partner you with the best therapist equipped to support you on your journey to joy and fulfillment.