Each couple brings in a unique set of challenges and experiences that dictate their needs in couples therapy. Your therapist can discuss with you what your needs are and can help you and your partner create goals for couples therapy. Along with those goals that you create with your therapist there are some benefits that just go along with doing couples therapy.
There are no guaranteed outcomes in therapy and your therapist can’t promise resolution to the problem that brought you in. However most people that do go to couples therapy report an increase in relationship satisfaction.
Couples therapy can help you learn the right way to argue so that the problem doesn’t get bigger. This is a huge benefit to couples therapy. This goes way beyond just using I messages when in an argument with your partner. What I tell my couples is that I messages are an art - they go way beyond “I feel angry”. Think about some of the I messages you’ve given in your life. Chances are one or two of them have deteriorated into you statements without you even realizing it. They may have looked something like “I feel angry when YOU forget to clean up after yourself. I am not your mom”. See how that might look like an I statement but after some examination it’s a little more clear how that turned into a you statement. If you’ve done this don’t get upset with yourself - I messages are hard. A trained couples therapist can help you to learn the art of a softened startup which is basically learning nice ways to bring up potentially conflictual topics with your partner. A therapist can also help you learn how to de-escalate an argument that has gone south. Learning the right way to argue now will save you a ton of frustration in the future. Even if you and your partner don’t have any major issues between the two of you now, learning how to argue will save the two of you from having small problems turn into much larger problems.
Couples therapy can also help you to build your friendship. Of course you are friends with your partner, you have this relationship for a reason after all. There is some part of you that does like this person. But as we grow and change so do our partners. Couples therapy helps people to keep the friendship in focus and provides a space and opportunity to learn about some of the ways in which your partner may have changed since the two of you started dating. Friendship is a key component to helping couples get through tougher times in their relationships.
Couples therapy can help you learn how to talk in a way that will help your partner listen. This goes back to what I was saying earlier about the softened start up. If we go into a tough conversation with guns blazing, ready to take down our partner because we are pissed chances are our partner will run the other way and we will be left even more frustrated because not only were we mad about the situation but now we feel unheard. Honestly, who likes that feeling? A trained couples therapist can help you learn how to speak in a way that helps your partner to listen. In return the therapist can help your partner learn active listening skills so that when you do speak, they can really hear what it is you are trying to communicate.
Are you ready to start working on your relationship? Call today to schedule your free 15 minute phone consultation and find out how therapy might be able to help your relationship. (619) 383-1900.