Couples counselling, also known as couples therapy, is a type of psychotherapy that helps couples deal with conflicts and improve their relationships. It usually involves both partners meeting with a therapist together, although, sometimes individual sessions may be beneficial. If you have never used therapy or counselling services before you might be wondering, 'How does couples counselling work?'.
Couples counselling can be an effective way to improve communication, increase intimacy, and resolve conflict in relationships. In this article, we will explore how couples counselling can help you and your partner address the challenges you are facing in your relationship.
The Process of Couples Counselling
Couples counselling typically involves meeting with a counsellor on a weekly basis to discuss the challenges you are facing in your relationship. Traditionally, counselling services have always been in-person sessions, however, since the pandemic, increased awareness and access to video conferencing have meant that a lot of counselling and therapy sessions are now held online. During the sessions, you and your partner will be encouraged to express your thoughts and feelings openly and honestly. The counsellor will act as a mediator to help you both communicate effectively and resolve conflicts.
Couples counselling can help you and your partner learn new skills for communicating with each other, handling conflict, and expressing your needs. You will also have the opportunity to explore the underlying issues that are causing problems in your relationship. Ultimately, couples counselling can help you strengthen your bond with each other and improve the overall quality of your relationship.
The Five Main Aims of Couples Counselling
Change the views of the relationship
In most cases, both partners have a negative view of the relationship that contributes to the conflicts and problems they are experiencing. Couples counselling can help you and your partner shift your perspective, so you can see the relationship in a more positive light. Often, disagreements are based on blame and resentment, and couples counselling can help you both see the situation from a new perspective.
With a new perspective, you will be able to address the underlying issues that are causing problems in your relationship. You will also be more likely to resolve conflicts and improve communication. Ultimately, changing your views of the relationship can lead to a stronger and healthier relationship.
Change dysfunctional behaviour
This often involves exploring your past experiences and current feelings, which can help you identify patterns of dysfunctional behaviours and understand their underlying causes. With this understanding, you and your partner will be better equipped to replace dysfunctional behaviour with healthy coping strategies that benefit the relationship.
Dysfunctional behaviour can include issues like emotional abuse, physical or sexual violence, or addiction. Couples counselling can help you both identify and overcome these behaviours so that you can create a healthier, more positive relationship.
With the help of a counsellor, you and your partner can work on changing the dysfunctional behaviour that is preventing you from having a healthy and happy relationship.
Decrease emotional avoidance
Emotional avoidance is a common challenge in many relationships. Couples counselling can help you and your partner work through the feelings that you are avoiding, such as anger or sadness. In this way, you will be able to resolve deeper issues that may be negatively impacting your relationship.
Often emotional avoidance may be one-sided, with one partner feeling more able to express their emotions than the other. Couples counselling can help both partners explore their feelings and work through any issues that may be contributing to this imbalance. With a counsellor's support and guidance, you will be able to decrease your emotional avoidance and improve your relationship as a result.
By developing the skills to communicate openly and address conflict head-on, you and your partner will be better equipped to deal with difficult emotions and build a more fulfilling relationship together.
Many couples struggle with poor communication and conflict, which can have a negative impact on their relationship. Couples counselling can help you and your partner improve the way you communicate with each other.
Through the guidance of a counsellor, you and your partner will learn to express yourselves openly, listen actively, and respond without judgement or defensiveness. With these skills, you will be able to resolve conflicts and improve the overall quality of your relationship.
In many cases, couples counselling can help you and your partner identify and capitalise on the strengths that exist in your relationship. This can include building on shared values, identifying important goals or priorities, and exploring new ways to enjoy spending time together.
With the support of a counsellor, you and your partner can work together to promote the positive aspects of your relationship and create a more fulfilling partnership for both of you.
What to Expect from Couples Counselling
If you are considering couples counselling, it is important to understand what to expect from the process. First and foremost, couples counselling is not a quick fix for all of the problems in your relationship. It is a commitment that requires time, effort, and patience.
It is also important to understand that attending counselling sessions does not mean that your counsellor will take sides or offer advice on what you should do. Instead, the focus of couples counselling is on helping you and your partner communicate better so that you can figure out solutions yourselves.
If you are considering couples counselling, remember that it is a process that requires time, effort, and patience. If you are both willing to put in the work, counselling can be an effective way to improve communication, increase intimacy, and resolve conflict in your relationship.
Overall, couples counselling can help you and your partner address conflict effectively, improve communication, and strengthen your bond with each other. If you are struggling in your relationship and want to improve it, consider seeking the guidance of a qualified counsellor today.
Talens Health Support Services is your gateway to access BACP registered counsellors and psychotherapists who can help you and your partner address the challenges you are facing and work towards a more fulfilling relationship. Whether you are struggling to communicate effectively or dealing with emotional avoidance, our experienced therapists can support you on your journey towards a healthier and happier partnership. To learn more about our counselling services, visit us online today.
THIS BLOG DOES NOT PROVIDE MEDICAL ADVICE: The contents of this article are not intended to be a substitute for medical advice from your doctor or therapist. If you have any concerns about your mental health, you should seek professional medical advice from your doctor. Do not delay seeking medical advice, or treatment for your mental health because of the information on this blog.