What does couples counseling help with?
Couple relationships are constantly changing and adapting to new environments and situations. Sometimes, these shifts can create difficult patterns in relationships, leading to conflict or disconnection. Couple counseling or therapy can help you and your partner establish healthier patterns and deeper connection. We understand how important your relationship is to you and are committed to collaborating with you and your partner to create a positive, safe, and healthy relationship. We can help you develop communication skills and emotional intelligence. We can also help you learn the skills necessary to manage conflict, navigate the argument-repair process, and weather outside challenges together. Strong couple relationships lead to greater life satisfaction. The following types of therapy can be used with couples:
- Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)– EFT is a research-supported model based on attachment theory. It aims to create safety and a stronger emotional bond in the couple relationship. Using experiential interventions, the therapist will help you restructure your interactions with one another and create greater emotional intimacy in your relationship.
- The Gottman Method – Developed by renowned relationship researchers, John and Julie Gottman, this method is based on the “Sound Relationship House Theory.” The Gottman Method helps couples build admiration for one another, manage conflict in healthy ways, and unite over shared meaning.
- Discernment Counseling– Discernment counseling is a brief therapy method designed to help couples who are on the fence about whether to continue with their relationship. The partners’ commitment to the relationship greatly impacts the success of couple therapy. Some circumstances create confusion, questions, and ambivalence that can make it difficult to reach a decision and commitment. A therapist can help at this point too.
- Sex Therapy – Sex is a critical part of the couple relationship. Your sexual dynamic likely reflects your overall relationship dynamic, and vice versa. Because these are so closely intertwined, it is normal to experience some sexual dysfunction or dissatisfaction when you are struggling in your relationship or for unexplained sexual dysfunction to put a strain on an otherwise healthy relationship. Our therapists are trained to help you talk and think through the challenges impacting your sexual connectedness.
- Various other therapies – Depending on the situation, it may be appropriate for the therapist to integrate other types of therapy into treatment. For example, in the case of infidelity, a therapist might use EMDR or Accelerated Resolution therapy to address betrayal trauma. In cases involving other personal circumstances, they may use models such as CBT to improve personal coping skills and thereby improve the relationship.
Our therapists at Lakewood Family Therapy are highly qualified in the integration of various models as necessary to best suit your needs and your partner’s needs.
What is couples counseling like?
Couple therapy differs from individual therapy in that the therapist focuses on what happens between you just as much as what happens inside of each of you. Couple therapy works best when both partners are engaged in the conversation. The therapist will ask you about your relationship history, your conflict, issues you face individually and together, and what your day-to-day interactions are like. They will walk you through new ways of expressing yourself and connecting with one another. Therapists often assign homework so that you and your partner can continue to work on your relationship between sessions. We collaborate with our clients to unite over shared goals and help you create a relationship that is truly fulfilling for both of you.