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Having a romantic relationship isn’t easy. To keep them running smoothly, they require regular maintenance. In order to avoid further complications, it’s best to get a problem fixed right away.

Some of the basic maintenance and repairs can be done by ourselves. The relationship may benefit from behavioral Couples therapy and the assistance of a licensed professional in other cases. Relationship counseling of this type focuses on improving relationship satisfaction and conflict resolution. Ultimately, a counselor’s goal is to help build healthy relationships and resolve any issues that may arise. 

Couples Therapy: What Is It?

Couples therapy is a type of psychotherapy in which a licensed therapist with clinical experience working with couples, most often a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT), uses a variety of therapeutic interventions to help couples gain insight into their relationship, resolve conflict, and improve their relationship satisfaction. In general, behavioral couples’ therapy involves the following elements, regardless of the therapist’s theoretical orientation:

  1. The focus is on a specific problem (such as sexual difficulties, Internet addiction, intimacy, jealousy, etc.)
  2. Rather than treating each individual separately, the therapist actively participates in treating the relationship itself.
  3. Early intervention that is solution-focused and change-oriented.
  4. The treatment objectives should be clearly defined.

According to research conducted by the American Association of Marriage and Family, over 97% of surveyed couples received the help they needed through couples therapy. Furthermore, 93% of couples said therapy improved their conflict resolution skills.

Couples Therapy: What to Expect

Are you unsure of what to expect during each couple’s therapy session? In the first session, couples are typically interviewed about their relationship history and their family-of-origin, values, and cultural backgrounds. During the initial sessions, the therapist or marriage counselor may also use crisis intervention techniques.

In the next step, the couple’s therapist will identify the issue that will be the focus of treatment, establish treatment goals, and plan a treatment structure for each counseling session.

A therapist will guide both partners to understand their roles in the dysfunctional interactions during treatment by gaining insight into the relational dynamics that are causing the problem. As a result of this greater understanding of relationship issues and distress, they will be able to change how they view each other and the relationship.

Couples therapy is not only about gaining insight, but also about changing behaviors. Therapists often assign couples homework to help them apply what they have learned in therapy in their daily lives.

Typically, couples leave therapy with a better understanding of their relationship patterns and with the necessary skills to communicate effectively and solve problems.

Couples Therapy: Who Should Consider It?

Any kind of relationship can benefit from couples therapy, including:

  • Relationships between straight and gay people
  • Relationships between races
  • Relationships between young teens or college students
  • Age-difficult relationships
  • Relationships at any stage, including dating, engagement, and marriage

Recently engaged couples may find premarital counseling to be an invaluable opportunity to address relationship expectations before they get married. Another couple who have been together 25 years might find marriage counseling helpful in reviving their romance and excitement.

Whether a couple is experiencing a period of transition or increased stress, couples therapy can resolve a current problem, prevent an exacerbation of problems, or simply serve as a “check-up.” Topics of concern in couple’s therapy include money, parenting, sex, infidelity, in-laws, chronic health problems, infertility, gambling, substance abuse, emotional distance, and frequent conflict. Couples who are navigating LGBTQIA+-related issues in their relationship may also benefit from online LGBTQ therapy. 

Can I get a divorce or should I go to counseling?

Couples counseling can save your marriage if it’s in trouble. Getting a divorce isn’t the only option if your relationship is shaky. A couples counseling session is essential if you want to stay married to your counseling, also known as marriage counseling, could be what your relationship needs to heal old wounds and start fresh. It is possible to restore the foundation of the marriage through counseling and clarify whether divorce is the best course of action.

Is there a reason why couples delay seeking therapy?

It is unfortunate that many couples attempt therapy after significant damage has already been done to their relationship. Due to unresolved past conflicts, maladaptive relationship patterns have already taken hold, the emotional bond between partners has been severely weakened and there is a high level of resentment among partners. There is no end to the list.

The average couple seeks couples counseling six years after they become unhappy.

However, couples therapy can still be effective in resolving such long-standing issues. Both partners will have to commit a great deal of time and effort to this more challenging undertaking.

In addition, couples may fail to seek help early on due to misperceptions about what couples therapy is and its purpose. Often, couples therapy is thought of as a treatment for serious issues affecting a relationship, such as infidelity or addiction. The attempt may be viewed by others as a last-ditch effort before the relationship is ended.

Many people think of couple’s therapy as a means of forcing their partner to change because they are “the problem.” However, couples therapy has many benefits in treating a variety of relational problems. They don’t realize how important it is for improving overall relationship satisfaction to improve individual mental health.

What is the difference between online couples’ therapy and traditional couple’s therapy?

Expert therapy aims to reduce the stigma of couples counseling and make couples therapy more accessible and affordable in addition to revolutionizing the way therapists practice couples therapy.

The benefits of online couple’s therapy over traditional face-to-face couple’s therapy are numerous. With the ability to share as much as one wants, without interruption, there is much more opportunity for communication. In therapy, partners communicate more effectively and appropriately when they are able to process their own thoughts before texting and sharing them.

Rather than only focusing on what they want to say, the format allows each partner the time and space to process their partner’s response. In addition, some individuals find that writing allows them to express themselves more honestly and openly. Expert Therapy couples therapists have also found this format allows for much more productive conversations, which results in much quicker progress in treatment.

Couples therapy online is also ideal for couples who frequently travel or have very different schedules and cannot coordinate a time to attend couples’ therapy sessions together. Furthermore, couples with children who find it difficult to find childcare can greatly benefit from Expert Therapy’s accessibility.

Many health insurance plans do not cover in-person couple’s therapy, and even a few sessions can be quite expensive for many families. A much more affordable alternative to couples’ therapy is Expert Therapy’s online couples’ therapy.