Couples seek therapy for challenges they no longer believe they can solve on their own. Although there are thousands of different variations of relationship problems that need to be resolved, there are common themes that appear a couple decides to seek relationship therapy.
While couple’s counseling requires kindness, effort, and work (instead of wishful thinking), it is possible to work through impasse or constant arguments with the guidance of an experienced couple’s therapist.
3 Solvable Themes in Couples Therapy
1. Differing Viewpoints for the Relationship Problem(s)
Couples come to therapy with strong beliefs and differing personal appraisals of how events unfold in their relationship, which create problems. Rigid thinking, blaming, needing to be right, and communication breakdown further divides your ability to see the relationship's strengths and use solution building skills.
By helping clients find new ways of viewing their “relationship experience,” couples can change the way they exclusively focus on each other’s differences and deficits and then focus on alternative ways of looking at the problem that sits between them. There are two sides to every story and learning how to listen to an alternative version of "your story" is a great place to start the therapy process.
2. Excessive Negativity During Verbal & Non-Verbal Exchanges
Most people are never really trained on the art of resolving a conflict. Most of us learn about conflict, conflict resolution, and conflict management by watching other adults as we were growing up.
That being said, colliding patterns of learned conflict resolution skills arise within close relationships. Some people find it more familiar to confront, while others find it more familiar to retreat. Either way, conflict avoidance creates relationship disconnection because differing opinions and beliefs need to be understood so conflict can be resolved.
Learning how to calmly self-disclose through a disagreement, without going into negative emotional overload, can lead to a healthier way of relating thus creating a shared goal of conflict resolution.
3. Ineffective Communication Patterns
I have saved the biggest challenge for last. This is the number one reason for couples therapy. Communication breakdown is both immediately damaging and long-term destructive. Hidden emotions begin to take center stage resulting in negative interactions and the feeling of not being heard or understood by either partner when communicating.
Creating an environment for healthy communication within your relationship is absolutely essential to long-term success and happiness. This can be accomplished with a shared effort to increase your understanding of what other is actually saying and not what you are assuming is being said because of your frequent negative patterns of relating. Inferring diminishes your ability to listen, communicate effectively, and resolve your relationship challenges. How many hours, weeks, or months of wasted energy have you spent on ineffective communication?
Are you facing a time in your relationship where having some additional support would be beneficial? Couples therapy can help you work through common relationship problems. I will be happy to create an effective therapy plan to meet your needs.