Couples therapy is a beneficial tool that can be utilized by those in a romantic relationship to both better themselves and each other simultaneously. Regardless of a pair’s sexual orientation, stage of their relationship or specific issue, this is a general guiding resource that can prove to be extremely helpful. Unfortunately, decades of traditional standards have stigmatized this type of therapy to indicate a couple is weak, especially on the part of the male This makes the decision to undergo the couples counseling a difficult one for most duos dealing with conflict and miscommunication.
In some cases, a couples untreated troubles may only lead to a break-up, but in another set of outcomes, the conflict may erupt into violence with a host of resulting consequences, from emotional trauma and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to physical trauma or even murder. No matter how big or small, it is important that the issues that impact a closely knit connection are all important to work through in order for a relationship to grow in a healthy, constructive manner.. For those still not familiar with what this type of therapy entails and how effective it has been, a pool of supportive evidence is readily available.
The background for couples therapy
Psychotherapy has been a cornerstone of the mental health treatment world for centuries. Although officially developed as a science in the early 20th century, many pioneering cognitive therapists cite philosophers and physicians of ancient Greece and Rome as the precursors of psychotherapy. It was not until Sigmund Freud made major headway in the field that the pillars of modern psychological treatment were founded. From there, many more theories sprouted and branched off, focusing on distinctive factors and concepts, from behaviorism to couple and family therapies.
Over the years, the various social and developmental connections between people and tackling the issues of communication and interpersonal feedback that are linked to these connections has been large areas of focus. Most of the time, these relationships are within the context of an intimate couple. Couples therapy, also known as relationship therapy and marriage counseling, is specifically designed to identify and address the assortment of difficulties and conflicts that arise within a developing partnership.
The type of analysis used in couples therapy is typically administered by a specialized therapist with a Marriage and Family Therapy (MFT) license. These mental health professionals are required to have the base education of a master’s degree, a period of supervised clinical practice and most go on to receive a doctoral education if one has not been achieved already.
During couples counseling sessions, couples are usually addressed by the therapist in an open and safe environment meaning both partners can systematically air out or confront the issues that directly or indirectly impact the relationship. As romantic relationships can be very intimate and personal, many of these dilemmas can become very heated when brought up. In certain situations, full-blown arguments may happen during a session, which is a completely normal occurrence. However, the overall goal of couples therapy is to strengthen and solidify the factors that keep a pair together and help the couple learn how to work as a team in order to openly communicate what each individual needs in the social contract he or she makes with the other.
Couples therapy is meant to be a short term treatment. Depending on the issue or set of issues that is affecting the relationship, sessions can range from a few weeks to several months or more. Sessions are also specially crafted to equip partners with the tools and strategies needed to continue a balanced give and take dynamic in future situations and should guide the couple through a series of plans and options that suit them best.
When to seek help
There is a list of symptoms that indicate that a couple may require therapy. There may be an inability to talk without arguing or a lack of communication altogether, repetitive arguments about little habits or larger philosophies, an unbalanced dynamic of expression between one another, or simply feeling that a partner should change. It is important to realize that neither member of the relationship can read the other’s thoughts. Only by communicating to one another or a therapist in an open way can mutual behavior modification be possible.
Many more warning signs may also exist, especially if the intimate bond has become abusive in some way. It is important to treat conflict before it escalates into something more intense for both members of the relationship. For more information on therapeutic options and handling domestic-related trauma, please contact Sovereign Health of Arizona online or call 866-598-5661.
Written by Lee Yates, Sovereign Health Group writer
Get the latest news on program developments, behavioral health news and company announcements