Love is usually the first step in a marriage, but research shows that almost half of all married couples will seek couples counselling at some point during their relationship. This demonstrates that while a relationship may start with love, it can also involve issues that require professional help to overcome.
Couples counselling allows couples to learn new skills and tools that can help them better understand and communicate with each other. It can be beneficial for couples with trouble communicating effectively, unresolved issues, or feeling like their relationship is stuck in a rut. By attending couples counselling, couples can learn how to express their feelings better, listen to each other, and create solutions to their problems. Ultimately, couples therapy can help couples build strong, healthy relationships.
Research has shown that couples therapy is highly effective and positively impacts 70 percent of couples who receive it. Seeking professional help can be the key to helping a couple stay together and prevent them from divorcing.
How Couples Counselling Can Help
Couples counselling is a form of therapy that focuses on helping couples through the difficulties in their relationship. This type of counselling is focused on the two people in the relationship and is distinct from other therapy forms in that two people are involved in each session.
It aims to understand each other better, identify and deal with any issues that arise, and resolve their conflicts more healthily. The therapist’s role is to provide a safe and supportive environment for the couple to express their thoughts and feelings and help them learn how to communicate and work together effectively.
Couples counselling is designed to help couples gain insight into their dynamics and learn how to work through issues together. It can equip them with the skills to handle disagreements better, allowing them to communicate with more empathy and less fear. The goal is to ultimately better their relationship by giving them the tools to manage conflicts and find a resolution.
Rather than waiting until your relationship is in trouble, consider couples counselling even when things are going well. It can help couples to deepen their connection further and create a more solid foundation for their relationship. Counselling is a great way to work on issues healthily and positively and build a stronger bond between partners.
Therapy Methods Used in Couples Counselling
Therapists employ various approaches and techniques when helping couples work through issues. Each method has unique strategies to assist couple’s in understanding and addressing their particular challenges. These approaches include cognitive-behavioural therapy, the Gottman method, emotionally focused therapy (EFT), solution-focused therapy (SFT), and positive psychology therapy.
Here’s a more detailed look into how each technique works:
Couples counsellors that use a cognitive behavioural approach attempt to assist couples in changing how they think and react to each other, with the ultimate goal of improving the relationship. They work with couples on identifying and managing negative thoughts, attitudes, and beliefs that can lead to conflict.
The therapist also helps the couple to recognize when their thoughts and behaviours are causing problems and to understand their partner’s thoughts and feelings better. The ultimate goal is to help the couple move away from reactive behaviours and replace them with more constructive ones that can lead to a stronger relationship.
The Gottman Method
The Gottman Method is based on research by Dr. John Gottman and Dr. Julie Schwartz Gottman. This research looks at the behaviours that cause relationships to break down, such as criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling/withdrawal. The method teaches couples how to recognize and address these behaviours to create a stronger, healthier relationship.
Emotionally focused therapy is a type of therapy that focuses on the emotions of two people in a relationship. It helps them understand and regulate their emotions better, which in turn helps to build trust and strengthen their bond.
Solution-Focused Therapy focuses on finding solutions to problems rather than dwelling on the past. This method aims to help couples identify and utilize their strengths and resources to create positive change in their relationship.
Positive psychology in couples counselling is aimed at helping people focus on positive traits and behaviours, such as optimism and happiness. It uses factors that contribute to the couples’ meaningful and fulfilling life, helping them build and maintain a strong, healthy relationship.
With these five approaches, remember that what is essential is not the specific type of therapy used but rather whether the counselling approach and the therapist are suited to the couple’s needs. It may take more than one session to determine if the counselling is useful. If it is not helpful or the couple does not feel comfortable with the therapist, it may be necessary to find a different therapist.
Who Should Consider Couples Counselling?
Couples counselling may be beneficial if you and your partner have attempted to address and find solutions to your issues without success. If you are uncertain if you could benefit from this type of therapy, discussing it further with a professional may be helpful.
Generally, couples counselling is good for couples who:
- Have poor communication and don’t agree on anything
- Constantly fight or bicker
- Cannot solve problems together or have unequal decision making
- Have trust issues
- Feel a lack of emotional or physical connection
- Experience sexual issues or a lack of sex
- Have lifestyle or life-goal disagreements
- Reeling from one partner or engaging in infidelity
- Experience more difficult days than peaceful and joyful days together
Most couples wait until their relationship is difficult before seeking help from a couples counsellor. Fortunately, this usually happens before the damage becomes too severe, and counselling can still be beneficial.
If your relationship is stuck in a rut, consider couples counselling. After all, most couples seek help within two years of the start of their difficulties. This means there is still a good chance to solve the issues and improve the relationship. Couples counselling can help both partners develop individually and together to create a stronger, more fulfilling bond.
How to Ask Your Partner to go to Therapy
Most men believe their partner would be willing to attend couples therapy, while a smaller percentage of women think so. Nevertheless, many people who have never experienced couples counselling said they would be willing to try it.
If you’re unsure how to discuss relationship health with your partner, you can do it in a way that won’t make either of you feel attacked. Express your wish to learn more about what you can do to strengthen your relationship. Tell them you both still care deeply for one another and believe it would be beneficial to seek help from an external source.
Just like professional athletes and business people have coaches and resources to help them achieve their goals, you and your partner don’t have to go through life’s hardships alone. Getting couples counselling can help.
Couples counselling can be a beneficial tool for couples experiencing difficulties in their relationship. It helps create a safe space for open communication and understanding between partners, allowing them to express their feelings and needs better. Couples counselling also provides couples with valuable skills to help them manage conflicts and move towards a more positive future.
By allowing couples to work through their issues in a non-threatening environment, with the guidance of a professional counsellor, couples can develop healthier communication patterns and reconnect with one another.
We can help with the following, but not limited to, issues:
- Communication Issues
- Polyamorous Relationships
- Intimacy Issues
- New Parents
- Blended Families
- Parent-Teen Conflict
- Managing Family Dynamics
- Managing In-Laws
- Alcohol/Substance Use
- Problematic Gambling and/or Video Gaming
- Children Who Witnessed Abuse
- Separation Anxiety
- Physical, Emotional, and Sexual Abuse
Relationships can be hard, marriages can be difficult, and families can be filled with conflict. Anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is trying to sell you snake oil. Each system you are part of requires you to have strong communication skills, be empathic, and demonstrate a high level of understanding.
But it’s not always easy to do that. You have your stress, concerns, fears, anxieties, mental health issues, and so many more variables that it’s impossible always to be caring and compassionate. That’s understandable. However, when these aspects continue for a long period, it tends to fracture a family system or destroy a relationship. At MindRight Counselling & Consulting, our counsellors are trained in various approaches to family & couples counselling to assist your needs.
How Couples Counselling Can Help Your Relationships
Couples counselling can be extremely beneficial for couples who are struggling with communication or other relationship issues. It can help them learn new skills and ways of communicating with each other and provide a space to talk about any problems they may be having.
If you have relationship issues and want to know the in-depth advantages of couples counselling, look no further than our examples below.
It Clarifies and Defines Feelings About Your Relationship
Dating and marriage can be tricky. Sometimes it’s hard to figure out what you want, let alone what your partner wants. Counselling can help you talk through your feelings and thoughts and figure out what’s best for you as a couple.
It Resolves Marriage and Dating Issues Before They Get Worse
In any relationship, it’s normal to have disagreements and arguments from time to time. However, it’s essential to work through these disagreements respectfully. It can be difficult for some people to communicate their needs and wants, making it even harder to resolve.
Relationship counselling is a way for couples to discuss their problems and disagreements in a safe and constructive environment. Couples can strengthen their relationship by working through their issues together and learning to communicate better.
It Establishes More Intimacy and Deeper Connections
It can feel just as bad to feel like your partner never talks or never makes any effort to connect as it does to feel like they never listen. In the early stages of dating, when the sparks are flying, it’s easy to feel the excitement, but as things move forward to living together and marriage, it may feel like the passion has gone out of the relationship.
Couples counselling can help reignite the passion in your relationship by showing that you’re both committed to improving things. Working on your communication and understanding of one another will help create a stronger bond, making it easier to move forward together.
It Can Promote Individual Growth and Awareness
Couples counselling can help improve your self-image and personal growth, even if your marriage or relationship is strong. By learning to enjoy a better sense of self, you can bring the best version of yourself to your partner, which is a win-win for any pair.
It Improves Trust and Confidence
When you have a strong connection with your partner and you know they want what’s best for you, it’s much easier to trust them. This trust leads to confidence and happiness, which are reflected in your lifestyle and behaviour. If you’re struggling to maintain a trusting relationship, counselling can help you focus on that trust and turn it into something positive.
It Establishes a Happier Life
After an excellent counselling session, being in sync with your partner is like escaping to a sunny island in winter. You feel relaxed, refreshed, and ready to face anything. This positive feeling will carry over into the rest of your life, making you feel more connected, capable, and less stressed.
Indeed, couples counselling can provide many benefits for couples who are struggling in their relationship. It can help them to communicate more effectively, to understand each other better, and to resolve conflict more constructively. It can also help couples develop a stronger connection and intimacy.
Couples Counselling in Richmond, Burnaby and Vancouver BC
If you are having difficulty in your relationship, couples counselling may be a helpful step for you to take. If you are looking for an institution that provides couples counselling in Vancouver, look no further than our services here at MindRight Counselling & Consulting. We provide therapy, counselling, and psychoeducation to assist our clients around the lower mainland in Richmond, Burnaby, and Vancouver, BC. Call us today to book your very first couples counselling session with us!