Signs That You and Your Partner Need Couples Counseling 

Couples counseling is a unique sphere that exists within the world of psychotherapy in order to help relationships, partnerships, marriages, co-parenting, and other pairings. As with most of the world of counseling- couples therapy creates a unique environment and holds many of the same stigmas other types of therapy hold. More often than not, people think that they only need couples counseling if their relationship is in very dire straits. However, I have worked with couples that just met and feel a strong connection, those that are freshly married, those who just need a little more support, and others where divorce is imminent. Logically thinking, couples therapy can solve small problems before they become overwhelming and unmanageable. My background stems from Marriage and Family Therapy.  

In this field we approach counseling from a systems perspective. Systems perspective posits that a problem is sustained by a system and not necessarily created by it. If one were to think of a spider web, the problem exists within one weave out of hundreds and the other weaves play a role to hold that problem in place. When the one error in the weave is fixed then the rest of the weaves are improved as well, and vice versa. It also holds true that a person is not a problem and that the problem is in itself the issue to be focused on. This removes pressure from the people involved and they can work together to find solutions.  

 

There is major strain on individuals that are trying to get their partner to go to therapy and they are not interested or open to the idea. Here is a place where motivational interviewing techniques and skills may come in handy. I would suggest sitting down with the partner and discussing your motivations/goals for couples counseling. In turn, explore the other partner’s hesitation surrounding therapy. I find that if a partner can convince the other to attend sessions as a support for them rather than being the sole focus of therapy it makes it a more attractive invitation.  

 

It is important to note that couples counseling may not fix all of your issues and there is a lot of homework to be done by both partners outside of session. We have a common belief in the field that unless someone is ready or open to the idea of change then change is less likely to take place. Couples can attend counseling in order to get help in the process of breaking up or getting a divorce. Counselors are commonly known to help with divorce and fair separation of assets. Hence, couples counseling can appeal to many different issues and types of relationships.  

Important signs that problems are beyond being fixed on your own and couples counseling may be needed are:

 

  1. There is no intimacy anymore in your relationship 
  2. Communication is falling apart or non-existent.  
  3. Resentment 
  4. Lack of Trust 
  5. Dishonesty about Finances 
  6. Addictions issues 
  7. Infidelity  
  8. Life transitions 
  9. Different family backgrounds 
  10. Varied attachment issues  
  11. Mental Health Diagnosis (New or Old) 
  12. Perinatal Issues (miscarriage, trouble conceiving, and different ideas about parenting) 

The solution:

 

No matter what the issues are, most individuals find it tough to be vulnerable and ask for help. It is even more difficult for some individuals to ask their spouse or partner to accompany them to therapy. Marital issues and relationship problems are never easy to admit to. Yet, if the marriage/relationship has a chance to be saved or improved then it is worth giving counseling a chance. Individuals with depression, anxiety, and other mental health issues are less likely to ask for help or even understand that their relational issues are as pervasive as they are. The opposite is also true that they may be too aware of their issues but afraid to bring them up and change the status quo.  

 

Through couples counseling you may realize more about yourself and learn what your true values and priorities are. These may be entirely different from the priorities and values that you had before you entered into the relationship/marriage. There are types of counseling methods that are especially geared toward relational counseling. The most effective two types of couples counseling are Gottman Method and Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy. Ninety percent (90%) of couples who go through EFT significantly improve their relationship and 70-75% of couples no longer fit criteria for relationship distress following treatment. The second most recommended is Gottman Method. The Gottman method is one of the most popular types of therapy for people wanting to increase intimacy using intense, tailored couples therapy according to regain.us.  

 

Here, at Harmony Bay, couples therapy is offered and accepting new clients. It is crucial to note that a counselor should not do both couples and individual counseling for a couple. It is best practice for a counselor to treat couples and then have two separate counselors for the individuals in the relationship. This removes bias and ensures that both parties have their own space to be heard and work through the issues at hand. Do not hesitate to reach out and let us know if you need more info or are interested in couples counseling near you.  

Treatment at Harmony Bay Wellness 

If you are going through mental health struggles that make finding happiness impossible for you to do alone, it’s time to reach out for help. Harmony Bay offers a therapy treatment for depression and anxiety. Our licensed therapists or psychiatrist will create individualized treatment plans to help you work through your mental health struggles. Reach out to Harmony Bay for mental health treatment today. Contact us today at 855.857.6050. 

 

Published on 12/15/2022 | Written by Harmony Bay Therapist, Anna Hernandez, LPC