Most people know about couples therapy but not much about its principles. What is the concept of couples therapy? And when can you say that couples therapy is effective? Learn more about principles concerning effective couples therapy by reading this article.
Understanding The Importance In Seeking Couples Treatment
If you and your loved one are experiencing relationship troubles, you may have considered couples therapy. However, with relatively low success rates and the stress of working out problems, many couples feel overwhelmed and discouraged with the idea. This is the reason why psychiatrists and therapists have delved more into effective couples therapy.
The problem with couples therapy usually lies in the fact that couples often only seek help when the troubles are already quite deep. “When couples have tried and tried to improve their relationship and nothing has worked, a heap of skepticism about whether couples therapy could possibly work makes sense,” wrote practicing psychologist and Harvard University lecturer Holly Parker, Ph.D. Despite this, however, she says that “..it may ultimately surprise couples with how much it can make a difference.” Hence, it is important that partners learn effective couples therapy and its principles.
Also, the skills needed in effective couples therapy may be entirely different from that of individual therapy. Otherwise, therapy can produce positive and long-term effects. According to the principles of couples therapy, the key is to use different techniques which effectively work for both parties, even with a bit of trial and error involved.
Fundamental Principles That Everyone Needs To know
Couples Therapy Changes Views Of Relationships
During the process, the goal of effective couples therapy is for each couple to look at the relationship objectively, to avoid placing the blame on the other. The therapist or psychiatrist also employs techniques to help them see the union in a particular context. For example, for couples undergoing financial troubles, there are specific ways for each one to effectively adapt until the money issues are resolved. This is what makes couples therapy more effective.
In this case, the therapist would suggest methods for effectively managing finances as a couple. By pointing out the problems, the couple can put aside their pride and learn to work as a team to effectively solve the issues head-on.
Couples Therapy Modifies Dysfunctional Behavior
In effective couples therapy, the therapist also needs to end behaviors that cause physical or emotional distress. Among the principles of couples therapy is that if one partner is physically abusive, he must first be dealt with individually. One way to do this is to put him in a domestic violence shelter for a while. A similar method that is taught in effective couples therapy can be done for a partner suffering from substance abuse or alcoholism. Doing so not only helps the couple’s relationship, it keeps both couples healthy, safe, and in a much better position to solve the couple’s issues. With issues such as these, “[a] good therapist will not judge you, but needs to know everything in order to help you,” clinical psychologist Barbara Markway, Ph.D., says.
Decreases Emotional Avoidance
Therapy would also enforce communication between couples who may have deeply buried and unexpressed feelings. Blake Griffin Edwards, LMFT, wrote, “Couples who do not experience mutuality usually channel feelings of sadness, fear, or shame through self-protective or coercive behaviors that fail to achieve what is needed to move beyond them.” He added, “When such interactions evolve into patterns, couples often experience a loss of trust or a heightening of fear in their relationship, which buries the deeper emotions even further.”
Many couples lose intimacy over time because their everyday issues may have discouraged them from expressing themselves effectively and healthily. The concept of effective couples therapy is to prevent the couple from growing apart because of the emotional distance. This may be difficult because it requires the couple to break old habits, but is often a good stepping stone to resolving other couples’ issues.
That being said, therapy should be able to address all communication problems between couples. The basis of this is that communication is a must to achieve intimacy effectively. Sometimes, physical and emotional abuse might be seen by one partner as the only way to express himself. By introducing more effective and less destructive methods, the couple can start being on the same page again. A therapist can achieve this through simple exercises and provide each one with an outlet to talk without interruption.
Active couples’ therapy would be able to point out the positive qualities of each couple and how they contribute to the quality of the relationship. The idea is to let the couple reaffirm their reasons to keep the relationship going and to equip them for any future problems that they may encounter after the therapy has concluded.
For a relationship to work out, it takes both couples’ effort, time, and perseverance. But despite all these, and the change will still not take place, then the best option is to get professional help. Here is a guide on how to choose your therapist or psychiatrist: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/psychologists/reasons-to-choose-an-online-psychiatrist/.