Many loving couples deal with a large number of challenges and stresses in the course of their relationship. No lovers can avoid downfalls and quarrels with each other. When disagreement begins to dominate in the relationship of a loving couple and all the positive feelings and emotions fade away, then the partners decide on trying solution focused couple therapy. However, it is better not to neglect the problem and seek help at the first sign of emotional withdrawal and trouble in the relationship. Nine times out of ten, the couple comes to a therapist when their problem has turned into a disabling burden and result in serious problems. Seeking help from a couple psychotherapist is often felt like the last attempt to save the situation in the face of imminent divorce.

what is couple therapy?

It happens that people come to the couple therapist with the desire and hope to change something in their relationship. Also, it can be that one of the partners no longer believes that their relationship can be fixed and agrees to couple therapy to check it. People often have unrealistic expectations that a psychotherapist will listen to them and judge whose fault it is, or that, thanks to their vast experience, the psychotherapist has an algorithm to solve their problem and can give some “wonder-working advice” to clear up the situation. Alas, it happens very rarely. As a rule, things already look so black that the partners are simply no longer able to use the advice that could strengthen their relationship.

What is couple therapy? How does it work? And what to expect in couples therapy?

Reasons to Try Couple Therapy

Couple therapy is an unusual type of psychotherapy that is aimed at preventing problems and “correcting mistakes” in the romantic relationship between a man and a woman. Resorting to its help, people gradually begin to fix and strengthen their relationships. These are the results you can achieve by trying couple therapy.

A better understanding of romantic relationships between a man and a woman.

Awareness that you are a part of a large and close-knit family. You can establish a relationship with “problematic” relatives and restore mutual understanding in your relationships.

Long-awaited harmony in relationships, you begin to understand, respect, and appreciate each other.

There is no fear of a thorough analysis of relationship problems. All the struggles turn out to be manageable, and you are surprised, “Why haven't we done this yet?”

Significant improvement in relationships with your parents. You realize how close you are and what your communication is based on. You have the opportunity to understand how family affects your relationship with a loved one.

A better understanding of the intimate aspect of your relationship. Your sex life improves, and romantic feelings run high again.

If there is a fact of infidelity, then you will analyze all its aspects and learn how to restore confidence. This topic is extremely painful, but you will get nowhere, leaving things as they are.

  • You learn about each stage of the relationship development and understand what awaits you and your loved one in the future.

  • You discover what to do so as not to be made a scapegoat and how not to bless your loved one with such a “gift.”

  • With the help of special couple therapy exercises, you learn to help each other in everything and provide a pillar of support when a partner needs it.

  • You acquire the knowledge that can help you make the future of your couple prosperous and happy.

  • Restoring intimacy in relationships.

You realize with all your heart: family is about the dearest people, who will always be there despite everything.

Couple Therapy Techniques

Couple therapy techniques are a set of psychological techniques and prescriptions with the help of which a qualified psychotherapist makes changes in romantic relationships of a couple to improve and strengthen them. In addition, there are different types of couple therapy that are chosen according to the problem in a relationship.couples therapy techniques

In modern psychological literature, one can find 5 main classification systems of the techniques used in couple and family therapy.

  • Sociometric techniques. They are considered the most popular and frequently used couple therapy techniques due to their versatility. With the help of sociometrics, a therapist can eliminate the shortcomings of a relationship, using the strengths of each partner. It is a kind of emotion-focused couples therapy.

  • Structural interventions. These are psychological techniques with the help of which a therapist “enters” into the life of a couple, becoming its full-fledged member. The specialist enters into the details of relations between partners, doing everything possible to make them happy.

  • Behavioral techniques. With these techniques, a psychologist can get to the root of the problem. They correct the very behavior of partners in relation to each other. This is one of the most effective couples therapy techniques.

  • Techniques based on the use of imagination. These techniques are carried out through art therapy, associative experiments, psychodrama techniques, etc.

  • Paradoxical techniques. Such psychological techniques are quick and effective in dealing with family issues. The problem seems to be solved by itself.

Couple Therapy Questions

As a rule, people do not know what to expect from communication with a couple psychotherapist. So, check out the list of the most common couple therapy questions asked by the psychotherapist to get at the heart of your problem and help you find a way out of this difficult situation.

Tell about the problem without a blame game. When people come to the psychotherapist, they often begin with competing accusations. In the best-case scenario, a couple is able to listen to each other with some interest and anxiety. But the most frequently, recriminations and anger run the show, and the couple counseling can easily turn into a bitter quarrel.

When conflict erupts, do not let negative feelings and thoughts capture your mind. After all, a scandal requires two people, and the behavior of one partner affects the other. Keeping yourself from an angry reaction helps prevent the escalation of the conflict. In the periods of strong tension, it is important to calm down and look at the situation from the outside, not allowing the partner to drag you into the depth of the spiraling conflict. One of the most helpful things you should do to make up a quarrel is to give up on having the last word.

What Is the Most Common Cause of Your Quarrels?

As a rule, quarrels that end with the recognition of one’s own mistakes and mutual concessions are forgotten more quickly and lead to greater understanding between the partners. But practice shows that the essence of a scandal is always the same, the problem is that it occurs hundreds of times. In other words, quarrels have the same scenario, which, like a groundhog day, is reproduced again and again. Therefore, a psychotherapist wants to define this scenario to understand how to help you. As a rule, the cause of the scandals is the same problems typical for each particular couple, the same features and shortcomings of a partner. Understanding that you have become a victim of a vicious circle is the first, but very important step in its breaking.

When partners start asking such questions and thinking about their own contribution to the relationship – these are signs of positive changes and the first steps towards liberation and leaving the vicious circle of quarrels.

Are you ready to transform yourself for the sake of your relationship?

The idea that the whole trouble is in a partner and that they must change themselves – is the fuel that feeds the fire of your conflict. Instead of looking at their internal problems, many people fall into the illusion of finding a solution to their problems in another person.

In reality, the only person you can change is you. If both partners agree with this idea, the real change in relationships becomes more than real. The best solution is to accept all the features, oddities, and shortcomings of each other.

Do you know how to listen to each other?

Listening is an art that requires openness to the uniqueness of each other and tolerance for your differences. If the closest person does not listen to you, you feel one-on-one with your feelings. If a loved one lends you a sympathetic ear, you feel understood and get a sense of liberation.

When you are willing to listen to a partner with a minimum of protection, criticism, or impatience, you give them understanding – and in turn, deserve it to be mutual. After all, listening means showing attention, interest, participation, and care, taking a partner seriously, recognizing, empathizing, and appreciating them. Couples who master the art of listening often realize that they do not need to change each other at all.

What was the relationship between your parents?

Family history, the personal characteristics of your parents and family conflicts have a significant impact on the nature of your relationships. We absorb the habits of our family and unconsciously identify ourselves with our parents. Some people tend to do everything differently in their own romantic relationships, not wanting to be like their parents. But in the end, they discover that it is as difficult as flying a plane without any preparation.ouple therapy exercises

Each person enters into a relationship with their own aspirations and dreams, as well as with old grievances, pain, and fears. People can unconsciously expect their partner to proceed with all the good things that they had in their families and compensate for everything bad. Thus, quarrels begin in the present relationship.

Do you share your intimate feelings and needs with each other?

Emotions perform a variety of functions in a relationship with a loved one. But above all, emotions are an expression of the deepest feelings and needs of a person. Therefore, the psychotherapist tells a couple how important it is to share intimate feelings and needs with each other. Realizing it, partners can overcome emotional withdrawal and restore trust and love in the relationship.

Are you ready to accept the imperfections of your loved one?

The expectation that a partner will transform themselves for the sake of love is one of the most common misconceptions about romantic relationships. You should learn to take each other’s faults and eccentricities in a good sense. It is not so easy, but it helps keep strong and happy relationships for many years. It is one of the best couple therapy tips.

How Much Does a Couple Therapy Cost?

One of the main obstacles for those who want to start couple psychotherapy is money. In many cases, therapy is really expensive. Of course, you can talk about your problems with a loved one or a friend completely for free, but such a conversation does not bring any result. Even if you experience a positive dialogue with a psychologist at a party, it’s still just a conversation. Money changes everything. The payment confirms the seriousness of the intentions of both the client and the specialist.

To help you in solving problems, the psychologist uses techniques and strategies that they have learned during the expensive and long-term education. You pay them for qualifications, experience, and skill. How much does couples therapy cost? The average cost of therapy for couples is approximately $30 - $100 per counseling. The price depends on the frequency of meetings, experience, and reputation of the therapist. It is not easy to make an estimate of the total expenses of the therapy because one problem may hide another one, and then the number of couple counseling increases.

You should know that anyone who wants to undergo couple’s therapy can do this regardless of their income. There are state centers of psychological support for families, where you can receive counseling for free.

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