Updated: Feb 20
Marriage counseling is hard work. Maybe that is why less than 5% of divorcing couples come to therapy for help. What most don’t realize is that therapy can benefit not only the relationship, but the individual as well.
Listed below are five benefits of couples therapy – see if any of these can help you and your relationship.
1. Learn how to communicate better.
This is perhaps the biggest complaint that couples bring to therapy. This includes feeling misunderstood as well as not heard by your partner. Chances are resolving this issue involves not only communicating the way your partner can hear you, but also knowing your feelings and communicating them in a way that can be understood.
2. Removing barriers and negative cycles that keep your relationship stuck.
Every relationship when under stress tends to have a reliable pattern that repeats itself. Whether the couple is arguing about whose turn it is to do the dishes, or child rearing practices, these patterns keep the relationship stuck and the partners feeling frustrated. Knowing the triggers and how each partner maintains and supports this pattern will go a long way in resolving these unhelpful behaviors.
3. Healing from past hurts and painful emotions
If you have been married for any length of time, chances are you have been hurt or disappointed by her partner. Having a safe place to discuss these hurts can help the couple heal and move forward rather than staying stuck in the past.
4. Learn how to meet your partner’s needs, and get your needs met as well.
Oftentimes couples come to therapy because they feel as if they have tried everything they know to get their partner to hear their needs. Understanding how to meet each other’s needs goes a long way in being able to reduce the tensions and stress in the relationship. In addition, understand what needs cannot be met and being able to soothe oneself can go a long way in being able to grow individually.
5. Growing closer and feeling more connected to your partner
For some couples, sticking the right balance between individual expression and attachment is an ongoing negotiation. How close can we feel to our partner before we start to feel smothered, and conversely, how far apart can we get before we start to feel abandoned. These are issues that repeatedly come up in couple’s therapy and need to be worked through in order to strike the right balance that works for both partners.
- Tom Philp, LPC, CEO Stonebridge Couples Therapy