Love at first sight is easy. What’s tough is maintaining a happy and fulfilling long term relationship. This takes hard work and is influenced by a host of internal and external factors. In times like this, support from a neutral and trained source can help immensely.
What to Consider Before Beginning Couples Therapy
Here are five things to consider when opting for Couples Therapy:
1. Does the relationship need help?
Most people think of seeking help from a professional when there’s too much pain, mistrust or misunderstandings in a relationship. Couples therapy should not be seen as a last resort to rescue a broken relationship; rather to ensure that it continues to be healthy, says an article in Psych Central.
2. Are there signs we need couples therapy?
The signs may range from a loss of intimacy to regular quarrels over small issues. Recurring complaints or conflicts should not be ignored, whether they are around finances, chores, parenting or any other concerns. If you are feeling unsupported, misunderstood or unappreciated by your partner, therapy will help greatly. In the case of infidelity, you should definitely seek help from a professional to mediate these deeper issues.
According to an article published by the American Psychological Association, around 25% of American adults experience stress, depression or anxiety in any given year. This can have an impact on their relationships and needs to be addressed as well.
3. What if my partner is not as keen as me on therapy?
Couples therapy is most successful when both partners are wholeheartedly committed to make their relationship better. This is, however, a utopian situation. Usually, one of the partners is more driven than the other to actively work on the relationship. This is normal and a therapist can motivate commitment from both partners, says Marriage and Family Therapist Linda Charnes.
4. What should I consider when choosing a therapist?
Always choose someone who is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Ensure that the therapist has vast experience in individual and couples therapy. Visit the website of the therapist and start reading to see if you feel a sense of confidence and trust. It’s a great idea to call and talk to the therapist and ask about their specific approach to therapy before making a decision.
5. Am I open to being uncomfortable?
You need to approach couples therapy with an open mind. The therapist would be addressing issues with your relationship, which you may not have spoken to anyone about. At times this may make you feel uncomfortable. However, this feeling is short-lived. And, it opens the door to a healthier, more meaningful relationship with your partner.
A relationship is a living entity. It needs time and effort. With the right amount of nurturing, it can be the source of immense happiness. Make time for therapy, even if your partner does not seem to see the need for it. If you’re committed to a better relationship, your partner may soon join you!