Couples Therapy

What is couples therapy?

Couples therapy is a form of counseling that focuses on exploring issues or resolving conflicts in intimate relationships. With the guidance of a qualified mental health professional, couples are encouraged to explore the strengths and challenges that they bring to the relationship as individuals, as well as the dynamic that exists between them as a partnership. Through this process, they learn how to make sound decisions about whether it is better for them to stay together or part company, and what the most constructive course of action is in either case.

Couples therapy tends to be a relatively short term process. The couples usually seek the services of a therapist to help them through a particular phase of their life together. However, in some cases, couples find that their relationship gains long-term enrichment from ongoing sessions with their counselor.


Who can benefit?

Couples therapy is a very useful tool for people who are struggling in their relationships with their intimate partners. However, a couple does not need to be in crisis in order to benefit from the services of a family therapist.

Some of the circumstances in which couples therapy can help are as follows:

  • You and your partner keep experiencing the same conflicts and you do not know how to resolve them
  • You and your partner are having sexual difficulties
  • You are dealing with financial problems, infidelity or the loss of a loved one
  • You are experiencing conflicts about raising a blended family
  • You are planning to get married and first want to gain a deeper understanding of each other

If you are a victim of domestic violence, couples therapy is unlikely to be enough. You need to ensure first and foremost that you are safe. In cases of emergency, contact the police or a crisis centre.


How does it work?

Couples therapy usually has two main components:

  • Joint therapy sessions, which make up the bulk of the program, provide an opportunity for you and your partner to communicate openly about your problems while you are in the presence of an impartial professional. The benefits to this portion of therapy are immense. Not only is your discussion guided by a qualified mental health professional, you are given a safe space to talk to your partner about things that you might otherwise be unable to discuss.
  • Individual sessions allow you and your partner to each talk about your perspectives on your relationship without the other one being present. In these sessions, you might find it easier to open up about things that you feel too intimidated to talk about during the joint sessions.

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