Couples Counseling: A great way to save your marriage or intimate relationship
Many people in committed relationships try to manage their relationship problems on their own before deciding to try couples counseling. Intelligent people try to solve their own problems first before seeking the assistance of a professional. Sometimes clients report a sense of failure in the decision to reach out to a couples or marriage therapist, but there’s no reason to feel that way! Isn’t it more of a failure to just keep doing the same things in a relationship that clearly isn’t working than do something different to work on and fix those relationship problems?
How does couples or marriage counseling differ from individual counseling?
Instead of exploring the thoughts, feelings and history of only one person, couples counseling focuses on the “intimate relationship” between two people. Particular attention is paid to recognizing and resolving conflict in a healthy, open way and to increase intimacy (or reconnect with the closeness that the couple once had.)
There are many reasons that a couple may seek counseling including: infidelity, loss of passion, arguing too much, parenting challenges, change in sex life, coping with major life changes (job loss, death in the family, retirement, bankruptcy, etc.) or just feeling like your relationship is fizzling and that you and your partner are living together as roommates.
Pre-marital counseling is becoming more popular as a means of helping engaged couples address “pro-actively” those very hot spot issues that inevitable lead to arguments in a marriage. At the other end of the continuum, many couples that decide to divorce seek the guidance of a relationship counselor with expertise in parenting coordination to help the divorcing parents learn to effectively co-parent their children after the separation.
How do you find a couples or marriage counselor that is right for you?
Many people understandably want to use their insurance benefits for couples counseling. It is important to first check with your insurance company to see if they cover couples counseling. Many insurance providers only cover individual counseling or psychotherapy. Whether you get a list of counselors from your insurance company or you find potential therapists yourself, it is important to ask if they have experience and training in couples counseling. Many marriage counselors offer free brief telephone consultations to answer questions that potential clients may have and to see if the clients feel comfortable with the particular therapist.
How does marriage or couples counseling work?
Couples attend sessions together with the therapist (with the exception of one individual session each in the beginning of the counseling process.) The couples therapist will work with the couple to determine what issues the couple are struggling with and work in each session towards increasing understanding, improving communication and rebuilding the foundation of the romantic relationship. Homework is routinely given to help the couple address and practice new skills outside of the therapy sessions. The couples counselor doesn’t take sides in arguments, but rather helps the couple learn different ways to communicate their wants, needs and feelings.
If you think that your relationship is in need of improvement, please contact Dana Nolan, Licensed Mental Health Counselor, at Healthy Living Counseling for a free brief telephone chat to see if she is the right couples counselor for you and your partner.
Finding the right counselor is important, therapeutic relationships are built on trust, honesty and mutual respect between the therapist and the client. It is important to find a counselor with whom you feel comfortable sharing your thoughts and feelings AND who has the necessary expertise to help you reach your goals. For that reason, we offer a free brief phone consultation to ensure that we are the right fit for you. If you would like to discuss some other issue(s), please don’t hesitate to contact Dana Nolan at 407-340-2474.