It’s an unfortunately common occurrence for couples to consider counseling as a last resort when looking to save their relationship. However, finding the right therapist before one of those final straw moments can instead bring you two together for a stronger bond.
Especially with the effects of COVID-19 recently taking a toll on individuals, partners need to be able to support each other in a healthy, constructive way.
It’s important to note the focus on “couples counseling” as opposed to marriage counseling. In any kind of relationship, it can be beneficial to get that additional, healthy feedback and learn with the help of a professional how best to communicate and work through various struggles.
Every couple has their own “serious” checkpoint – it could be after a few months of dating, a few years, or not considered “serious” until a ring is introduced.
If you and your partner are in a committed relationship that you’d like to carry into the foreseeable future, you should feel comfortable making the suggestion. Difficulties are bound to arise at any point in the relationship; this means, any of those moments could be worked through with the constructive assistance of mental health care professional.
If you’ve already decided couples counseling is a step you’d like to take in your relationship, you can visit https://www.mytherapist.com/ to find a professional that works for both you and your partner. If you’re still unsure or you’d like more information to offer your partner, here are 8 reasons it’s a good idea to seek couples counseling sooner rather than later.
1. Developing Communication: What is harmful phrases or upsetting things your partner says or does? How do you talk to them about it? How do you respond when they bring similar situations up from their point of view? This is an opportunity to work through underlying issues and learn more about each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
2. Preemptive Measures: If you have a plan and understanding in place before a disagreement happens, arguments can become more manageable. You’re more likely to resolve the situation with positive results if you both have ways to deescalate a possible situation early on.
3. Having a Mediator: An impartial and neutral party that both of you trust can be difficult to come by in friends or family members. Mental health professionals are trained to help people assess both their feelings and the feelings of others. This can help you and your partner see the situation from multiple perspectives.
4. Encouraging Patience: A couples counseling session allows the both of you to take turns expressing yourselves. Interjections are typically shut down by your therapist, giving you both the opportunity to learn how to listen without reacting immediately. This way, you absorb and understand their perspective without just waiting to respond in your favor.
5. Deeper Understanding of Your Partner: You and your partner have a chance to talk about things you may not otherwise feel comfortable expressing, at first. If you both or one of you hasn’t gone to therapy before, you may be able to uncover mental health condition symptoms that can be affecting your relationship.
6. Regular Practice: Going to regularly scheduled sessions provide the opportunity to work through common conversations or situations that tend to lead to a disagreement. Developing signals, keywords, and processes to work through these moments enables you both to be heard and understood.
7. Coping with Intimacy Changes: Intimacy routines can change for several reasons – age, stress, comfort, etc. Many couples counseling therapists have experience in enabling each partner to become comfortable talking about their limitations and come to an understanding and possible compromise.
8. Establishing Realistic Expectations: In a relationship, it can eventually come down to one person’s needs versus the other person’s wants. Making important decisions together, having similar pacing of emotions, and giving space when necessary can be common points partners aren’t always on the same page about. Regular sessions can be a dedicated time to talk through these expectations and mutual boundaries for each.
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Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with MyTherapist.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.