There are two kinds of couples when it comes to couples therapy. First are the couples who don’t think they need professional help or work on their relationship. Second are the couples who realize that needing professional help and working on their relationship isn’t a bad thing. One group is ready to do the work required of them in therapy. The other is not.
Most of the time, both people in the relationship need to be willing and ready to seek therapy if the relationship is to work. Unfortunately, many couples wait too late – until one has already mentally distanced themselves and left the relationship – before seeking help. CNN notes that couple’s therapy should be sought long before a couple believes they “need” help. Kristie Overstreet, a licensed mental health counselor told CNN, “Most issues within a couple start small and then grow in size when they don’t get resolved. This is where therapy can help, by giving tools and techniques to improve conflict resolution.”
For many, seeking therapy early on can save a relationship – even years of distress. Many couples find that an objective third perspective from a counselor can help them recognize problems and how to fix them before the issues become bigger. Oftentimes therapists will assign couples homework to know they are working on their problems outside of the therapist’s office as well. There are many other benefits that couple’s therapy can provide, according to Psychology Today:
- Couples can change their views of the relationship
- Couples can identify and modify dysfunctional behavior
- Emotional avoidance can be decreased as couples learn how to better communicate with one another
- Communication is ultimately improved
- Strengths are promoted within the relationship, which helps couples see what they are doing well and not just on what’s going wrong
It may take time, however, for a couple to regain footing in the relationship. Andrew Christensen, professor of psychology and lead author of a study at the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA), states that couples typically receive 26 sessions a year and if they haven’t improved by then, it’s a bad sign. He stated that many couples address conflict with “toxic cures”, otherwise known as accusation, blame, coercion, defensiveness, avoidance, and denial. “As a result, we end up hurt, angry, defensive, and frustrated – and our conflicts perpetuate themselves,” he stated.
If you feel that couple’s therapy would help your relationship achieve new heights of communication and happiness, go for it. It could very well save your relationship.
Avalon Malibu is a world-renowned, California state-licensed mental health and substance abuse recovery center. Our treatment center offers exceptional couple’s therapy to help you and your loved one get back on track, especially in light of an addiction or mental illness. If you are ready to seek treatment, call us today at 888-958-7511 for a consultation.