Altering How the Relationship is Understood

Your therapist can help you identify and  break the blame cycle; look at your relationship through a more objective lens. They do this by learning about your stressors or sources of conflict in the relationship, then helping each person understand the other persons perspective.  Once understood, they can become more adaptive to the other person’s needs. 

Addressing Dysfunctional Behaviors

Couples’ therapists will also pinpoint any problematic behaviors that could be causing one or both members of the relationship harm. In Relational Life Therapy Terry Real refers to these as the Losing Strategies of the marriage.  In severe cases, clients could be referred for drug addiction or other severe mental health symptom treatment. treatment.  These issues and more can be detrimental to the couples work, but in many instances, simple strategies are used to deescalate issues and work through problems.  

Decreasing Emotional Evasion

Sometimes, one partner may “tune out” the other due to fear, frustration, or another emotional block. During therapy, you’ll learn how to share your emotions freely, including those that may be difficult to talk about, even if it means confronting fears of vulnerability. The therapist will create a safe environment for each partner to share as vulnerably as they can.   By opening these lines of communication, you can decrease emotional avoidance and ultimately feel closer to your loved one. 

Strengthening Communication 

Most people enter couples counseling with the idea that their communication needs to be worked on first.  As a result  you’ll likely learn a lot about improving communication in your relationship during couples’ therapy-provided that the problems in communication can be specifically delineated.  Both parties will learn how to stay engaged while listening, and how to come from a place of love and understanding when speaking to your partner. Your counselor may also help you recognize and avoid communication issues that lead or contribute to fights.  Your counselor also will work not only on what is communicated, but what isn’t.  For example, many partners (ususally women but not always) are looking for empathy from their partners, and the partner has no idea how to express empathy.  Empathy can be taught, and it’s a skill that’s required for effective relationships.  

Building Up Strengths

During your therapy sessions, your counselor will help you recognize and appreciate the strengths within your relationship. In doing so, they allow you to establish resilience and focus on what makes your partnership strong and unique, instead of focusing on its flaws. This also allows each individual to find more joy in the relationship. Looking at your relationship through a positive lens can also help you craft a healthier narrative, which may prevent any issues that arise from clouding your overall appreciation for your loved one. 

 

If you and your partner are considering relationship therapy to help you get back on track, don’t hesitate to contact Chuck Beardsley, LCSW. Serving the Mountainside, NJ community, this counselor guides couples in solving relationship issues using strategies tailored to meet their specific needs. He’ll help you confront issues head-on and find loving yet effective communication strategies so you can grow stronger together. Find out more about how he helps couples here or call (908) 274-3189 to set up an appointment.