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Elizabeth Jeffries

Beginning Couples Therapy? 4 Key Questions to Consider

Posted by Elizabeth Jeffries

844 Days Ago

Relationship Troubles? Can Couples Therapy Help? 

When staying in love does come hard, and you want to find ways through it, you may begin to wonder whether couples therapy can help.

If so, how?

This blog answers some questions that people beginning couples therapy often ask, and also provides information about the potential benefits of therapy.

What Is Couples Therapy?

Couples therapy is a type of psychotherapy in which a therapist helps two people involved in any kind of relationship to gain insight into their relationship, to resolve conflict and make changes which improve the relationship.

Beginning with a period of exploration regarding the history of the relationship, and each partner’s family-of-origin and personal values, the therapy then progresses to focus on the issue of concern, and once this issue isidentified, then to work out a plan for the therapy.

During the sessions the therapist helps the couple gain insight into the relational dynamics maintaining the problem, while also helping each partner to understand their role in the creation or development of the difficulties.

Although gaining insight is important, another crucial aspect of couples therapy involves actually changing ways of interacting with each other.

Most couples can come away from their therapy having gained insight into relational patterns, increased emotional expression and developed the skills necessary to communicate and problem-solve with their partners more effectively.

Who Is It For?

Couples therapy can be helpful for any couple when they are going through periods in their relationship when being in love feels hard, or challenging, or the relationship is at risk of total breakdown.

Falling in love is easy, staying in love is the hard part (Anonymous)


How Can Couples Therapy Make a Difference?

Here are are several ways that couples often talk about therapy having been helpful:

  • In realizing that your partner is willing to come to therapy with you, you realize that they care enough to work on the relationship and work through your difficulties, This can be the first step to resolving difficulties in your relationship.
  • Being in a therapeutic space with a therapist can feel safe enough to work on your difficulties. The therapy room can feel like a neutral space and this can open up different ways of expressing problems – different ways to your usual ways. The problems or difficulties may also be heard differently.
  • Having an opportunity to learn how to communicate differently with each other, while also gaining some relief for issues such as conflict, anger, mistrust and resentment.
  • Reconnecting with, rediscovering, or deepening intimacy. Following difficult circumstances such as bereavement, loss, or stressful situations, the sense of intimacy may have been lost. Couples therapy can offer the opportunity to explore the sense of closeness and togetherness in your relationship.

How Do We Know When It is the Right Time to Seek Couples Therapy?

The exact time when couples therapy may be most useful can vary.

Each relationship is unique and different after all.

However, typically, it will be when one or more of the following exist in your relationship:

 A cycle of blame, anger, hurt, resentment and disappointment

  • Arguing seems to be the thing that you do most often
  • You make excuses not to spend time with each other
  • You can’t seem to find ways to resolve conflict

So the big question then emerges. Do you feel that you are ready yourselves for couples therapy?

Elizabeth Jeffries

Article written by Elizabeth Jeffries - Manchester

I provide psychotherapy and counselling to individuals and couples. I also provide online therapy.

The main models of therapy underpinning my work are Transactional Analysis Psychotherapy and Relational Psychotherapy. Transactional analysis psychotherapy looks at how we become who we are, and how we grow and change during the course of life.... [read more]

Relationship Therapy

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