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2.

Couples

Therapy

Couples therapy is a form of therapy that supports people in intimate relationships. Therapy may be helpful for partners considering separation or seeking improved intimacy and understanding. While the relationship itself is the focus in marital counseling, each partner is expected to pay attention to self-improvement and self-awareness.

FINDING THE RIGHT COUPLES THERAPIST

It can be helpful to consider whether the marriage counselor is a good fit for both partners before scheduling a couples therapy session. It is important to choose a marriage counselor who:

  • Has received the required training to offer couples counseling

  • Is experienced dealing with the couple’s specific issues

  • Works with the couple to develop a therapy plan

  • Shows compassion to both partners

  • Does not take sides

  • Does not allow one partner to speak for or interrupt the other

  • Maintains control of each session   

  • Is easily accessible

  • Encourages the couple early to express if they are comfortable with the services offered 

HOW COUPLES COUNSELING WORKS

The purpose of couples counseling is helping partners learn more about each other and acquire healthy problem-solving skills. The marriage counselor or LMFT may interview both partners, together or individually, during the first few meetings. Afterward, they may provide feedback. The couple may set therapeutic goals with the guidance of the therapist and develop a plan for therapy so each person knows what to expect. In couples therapy, positive results often depend on the couple’s motivation and dedication to the process. 

As treatment progresses, each partner may become a better listener and communicator. Partners also often learn to support each other new ways. It is not uncommon for conflict to arise in therapy sessions. An ethical marriage counselor will remain neutral and avoid taking sides. Some marriage counselors offer supplemental individual sessions to each partner as a standard part of treatment. Others may offer individual sessions upon request.  

Relationship counseling is generally held once a week. The schedule can vary depending on the couple’s goals and whether each partner is also attending individual or group therapy sessions. Couples counseling is offered in a variety of settings, including private practices, university counseling centers, and group practices. 

Marriage counseling is often short-term, though healing a relationship may take more time. Ultimately, couples therapy will continue for as long as the couple is committed to completing the treatment plan or until they reach resolution.

Learn more about couples therapy at: https://www.goodtherapy.org/learn-about-therapy/modes/marriage-counseling

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