Home Relationship When Is It Time To Go To Couples Counseling?

When Is It Time To Go To Couples Counseling?

Couples Counseling

Many couples put off counseling for far too long, making problematic issues increasingly difficult to overcome.

Couples in unhappy partnerships wait an average of six years before getting professional help, according to The Gottman Institute. During that time, these couples experience growing resentment and bitterness rather than healing, recovery and friendship.

Should You See The Same Counselor For Individual and Couples Therapy?

While a counselor can provide individual and couples therapy, you should choose which type you will seek from a counselor. For example, if you seek help for your own private therapy, then select another therapist for couples therapy.

Often, one partner wants to start couples therapy and the other partner is balking at the idea. So, the pro-therapy partner enters into private individual therapy. After a few sessions, the other partner may see the changes in the spouse and agrees to couples therapy.

At this point, the couple should choose another therapist for couples counseling. The initial therapist will have a conflict of interest when treating the couple.

However, if a couple is in marriage counseling, the therapist may recommend a few sessions privately with each partner. That is normal and usually part of a treatment plan.

What Is A Couples Counselor?

The term “couples counselor” and “couples therapist” are used interchangeably. They receive special training on couples therapy approaches, and one of the most common approaches is a method from The Gottman Institute. More than 100,000 clinicians worldwide use The Gottman Method Couples Therapy in their practices.

Certified Gottman Therapists provide in-person and online gottman professional training. Those who complete all levels of training and a supervision period receive certification.

A certified couples counselor helps couples gain insight into their relationship. The counselor is trained on using assessment and interview tools to understand the relationship history and craft a treatment plan to heal the partnership. The plan typically consists of a one-hour session per week for two to six months.

The counselor provides partners with a neutral and safe place to speak freely. During sessions, the counselor teaches the principles of a successful relationship and these principles address conflict management, communication, trust and commitment, intimacy and friendship.

When Should You Seek Couples Therapy?

Here are some trigger points for seeking help from a professional couples counselor:

  • Trust Has Been Broken.

When a major breach of trust occurs, rebuilding the relationship on your own is difficult or impossible. Emotional or physical affairs, addiction to drugs or pornography, or lies about finances are some major breaches of trust. If trust seems irreparably broken, a therapist who completed in-person or online Gottman professional training has the experience and knowledge to help couples healing from the injury.

  • When You Aren’t Talking Anymore.

One of the most common reasons for seeking couples counseling is to overcome communication barriers, which may arise due to personality differences, busy lifestyles, over-familiarity, drifting apart or chronic fights.

A couples counselor can help you and your partner with tools to break the silence. Without communication, the existence of the relationship is threatened.

  • When Arguments Get Worse.

If you notice an increase in unproductive and hurtful arguments, petty arguments that become full-blown fights, or a cycle of conflicts, then it is time to see a couples counselor. He/she can teach you how to healthily diffuse disagreements and resolve conflicts. Also, they help to break negative patterns of behaviors and deepen your friendship and intimacy.

  • Something Seems Wrong And You Don’t Know Why.

If you have been going through a major rough patch with your spouse and are unable to identify the problem, then it’s time to meet with a marriage or couples counselor. The therapist can provide a supportive environment that will help you to figure out underlying issues and resolve them.

How To Find A Couples Therapist?

Finding an affordable and qualified relationship counselor is a daunting task. The best way to discover a therapist who completed in-person or online Gottman professional training is through personal recommendations or reputable directories such as the Gottman Referral Network, American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy directory, and The National Registry of Marriage-Friendly Therapist.

Whether or not your relationship is in trouble, a couples therapist can provide you with a  roadmap for a long, happy relationship. Budget your time and money for a session or even a weekend marriage workshop. Get help sooner rather than later.

Author’s Bio:

Sunny Skousen is an experienced writer who has over 20 years of experience in ghostwriting, blogging, journalism, speech writing, and content marketing. She specializes in writing about Couples Therapy, Family Therapy, Faith-Based Counseling, Anxiety Disorders, Mood Disorders, Grief/Loss and Trauma, Supervision and Consultation, and more!